A couple of days ago Reese interviewed Michelle Obama on the Denver stop of Michelle’s ‘Becoming’ book tour. The two-some spoke about Michelle’s career, family, and being the President’s wife at the city’s Pepsi Centre. Find an article and social media posts from the conversation further down this post, as well as short video footage within a fan’s vlog (fast forward toward the end of the video to see the actual footage). And we have a few photos in our Gallery.
Obama recounted Inauguration Day in January 2017, when she said she was “feeling the weight of all that we had done being flipped over” as she listened to Trump give a speech on a stage that lacked diversity.
She also told actress Reese Witherspoon, who interviewed her on stage at the event, that it was “surreal” to hear “some people literally taking my voice as their own.”
She did not refer specifically to first lady Melania Trump repeating a paragraph of an earlier Michelle Obama speech in her 2016 remarks at the Republican National Convention. But Witherspoon joked in response that a “very similar person” also stole the voice of her fictional character from “Legally Blonde,” an apparent reference to a speech President Trump made in 2017.
Michelle Obama talks marriage, kids and politics of being first lady at Pepsi Center
Former first lady speaks candidly with Reese Witherspoon about her career, her marriage and adjusting to life as the president’s wife.
Michelle Obama told the crowd gathered at the Pepsi Center Thursday evening that on the night her husband became president one of the couple’s daughters was worried.
Police had shut down the streets of downtown Chicago as a security precaution for the president-elect, and “it’s just us in the motorcade and Malia is like, ‘No one is coming to your party, Dad.’”
The crowd laughed as Obama explained how her daughter didn’t realize that empty streets, bodyguards and motorcades were about to become part of their new normal.
“The minute the announcement happened, the world changed for us,” Obama said.
Obama was in town as part of a book tour for her recently released memoir “Becoming.” The former first lady signed books at Tattered Cover in Denver, visited Children’s Hospital Colorado and spoke candidly with Reese Witherspoon at the Pepsi Center for more than an hour about her career, her marriage and adjusting to life as the president’s wife.
“That’s what happens to spouses,” Obama said. “You get immersed in the shadow of the political figure.”
And feel this pressure to tread carefully when it comes to pushing public policy, Obama said, noting how Hillary Clinton was vilified when she advocated for health care reform in the 1990’s.
“I decided I’m going to try this soft power notion,” Obama said. “I started with a garden. … It’s just carrots. Nothing too dangerous.”
The White House vegetable garden become a symbol for the importance of local food and the administration’s push to promote healthy eating. Obama helped add information to nutrition labels, lobby companies to cut back on the sodium in their products and convince schools to keep gym classes and provide healthier lunch options.
“The garden was that nice little front for all that hard work,” Obama said.
She pushed back when people suggested she appear on the cable news networks’ Sunday shows though, saying “normal people don’t watch ‘Face The Nation.’”
Obama instead chose to promote her healthy eating campaign on shows like “Ellen,” “The Tonight Show” or even children’s cartoons like “Doc McStuffins.”
“You go where the people are,” Obama said.
While she navigated the politics of being first lady, Obama also raised two daughters in the White House.
The Pepsi Center crowd laughed as she recalled her worries about whether the girls would smile, touch something they shouldn’t or become unglued because of a lack of snacks or sleep.
“Kids don’t do political face,” Obama said.
Her daughters even asked for one final sleepover the night before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, which meant the Obamas found themselves scrambling to round up eight girls and get them fed and out the door mere moments before the new first couple arrived.
“You’re a mom through and through,” Obama said. “Even when it’s your last day at the White House.”