As the United States gears up for yet another presidential election cycle, members of the most recent previous first family are fielding questions about their future political plans. But unfortunately for fans, Michelle Obama says running for office is out of the question for her. At a book tour stop in Cleveland over the weekend, the former first lady said that she believes she can have a greater influence outside of the realm of electoral politics, according to multiple reports.
"Politics is a tough thing, which is sadly why I would never do it,” Obama said, according to local news outlet Cleveland.com. “Sadly, we are in such a divisive place when it comes to politics, that if you put an R or a D by your name, then automatically half the country feels like they just can’t listen to you or trust you."
Obama, who has hit the campaign trail with her husband several times over, is no outsider when it comes to understanding the realities of living and working in the political arena. During her talk, she alluded to goals that she suggested would be better served outside of elected office.
“I just don’t find it to be for me an effective way to reach people,” she said.
Obama's appearance in Cleveland marked one of many stops on her international book tour to promote her new memoir, Becoming. The book recounts her life from childhood to the White House.
During her talk, according to local reports, Obama shared some of the challenges that came with adjusting to life in the White House — as well as life after it. One of those challenges included making sure her daughters weren't too wrapped up in some of the luxuries that first families receive while they live in the White House, like having a waitstaff.
She told the crowd that Sasha and Malia still had to do chores when their father was the president. They were required to, for example, make their beds, she said, according to Cleveland.com. (Notably, this was not a change implemented over time. She told ABC News back in November of 2008 that she planned to require Sasha and Malia to complete some basic household tasks during their White House residency, before they'd even moved in.)
And even now, she said in Cleveland, she's still adapting. It's been over two years since President Barack Obama left office, but Obama said on Saturday that security measures still impose major restrictions on her daily life. She recounted that she only just recently rode in someone else's car for the first time since her husband's presidency ended.
“I was with my brother in Milwaukee and his family and my nephews, they’re in second grade, they were like, ‘Can Auntie Mich come and pick us up from school?’” she said, according to Cleveland.com. "The security let me ride with my brother in his car with his wife. First time I’ve been in somebody else’s car being driven."
But while Obama has no plans to run for election any time soon, it's unlikely that she will shy away from the spotlight for long. According to her remarks, she still has big plans, they just don't involve personal political campaigns.