When Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie at the Oscars, she caused an internet sensation. Within an hour, the photo – which starred the likes of Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – has passed the retweet record set by President Barack Obama in November 2012.
And when the US leader made an appearance on her chat show this week, Ellen couldn’t help but brag about her virtual victory.
“I don’t know if you know this, but I was aiming to break your record of retweets and I apologise for doing it,” the bubbly star told the president, who appeared via satellite on Thursday’s show. “But I broke your retweet record.”
With a smile, Mr Obama replied, “I heard about that. I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself,” he joked. “Getting a bunch of celebrities in the background… you feeding them pizza.”
The president was the previous record holder after tweeting ‘Four more years’ on his Twitter page alongside a photo of him and wife Michelle following his re-election in November 2012.
Ellen, who cheekily referred to Mr Obama as “Michelle’s husband” during the interview, went on to talk to her VIP guest about raising two teenage daughters — the Obamas are parents to Malia, who will be 16 in July, and Sasha, who turns 13 in June.
“I don’t know if everyone heard this, but you made the most amazing comments about if they would ever get a tattoo — and I think everyone should stick to this rule — if your daughters got tattoos that you and Michelle would also get the same tattoo in the same place and you would all take a family photo of all the tattoos,” she said.
“That’s exactly right,” he replied. “We will reduce the cool factor of any tattoo.
“Michelle and I will be right there and we’ll post it so that everybody will be able to see it and we’ll say we all got matching tattoos. I suspect that would be a pretty good deterrent for both Malia and Sasha.”
First Lady Michelle, Sasha and Malia landed in Beijing on Thursday for a week-long visit. And Barack talked about being left alone in the White House while his family was overseas.
“The house is abandoned,” he said. I’m stuck with two dogs and I’m expected to walk them.”
Ellen also talked to the President about his recent shopping trip to The Gap, where he was photographed choosing some gifts for his girls.
“Here’s the thing,” he said. “We were on a trip to New York, and The Gap announced that they were going to make sure that all their employees at least got paid 10 dollars an hour. They’re increasing their wages for tens of thousands of employees across the country.
“And since we’ve been saying that America deserves a raise and we should provide a miminum wage of at least 10 dollars and 10 cents an hour, I thought it was great for me to be able to go frequent a store that’s doing right by their employees.”
His host then remarked that the tops he had chosen for Malia and Sasha had sold out, saying, “everyone wanted to wear the same sweaters that your daughters are wearing”.
“Well I thought they were pretty nice sweaters,” Mr Obama replied. “And Malia and Sasha, they did not scowl when I brought them in which was a good sign. I mean, they didn’t immediately say, ‘Eeeww, that’s terrible.’
“I have not yet seen them wear them,” he added. “But I’m hoping that I make the cut!”