Election 2020

Obama Says 3 Things Certain: 'Death, Taxes and Michelle Is Not Running for President'

Michelle Obama prepares to speak at a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service at the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., May 20, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama visited a Baton Rouge high school today for a townhall about the objectives he put forth in this week’s State of the Union.

One of the questions came from “the proud father of one of your special great Secret Service.”

“I have a question for you. Since you can’t run again for another term, is there any way that we as a group can talk the first lady into running?” the man asked.

“No,” Obama quickly replied as the crowd applauded. “No. Let me tell you, there are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes and Michelle is not running for president. That I can tell you.”

“But you know what? The first lady, though, the work she’s done around reducing childhood obesity; the work that she and Jill Biden have done on military families and making sure they get support — I could not be prouder of her. And I am certain that she’s going to be really active as a first lady. Not only is she going to be a very young ex-first lady, but unlike me, she looks young,” Obama continued.

“I was looking at a wedding picture — actually, we found the old video from our wedding. We’ve been married 23 years now. And so my mother in law had been going through some storage stuff and found our wedding video. And I popped it in. And I looked like a teenager. I — and realized, boy, I sure have aged. I know that, though. But Michelle looked — she looked identical. Looked identical. Well, I am proud of her too, because most importantly, she’s been an unbelievable mom, which is why my daughters have turned out so well.”

Another questioner asked the president to “help us be more like you and the first lady and give us some tips.”

“We benefited because somebody invested in us. The most important tip I would have is make sure not only are you working hard to deserve that investment, but that you’re also investing in the next generation coming up behind you,” Obama said.

“Worry about the kind of person you want to be and what you want to accomplish as — and the reason I say that is because a lot of times people ask me I’m interested in politics, how can I get — I say well let me tell you, I — the people who are most successful — in politics, in business, in whatever — they don’t start off saying I want to be president or governor, they start off by saying I want to give people a better education or I want to make sure that folks have jobs or I believe in justice under the law. And they pursue a goal, they’re trying to get something done,” he continued.

“A byproduct of that is that they may find themselves in positions of authority or power or influence, but even if you never get elected to something, if you’re interested in the environment, you don’t have to be the head of the EPA to make a difference, you might organize in a local community to clean up a site and plant gardens and make sure that the water’s clean. And you can look back and then say, wow, what an amazing life I’ve had and look at all the difference that I’ve made.”