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Michelle Obama Sets Her Record Straight During Oprah Interview

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Michelle Obama’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey revealed how “challenging” it was for her family. During her final one-on-one White House interview, Obama discussed her eight years as first lady and her family’s transition out both personally and professionally. During the one-hour interview, which aired Monday night on CBS, we learned how she handled continual criticism, as well as her own causes.

“The bad stuff, I just don’t hold on to.” She described this suppression as a defense mechanism she’s used throughout her life, so much so that she said she even forgets some negative situations altogether. In addition, she said her mother always told her: “Girl, you better keep it moving.”

While, she has learned to manage negativity to a great degree, she maintains, “Words matter, and they matter most to our young kids.”

Obama said she and Melania Trump talked about their kids and said she told the incoming first lady that she was always willing to answer any questions. “My offer to Melania was, you really don’t know what you don’t know until you’re here, so the door is open, as I’ve told her and as Laura Bush told me and other first ladies told me,” Obama said. “We will do whatever they need to help them succeed.”

The first lady said it was important “for the health of this nation” that she and her husband, President Barack Obama, support President-elect Donald Trump, even though she said some Congressmen didn’t support her husband’s presidency. “So we’re going to be there for the next president and do whatever we have to do to make sure that he is successful, because if he succeeds, we all succeed,” said Obama.

She told Winfrey that “being a grown up” helped her most in being first lady. “Over the course of living, you learn how to protect yourself.”

Obama seemed genuinely surprised at being labeled an “angry black woman.” She said, “That was one of those things that you just sort of think, ‘dang, you don’t even know me,’ you know? You just sort of feel like, ‘Wow, where did that come from?’

“You think, that is so not me! But then you sort of think, well, this isn’t about me,” she went on. “This is about the person or the people who write it.”

She has refused to take on a defensive posture, preferring that her actions speak for themselves. “I thought, ‘let me live my life out loud so that people can then see and then judge for themselves.’ And that is what I want young people to do. Just live your life,” she said.

Meanwhile, she has made sure her main concern were her daughters, Sasha and Malia. “I was really just cautiously making sure that they felt normal,” Obama said. “They felt good.”

While she made sure her family was okay, she humbly discussed what she felt was her legacy to the American people. This includes initiatives to combat childhood obesity. She said her work with military families provided her the most inspiration. In fact, she said whenever she felt like complaining, she would think of them. Ultimately, though, she felt that being an example for young women provided her greatest public impact. They could see an “educated, strong and outspoken woman” in a position of influence.

Given her influence and widespread popularity, Winfrey questioned Obama about people thinking Obama is going to run for office. To that, she restated an earlier point about the job of president “is hard” and a “weighty thing.” Taking a long range look at a political future, she declined any interest for the sake of her family. “Sixteen years, I wouldn’t do that to my kids because what people don’t understand is that you run, their lives stop, at any age,” she said. “The next family that comes in here, every person in that family, every child, every grandchild, their lives will be turned upside down in a way that no American really understands.”

She feels her husband successfully provided the hope he promised during his campaign for president. “Hope is a necessary concept,” she said before President Obama briefly joined the interview to give his insight on his wife’s contribution.

“I think the way in which she blended purpose and policy with fun, so that she was able to reach beyond Washington on her healthcare initiatives, on her military family work, was masterful,” said President Obama.

In her most personal assessment, Obama said being first lady made her relationship closer to husband, not more strained. As the couple transitions to civilian life, she wants the country to remain hopeful. “My desire for this country is that we remain hopeful and that we find a place in our hearts to love each other. It’s really simple — just opening up our hearts to others, making room.”

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