Michelle Obama
Former United States first lady Michelle Obama smiles during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando. Gerardo Mora / Getty Images

Lots of people have called for Former First Lady Michelle Obama to follow her husband’s footsteps into public office, but at her first post-White House public appearance on Thursday she said it’s not gonna happen.

“It’s all well and good until you start running, and then the knives come out,” said Obama, ruling out a future political run, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Politics is tough, and it’s hard on a family … I wouldn’t ask my children to do this again because, when you run for higher office, it’s not just you, it’s your whole family.”

She made the remark during a Q&A session at the American Institute of Architects’ annual conference in Orlando where cameras were not allowed, and noted that there are other contributions she can make without having to be a politician. An example she spoke about was the Let Girls Live initiative, which was started during her time in the White House. “One issue that I am excited about continuing to work on is … to help young girls get an education around the world,” she said, also noting that she wants to combat violence against women and girls. “The plight of women and girls is real, the struggles are real.”

Earlier this week, former president Barack Obama gave a similar appearance at the University of Chicago in which he spoke with students about organizing and activism, also his first since leaving the White House. A noticeable topic both of them avoided was President Trump.  But the former First Lady did mention why she held back the tears as the couple exited on Inauguration Day.



“I didn’t want to have tears in my eyes because people would swear I was crying because of the new president,” she said.

The Obamas, who have spent their first 100 days out of politics largely on vacation in places like the Caribbean and Tahiti, are continuing to work on the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side, which is expected to be opened in 2020.

“We’re also thinking about what’s going to happen in that building, the programming, what we can do not just for the city of Chicago, but for the country and the world, perhaps.”



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