In its second night of exclusive behind the scenes access, NBC's "Inside the Obama White House" delved into the personal lives of White House staffers, highlighting the long, demanding hours required of those lucky enough to snag a job in the office of the president.
Host Brian Williams sat down with a few of Obama's top aides, including David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, to talk about life away from their Chicago-based families for long stretches of time. Axelrod showed off a picture painted by his daughter of the Chicago skyline reflected in the fountain in front of the White House, which he said helps him feel like "she's close to me."
Emanuel, a father of three, told Williams about a conversation he had with Obama early in his term about president wanting the White House to be a "family friendly" place. Emanuel said he told Obama, "Yeah, very family friendly -- to your family. We are going to be very family friendly."
Emanuel said he knew when he took the job that it wouldn't be easy to be away from home. "I went into it eyes open. I knew what I was getting into, and so there's no looking back," he said. "Everyone always says when they leave, I'm doing it for family, and unless you're here, you can't fully appreciate when they say that they really do mean it."