The First Couple, Barack and Michelle Obama, sat down for an interview with Barbara Walters during which the First Lady said that she has no interest in being president, while the President said youngest daughter Sasha will have a say in where the family lives after his second term is up.
With the soaring popularity of Michelle Obama and her evident political skills, many political junkies have speculated that she might be interested in following in the footsteps of one of her predecessors, Hillary Clinton, and pursue her own political career. But Michelle Obama gave that query about as definitive a rejection as she could muster.
In the clip of the interview released by ABC, Walters asks the president whether the First Lady would have made a better president.
But Michelle herself responded, saying, “I absolutely don’t” have the patience for the job.”
The president had his answer on the ready: “Of course . . . That’s an easy question!” he said, laughing.
But he said his wife is “smart enough” to avoid all the hassles associated with running for the job.
Mrs. Obama returned the favor by questioning whether she has her husband’s level of passion, focus, tenacity and calm needed for the top job.
The First Lady—who was recently derided in a widely attacked piece on Politico by writer Michelle Cottle for being a “feminist nightmare” by not utilizing her education and intellect on behalf of injustice and women’s rights during her tenure as First Lady and instead choosing “soft” issues such as education and childhood obesity—told Walters she tries to make the residential part of the White House a “sanctuary” for the President. In that task, daughters Malia and Sasha are the champions: When they are home, they don’t talk about issues of the day.
“They’re talking about issues of their day,” Mrs. Obama said.
As for the Obama resident after the presidency, Malia will be in college by then, while Sasha will be a high school sophomore at Sidwell Friends School.
“’Cause she’s, you know, obviously they—and Michelle—have made a lot of sacrifices on behalf of my cockamamie ideas, the running for office and things,” Obama said jokingly.
“So we’ve gotta—you know we gotta make sure that she’s doin’ well . . . until she goes off to college,” the president said. “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”
If Obama were to stay in DC, according to ABC News, he would be the first ex-president to do so since Woodrow Wilson.
During the interview, Michelle Obama also revealed that she keeps her daughters away from social media sites like Facebook.
“I still am not a big believer in Facebook for young people. . . particularly for them, because they’re in the public eye,” Michelle Obama said. “Some of it’s stuff they don’t need to see and be a part of. … So we try to protect them from too much of the public voice.”
As for his presidency, which is currently under attack because of the troubled rollout of Obamacare, the President acknowledged the challenges, but said he remains optimistic.
“I’ve gone up and down pretty much consistently throughout,” Obama said. “But the good thing about when you’re down is that usually you got nowhere to go but up.”
He said in the end the Affordable Care Act will be a legacy he will be “extraordinarily proud of.”
“I continue to believe and [I’m] absolutely convinced that at the end of the day, people are going to look back at the work we’ve done to make sure that in this country, you don’t go bankrupt when you get sick, that families have that security,” Obama said.