Michelle Obama Talks to Oprah Winfrey: 10 Biggest Revelations From the 'Farewell to the White House' Special
If you were wondering whether Oprah Winfrey likes Michelle Obama — the answer is yes. She likes her. A lot. On Monday, December 19, the iconic TV host and mogul sat down with the First Lady to discuss her time as FLOTUS and her plans for the future in the hour-long special entitled First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House: An Oprah Winfrey Special.
Though Oprah’s questions ranged in topics from the serious to the silly, it was clear from the host’s tone that she was pretty much in awe. Numerous times during their chat, Oprah interjected asides expressing how much it meant to her that Michelle had simply occupied the post of First Lady. “You’re just being here,” the host mused dreamily. “We wanted a little bit of that for ourselves.” Here are the 10 most revealing moments from their chat.
1. Michelle Obama considered not addressing Trump’s comments about women during her speech at Clinton’s rally.
Back before Donald Trump was the President-elect, Michelle spoke at a rally for Hilary Clinton. “We saw this candidate bragging about sexually assaulting women,” Michelle said to the crowd. “I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
After reflecting on those comments, Michelle told Oprah, “To have a candidate for the presidency speaking about women in such terms was not a normal thing, and so my response, in light of what I was seeing from my female staff, what I was hearing from my daughters, their reaction to it, for me, required a different kind of response. You can’t just stand before people and just give a regular political speech.”
Though she considered not addressing Trump’s now-infamous comments made during an interview with Billy Bush, Michelle said she simply couldn’t avoid it: “Do I just go out there and act like that didn’t happen? That’s not true. That’s not honest.”
2. Michelle went to bed on election night without knowing who won.
Well, she kinda knew. “Pretty much, you kind of saw the tea leaves,” she confessed. “Mentally, I’d already digested it before I actually read it.” She didn’t actually read it, however, until the next morning when she checked her iPhone.
3. Michelle gave Melania some advice during their meeting.
“It was very pleasant,” Michelle said of her time with the incoming First Lady. “It was a wonderful visit.” But that didn’t mean Michelle didn’t have some words of wisdom for Melania Trump. “My offer to Melania was, ‘You really don’t know what you don’t know until you’re here, so the door is open,’ as I’ve told her and as Laura Bush told me and as other First Ladies told me,” Michelle revealed. (We’ll have to wait and see if Melania takes Michelle up on that offer.)
4. Michelle is busy packing to move out — kind of.
“I do a lot of pointing,” she said with a laugh. (But no, she’s not actually on her knees packing boxes.)
5. Michelle feels badly for young celebrities.
Asked by Oprah how she stood in her truth throughout her time in the White House, Michelle said she relied on “being a grown-up,” explaining that her job would have been much more challenging for her if she were only 20 or 30 years old. “I look at these young celebrities, and I just feel for them,” Michelle added.
6. When her teenage daughters complain about having to deal with a security detail, Michelle tells them:
“Girl, you live in the White House!”
7. So…will Michelle ever run for office?
In one word: no. “No, no,” she said. When Oprah asked again in a slightly different way, Michelle added, “Look, that’s one thing I don’t do. I don’t make stuff up. I’m not coy. I’m pretty direct. If I were interested in it, I would say it. I don’t play games.… People don’t understand how hard this is, and it’s not something [where] you just cavalierly ask a family to do it again.” She then added that if there are “conversations” happening about her possibly running for office, she isn’t part of them.
8. Being in the White House made her marriage closer.
“We can’t leave! We’re stuck in here together!” she joked. (This was shortly after Barack Obama dropped in to praise the job she had done and casually ask her if she was wearing a new dress — a question she either didn’t hear or chose to ignore.) She also added, on a more serious note, that when you’re in the White House, your spouse is really the only other person in the world who understands what you’re experiencing.
9. Michelle is down for glamping.
Michelle accepted Oprah’s invitation to go glamping, but on the condition that Oprah did the cooking. They agreed Yosemite and other national parks would be a good getaway — so look out, Yosemite!
10. Michelle’s mom is excited for their White House run to be over.
“Grandma is done!” Michelle declared when Oprah asked if Michelle’s mom was going to stick around post-presidency. “She is going back to Chicago. She is like, ‘Bye, Felicia!'” (Yes, Michelle just quoted the movie Friday, and we’re all better off for it.) Barack mentioned that when his family took off in the chopper on his final day, they would be headed “some place warm.”
For her part, Michelle emphasized that, despite all of their differences from the President-elect, they were going to support Trump. “When he succeeds, we succeed,” she said.
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