Michelle Obama said that people are learning what it feels like to not have hope as President Barack Obama’s time in office winds down and Donald Trump’s administration approaches.
In an excerpt aired on CBS This Morning from her last interview as First Lady, Michelle Obama was asked by Oprah Winfrey if her husband’s administration had achieved its message of hope. The First Lady said that it did, noting, “We feel the difference now. See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept. And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes.”
First Lady Obama said that it’s been the president’s calm handling of difficult situations that has given the American people hope:
Our children respond to crises the way they see us respond. You know, it’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table, and they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts, and if you’re like, “Oh, my God,” they’re crying. But if you’re like “You know what, babe, it’s OK, it’s OK … ” I feel that way about the nation. I feel that Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate.
FLOTUS implied that that sort of approach from the White House wasn’t going to continue for much longer:
Having a grownup in the White House who can say to you in times 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, that their lives aren’t in vain. What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?
Michelle Obama continues to not mention Trump by name while still clearly criticizing him. As the First Lady puts it, someone who responds to every situation with bluster and scare tactics isn’t going to inspire people.
You can watch the excerpt from the interview embedded above. First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House airs on CBS on Monday at 8 p.m. EST.