Michelle Obama: Black president ‘changes the bar’ for youngest Americans


First lady Michelle Obama has no plans to run for president, but she thinks America will be very different for the next generation - particularly for our youngest Americans who have only known a president who is black.

“Children born in the last eight years will only know an African-American man being president of the United States,” she said in an interview set to run in Parade magazine this weekend. “That changes the bar for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual orientation, their gender. It expands the scope of opportunity in their minds. And that’s where change happens.”

Social commentator Nancy Giles, who is set to join PoliticsNation to discuss the first lady’s comments Friday, talked about an image her friend once shared with her. The seven-year-old-son of her friend, Victor Slezak, drew the picture back in 2009, which he presented to his parents as a photo of him with his parents and “all the presidents of the United States.”

“This is what ‘changing the bar’ looks like,” GIles said of the picture.

The first lady also revealed that she thinks the country’s ready for a woman as president.

“I think the country is ready for it. It’s just a question of who’s the best person out there,” she said, but she refused to speculate on whether or not that would end up being former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“She hasn’t announced anything, so I’m certainly not going to get ahead of her,” she told Parade.

Obama said she feels “immense hope” as the country approaches the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream…” speech.

“I have immense hope. We just finished our visit to Africa and spent time on Robben Island with one of President Mandela’s cell-block mates,” she said. “Mandela took a lot of the lessons from Dr. King’s time to heart.

“To come back to the United States, with an African-American president who has been influenced by both King and Mandela, that is a reason to be hopeful about all that Dr. King sacrificed,” she added.

Michelle Obama: Black president 'changes the bar' for youngest Americans