As the first lady reiterated to Oprah during her final interview in the White House, she has no desire to seek elected office.
“No,” Mrs. Obama said, when asked if she’d ever run. “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’d say it. I don’t believe in playing games.”
Those calling for her to run, she says, are likely coming from a place of hope ― “And that’s good!” ― more than seriousness. Yet Mrs. Obama points out that the call itself is weighty.
“People don’t really understand how hard this is, and it’s not something that you cavalierly just sort of ask a family to do again,” she says. “Let me just tell America: This is hard. It’s a hard job. I said on the campaign trail. It requires a lot of sacrifice. It is a weighty thing. And it’s not something that you even look to one family to take on at that level, for that long period of time.”
For Mrs. Obama, eight years in the White House is enough. Another eight isn’t feasible.
“I wouldn’t do that to my kids,” she says. “Because what people don’t understand is that you run, their lives stop at any age. The next family that comes in here, every person in that family ― every child, every grandchild ― their lives will be turned upside-down in a way that no American really understands. And it’s not for us to complain about it, so you don’t hear complaints. But it is a truth, an actuality, that there is a weight to it.”
Oprah presses just once more. “So, the Democratic Party has not asked you to run for anything?” she asks Mrs. Obama. “No conversations?”
“I’m not having conversations, no,” Mrs. Obama says. “A conversation is, like, a two-way street. I don’t know what they’re talking about, but I’m not talking back!”
Michelle Obama’s full interview is currently available on the free Watch OWN app.
Another moment from the interview: