In the eight years she lived in the White House, Michelle Obama gave us a lot of reasons to love her. And since she left, she’s given us even more: From her thoughtful words about our country’s problem with sexual assault to that time she spoke out about the racism she faced as First Lady, Obama is both likable and engaged with some of the country’s most urgent cultural issues. So much so that quite a few people are hoping she’ll put her name in the race for President in 2020. (According to opinion polls, she could win, too.) But Obama just set the record straight: She won’t be running for President, and she has a very good reason.
There’s been plenty of buzz about women like Obama and Oprah Winfrey running for presidential office in the next election. And although both have already shut down the possibility, rumors have still been flying that we might see them campaigning soon. It’s a hard no from the former First Lady, though, for one simple reason: She doesn’t want to be president.
“The reason why I don’t want to run for president—and I can’t speak for Oprah—but my sense is that, first of all, you have to want the job,” Obama said at the 39th Annual Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston Thursday.
She went on to candidly explain that just because a woman (or anyone) is intelligent, charismatic, and eloquent doesn’t mean she should be the next President. “And you just can’t say, ‘Well you’re a woman, run,'” she said. “We just can’t find the women we like and ask them to do it, because there are millions of women who are inclined and do have the passion for politics.”
Obama certainly doesn’t feel that way, despite giving beautiful speeches and being an incredible role model. “I’ve never had the passion for politics,” Obama said. “I just happened to be married to somebody who has the passion for politics, and he drug me kicking and screaming into this arena.”
Consider this case closed: We won’t be getting the Obamas back in the White House in 2020, but here’s hoping that women who are passionate about politics enter the race for the country’s top job. In the meantime, midterms are coming up: Catch up on this excellent story about two former female CIA agents running for Congress.
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