In all probability, Michelle Obama’s interview, on December 19, with Oprah Winfrey, the famous talk show host, entrepreneur and actress, will be her last as The First Lady of the United States, though not the first with Oprah.
The hour-long, one-on-one, meeting, briefly interrupted by the President himself, was about Mrs Obama’s life at the White House, ‘hope’, her future plans after she makes way for the incoming First Lady Melania Trump next month, her views on politics, the recently concluded elections, her husband’s administration, the ups and downs and the vagaries of life as the First Lady of the greatest nation on earth.
On speaking about her experiences at the White House, the 44th First Lady said that losing her anonymity was the major sacrifice she had to make.
“There’s nowhere I can go in the world and just sit at a table and have a cup of coffee and watch the world,” she said.
It is indeed about the pleasure and freedom of staying anonymous that she may have missed to a large extent.
The pressures that come with the responsibilities of a First Lady are immense and Michelle Obama was no different. In fact, she did a marvellous job of facing those situations in the most befitting manner worthy of a First Lady of the U.S.
“There’s no way to describe what it feels like to open up the paper every day and know that almost every headline is your husband’s responsibility at some level,” she said speaking about the stress and pressures she endured as First Lady, “Anywhere in the world, any major problem, any major issue falls in the lap of the commander-in-chief.”
This kind of stress and pressure on a daily basis, or rather 24/7 on certain days, will rip apart most relationships but the 44th couple became even closer and bonded better than ever before.
When asked by Oprah, “your husband’s administration, everything, the election, was all about hope. Do you think that this administration achieved that?” the first lady without a pause or hesitation said:
“Yes. I do. Because we feel the difference now,” going on to speak about hope as an essential factor.
“You know? Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept.” She said.
However, she also mentioned that the President did not just feel about ‘hope’ as a “nice slogan to get votes” but had other views on the subject, including herself and “many” [others].
“What else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if can’t give them hope?” she said, more like statements than questions, one felt.
She cited the example, or rather the psychology, of a child bumping his head on the table and your response to the situation.
Instead of making a hue and cry over it, the better reaction would be to calm the baby, “you know what, babe, it’s okay, it’s okay” she said. “And I feel that way about the nation,” going on to say with conviction that her husband did the same for the country “in ways that people will come to appreciate.”
“What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?” she asked.
On being asked if she had plans to run for office her answer was an emphatic “no,” in fact three to be precise.
“If I were interested in it, I’d say it. I don’t believe in playing games. It’s not something I would do,” she added in answer to the running-for-office question.
Her views on the 2016 election which saw Trump emerge victorious, and ready to move into her home for eight years, were “challenging” and “painful.”
During the course of the interview she was asked about her reaction to being referred to as “an angry black woman,” to which she responded by saying it was a tag she carried even before she was in the White House.
She said she was taken aback initially but after reasoning with herself she came to the conclusion that it spoke more about the character of the person saying it.
Speaking about her reaction to the 2005 Trump video bragging about grabbing women and the disrespectful remarks he made during the campaigning, Michelle said:
“You know, to have a candidate for the presidency speaking in such terms about women, as I said, was not — it was not a normal thing.”
“A lot of people had been shaken to their core. And still are. They are still feeling the reverberations of that kind of caustic language,” she added.
During this momentous interview, President Obama made a surprise entrance and was all praise and appreciation for Michelle.
“We all knew she was brilliant and cute and strong and a great mom,” the President said. “But I think the way she blended purpose and policy with fun so that she was able to reach beyond Washington, on her health care initiative and her military family work, it was masterful.”
Michelle Obama, the 44th first lady of the United States of America, has certainly done herself and her husband proud.
The 44th first couple will be fondly remembered for a long time.