Michelle Obama: ‘We’re Feeling What Not Having Hope Feels Like’ Post-Election

FLOTUS says farewell. First Lady Michelle Obama reflected on husband President Barack Obama’s legacy of hope in a new interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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In a preview for an upcoming CBS special with 62-year-old Winfrey, Michelle, 52, explains why her husband’s core belief of hope is so important — and implies that President-elect Donald Trump’s impending administration might not deliver the same message.

“Yes, I do [feel like Barack achieved hope] because we feel the difference now. Now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like, you know? Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept,” she told Winfrey. “And Barack didn’t talk about hope just because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe. What else do you have if you don’t have hope?”

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama

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Michelle added: “I feel that Barack has been [a hopeful leader] for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate. Having a grown-up in the White House who can say to you in time of crisis and turmoil, ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK, let’s remember the good things that we have, let’s look at the future, let’s look at all the things that we’re building’ — all of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn’t in vain and their lives aren’t in vain. What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?”

The Princeton University graduate’s “grown-up” comment echoes her previous remarks about Trump, 70. During an impassioned September 28 speech in Pittsburgh, Michelle — who was a vocal supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — alluded to the ex–Celebrity Apprentice host’s behavior.

First Lady Michelle Obama and husband President Barack Obama on stage during the Hillary Clinton's Get Out The Vote rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi at Independence Hall on November 7, 2016, in Philadelphia.
First Lady Michelle Obama and husband President Barack Obama on stage during the Hillary Clinton’s Get Out The Vote rally with Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi at Independence Hall on November 7, 2016, in Philadelphia. Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

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“The president cannot just pop off or lash out. We need a grown-up in the White House,” she said with a wink, never mentioning Trump’s name directly. “We need someone who’s compassionate. We need a role model for our kids, and someone who’s not just in it for themselves, but who’s in it for the good of the entire country. Because the presidency doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.”

Despite her feelings toward Trump and his win over Clinton, 69, in this year’s election, Michelle and President Obama welcomed the future first couple to the White House on November 10. The president and president-elect sat down to discuss the country’s upcoming transition when the real estate tycoon takes over the Oval Office this coming January. Michelle and Melania also met.

Watch the video above. Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House — an Oprah Winfrey Special airs on CBS This Morning Monday, December 19.

 

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