WASHINGTON – First Lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey that she and Barack are “regular folks” who don’t want to “waste our talents just making money for ourselves.”
She said President Obama “hasn’t changed” because he is “an authentic man” who is going to leave the White House as the same person.
“So I want to know, what are those days when you just say, mmm, mmm, mmm — look at me in the White House,” Winfrey asked Obama at the White House’s United State of Women Summit in Washington.
“There are so — yeah, just sitting up here, mmm, mmm, mmm. There are a lot of those moments. Prince and Stevie Wonder singing in the East Room, just — may he rest in peace. I mean, those rare gifts of entertainment, the kind of music we have been able to bring into the White House,” Obama said. “Sitting with the Pope, watching my mother and my daughters talk to the Pope. That’s like a –” she added before Winfrey interrupted to say, “Mmm, mmm, mmm.”
Obama told the audience that “dinner with the Queen of England” is “just like, mmm, mmm, mmm.”
“You know, you try to play these moments off, like oh, yes, yes, I know what I’m doing — and inside you’re going, mmm, mmm, mmm,” she said.
“Good Lord. Watching my husband walk off of Marine One and go to the Oval Office, it’s like, mmm, mmm, mmm,” she added.
Winfrey replied, “He’s got the swag. Did he always have that swag or has he gotten swaggier?”
“No, he was very swagalicious. Look, I told people this from the very start, when I started running Barack Obama is exactly who he says he is. We both are. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell people. Ain’t no surprises. We’re telling you who we are, and no tricks up our sleeves. We’re regular folks,” Obama said.
“We care about people. We care about family. We want to do well. We want to make our country proud. We don’t want to waste our talents just making money for ourselves. Barack Obama hasn’t changed, not as a person, because he is an authentic man who came in, and he’s going to leave that same person,” she added.
Obama said the office of president does not “change you, it amplifies who you are.”
And that’s something that we should all remember,” she said.
Obama declined to comment on her family’s plans after the White House but said she is most looking forward to walking down a street and shopping.
“I’m alone with 800 people walking behind me but I’ve learned how to — ‘I’m by myself.’ But I do, I want to walk down a street. I want to sit in a yard that is not a national park,” Obama said.
“I do want to drop into Target. I want to go to Target again. I’ve heard so many things have changed in Target. I tell my friends they’re going to have to give me a re-entry training for like, okay, what do you do at CVS now? How do you check out? It’s like I’ve been living in a cave,” she added.
Winfrey asked Obama if she had a message for the men in the audience at the United State of Women Summit. Obama challenged men to “be better” than “making deals” on a golf course with a “bunch” of other men.
“Men can be better husbands, which is, be a part of your family’s life. Do the dishes. Don’t ‘babysit’ your children. You don’t babysit your own children. Be engaged. Don’t just think going to work and coming home makes you a man. Being a father, being engaged, all that stuff is important,” Obama said.
“Be a better employer. When you are sitting at a seat of power at a table of any kind and you look around you just see you, it’s just you and a bunch of men around a table, on a golf course, making deals, and you allow that to happen, and you’re OK with that — be better,” she added.
“Be better. I love that,” Winfrey replied.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also addressed the summit and praised presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“We know Hillary Clinton will engage in a dignified campaign of ideas, vision about the future, a campaign worthy of the office of president and worthy of the American people. Hopefully the other side will, but let’s remember this: We must remember that electing a women president or electing a woman to any office is not about one woman’s achievement but what it means to other women,” Pelosi said.
“For us to see how Madam President will ensure our national security, Madam President will ensure our national security, strengthen and empower our families. It will resound in the dreams of every young girl in every corner of America,” she added.