It is unknown what the President and the House Speaker were talking about, but whatever the friendly banter was between the two arch-political rivals, Michelle did not appear to approve.
The video shows President Obama during the Inauguration Day Luncheon, after his inaugural address, leaning behind First Lady Michelle Obama for a friendly exchange with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who was seated to the First Lady's left. After he replied the President, he gave the First Lady a friendly tap on the arm, as if seeking her opinion or approval of whatever he said in response to the President.
Whatever the joke was, Michelle Obama certainly didn't get it.
While many viewers have disputed that she rolled her eyes at the House Speaker, her body language and mannerism appear rather cold. She did not appear amused by the House Speaker's friendly tap on her arm which may have been meant to cue her to give a friendly smile or even laughter. The manner in which she throws side glances at the House Speaker, studiously avoiding eye contact with him, does not look exactly friendly even if it wasn't meant to be an eye roll.
The Huffington Post
reports that the president later gave a short remark that the First Lady and the House Speaker did agree on one thing. He said his wife and Boehner agreed he should not delay things. Obama said: "Michelle and the speaker of the House came to a meeting of the minds that I may be delaying the proceedings too much. And so I'm just going to be extraordinarily brief and say thank you."
The popular interpretation of the First Lady's body language might, however, have been colored by the fact that we all know that Obama and Boehner have had testy moments on the political battlefield. The Daily Mail
points out that the First Lady and Boehner had appeared to be getting on fine with each other earlier in the luncheon and comments:
"... perhaps two meals were too many for Mrs Obama to share with Boehner on Monday. Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, the First Couple met for coffee with Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and their wives."