Michelle Obama rules out running for office

Mrs Michelle Obama, at her first speech since January, said being in the White House was tough on her family.
Mrs Michelle Obama, at her first speech since January, said being in the White House was tough on her family.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

ORLANDO • Former first lady Michelle Obama has ruled out seeking political office, putting paid to hopes that she would take the plunge after impressing both pundits and voters with her rousing speeches when she stumped for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last year.

In her first speech since her husband stepped down in January, Mrs Obama said being in the White House was tough on their family, CNN reported.

"(It's been) so far, so good. It hasn't been that long since we left... it's good to not have the weight of the world upon your shoulders," she told an audience at the America Institute of Architecture convention in Orlando last Thursday.

Offering a peek inside the Obamas' eight years of life at the White House, she said her daughters Sasha, 15, and Malia, 18, can now open their windows - something they were not allowed to do at the official presidential residence.

The girls once caused a ruckus when they tried to open their bedroom window that faced the public side of the White House because they wanted to listen to protesters speaking, she said.

LIFE OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT

(It's been) so far, so good - it hasn't been that long since we left... It's good to not have the weight of the world upon your shoulders.

'' MRS MICHELLE OBAMA, on life after moving out of the White House.

Life has also changed for the family dogs, Bo and Sunny, which had never heard a doorbell before they moved out because the White House did not have one.

"Friends are surprised I answer the door now," said Mrs Obama, 53.

The Obamas now reportedly live in a swanky rented house in north-west Washington's Kalorama neighbourhood.

Mrs Obama was best remembered for her line "when they go low, we go high" in one of her most memorable campaign speeches for Mrs Clinton last year, when she cleverly put down - without naming - rival candidate Donald Trump, who was at that time under fire for alleged bullying, using vulgar language about women and making hate speech.

At the Orlando convention, the former lawyer described her last day at the White House - where she had lived the longest in her life - as "emotional". Her daughters left from the back door with tears, but she had to remain composed to welcome the Trumps at the front door.

"And then, those doors opened, and I didn't want to have tears in my eyes because people would swear I was crying because of the new President," she joked.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Michelle Obama rules out running for office'. Print Edition | Subscribe