First lady Michelle Obama revealed the four items on her bucket list for her final year and a half in the White House – and beyond – during an appearance Monday on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
The item at the top of her list – “having some movement on girls’ education” – should come as no surprise given the #62MillionGirls campaign she unveiled over the weekend at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park.
But the remaining three items likely weren’t expected from the woman Colbert had just dubbed “the biggest superstar I’ve had on the show so far,” using the fact that Obama had been received with much more fanfare than even George Clooney as evidence. They were these everyday actions: open a window, go to Target and drive.
A perplexed Colbert asked Obama if she didn’t have a security clearance to open her windows.
“I can’t open my windows, I really can’t,” the first lady lamented, before detailing the extent of her security. “One day as a treat, my lead agent would let me have the windows open on the way to Camp David. It was like five minutes out, and he was like, ‘Windows open. Enjoy it.’ I was like, ‘thanks.’”
#62MillionGirls is an awareness campaign that asks social media users to tweet or upload a photo of themselves and say what they learned in school. “Our goal is to make sure that every girl on the planet gets the opportunities that our girls get,” Obama told Colbert about the initiative. “Right now, today, 62 million girls – 62 million girls – worldwide are not in school. They’re young women like Malala Yousafzai.”
Obama made clear that opportunity separates those who succeed from those who do not, recalling the break she had when she was a young girl living on the South Side of Chicago to go to a college prep school an hour and a half away. “There are kids just as bright as me who didn’t get those opportunities, so I think about that every single day,” Obama said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about not only international education, but education period.”
During their conversation, Colbert pointed out that Laura Bush left a letter for her successor in her final days as first lady. “If we have a female president next, would you leave a letter for her husband?” Colbert asked Obama, who said yes.
The one thing he would need to know more than anything else about the job? “I would say follow your passion, just be you,” she said diplomatically.
Without missing a beat, Colbert worked in a jab at former President Bill Clinton: “I think he does … I mean that in the best way possible.”
“I didn’t say it. I’m just sitting here,” Obama said, distancing herself from the joke.