Michelle Obama, Ryan Seacrest


Michelle Obama is President Barack Obama's toughest critic and No. 1 fan and will be in the front row tonight anxiously cheering him on.

While the commander in chief gears up for tonight's second presidential debate against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the first lady talked to Ryan Seacrest on the Today show this morning about the kind of encouragement she's been offering her husband and juggling her public duties with being a good mom to Sasha and Malia.

When asked by the Seacrest if Obama ever makes eye contact with her during the debate, Michelle replied that she's there if he needs her.

"I can never tell, but I'm always primed just in case he is, so I'm perched. I'm looking at him, I'm smiling," she said. "I assume that he can make sure that I'm always giving him that positive love."

The first lady also revealed that she's already cast her vote—for her hubby, of course, and by absentee ballot.

"Absentee ballot early voting is really convenient," Obama noted. "I got my ballot last week. I sat down on Saturday because that''s when I had some quiet time, kids were at their sports. I just had time to really relax; I took my time."

Speaking of the first couple's two daughters, Michelle marveled at Barack's ability to focus on quality time with 14-year-old Malia and 11-year-old Sasha despite the intensity of his day job.

"I am always astounded when I read in the paper or I talk to some advisers and I find out what he's actually dealt with in any given day. When we sit down to dinner, you know, he lets that all go for that moment," she said. "He is there for me. He is there for Sasha and Malia. And he's there as a dad."

Michelle also discussed juggling her own public duties with her parental responsibilities.

"Oftentimes I try to get home in the evening so that I can wake up with the girls, get them off to school, get my workout in and then hit the road," Obama explained, adding that she'll bring a jump rope with her to make sure she sticks to her fitness routine.

As for Sasha and Malia, the girls are certainly getting an education living in the White House, she said.

"I haven't had a chance to ask them, but take a look at who these girls have met: Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, the Queen of England, the Pope, Bishop Tutu," she pointed out. "This is their playlist of meeting people [and]…has been a wonderful experience for them."

As for her own playlist, Obama revealed what's on her iPod these days.

"My iPod is so eclectic. It's everything from Elle Varner, which Malia turned me onto…so I got a few songs of her; Alicia Keyes," she said. "I just got done listening to 'Blackbird' by Paul McCartney, one of my favorites. My iPod is full of songs that I love. I rarely put albums on, but if I hear a song that really moves me I put it on there and play it again, and again, and again."

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