Michelle Obama to Oprah Winfrey: Now we know what ‘not having hope’ feels like

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a Hanukkah reception in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday. Pool Photo by Aude Guerrucci/UPI

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) — In her final White House interview, first lady Michelle Obama told Oprah Winfrey her husband achieved his core message of bringing hope to the nation as president.

As she and Barck Obama prepare to leave the White House on Jan. 20 after the election of Donald Trump, she said she understands how important hope is.

“See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like. You know? Hope is necessary,” she said in an clip of the interview that aired Friday on “CBS This Morning.” “It’s a necessary concept and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe that — what else do you have if you don’t have hope?”

She compared the role of president to that of a parent to the nation.

“What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?” she said. “Our children respond to crises the way they see us respond. You know? It’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table and they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts and if you’re like, ‘oh, my god!’ they are crying!’ But if you’re like, ‘you know what, babe, it’s OK,’ it’s OK.

“I feel that way about the nation. I feel Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate. Having a grown-up in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, hey, it’s going to be OK.”

The full interview will air as a one-hour special, “First Lady Michelle Obama Says Farewell to the White House — An Oprah Winfrey Special,” Monday on CBS. It was produced by Winfrey’s OWN Studios.


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