Fans of First Lady Michelle Obama who hope she might one day pursue political office got some bad news from President Barack Obama as he weighed in on the possibility of her candidacy.
“I would say ‘Where did you take my wife?’ Because I was sure that there had been an alien body snatching going on,” Obama said in an interview on LIVE! with Kelly and Michael.
“One thing I can promise you, Michelle will not run for office,” he said.
But the president championed his wife’s handling of the role of first lady in the interview, praising both the leadership and maternal nature she’s brought to the job.
“She’s a brilliant lawyer and was a very strong professional and is as smart as can be around policy but what drives her, what is passionate for her are children,” he said.
He gave Michelle most of the credit for successfully raising what he described as both normal and well-adjusted daughters in the White House, saying that she’s “management” and he’s “labor” in their parenting relationship.
“They’re doing great because Michelle was a great mom and is a great mom,” he said. “The girls are confident, they’re smart, they’re funny, they work hard, but most importantly they’re respectful and they’re kind.”
The president said he and his wife were initially worried that bringing their daughters into the White House might give them “an attitude” but that instead they’ve remained respectful. “They treat everybody well and that makes us happy,” he said.
Elder daughter Malia has apparently attended her first prom, although the president wouldn’t say whether she took a date.
“I think this is all classified information, but I think it’s fair to say that the first time you see your daughter in heels it’s jarring,” he said. “She’s lovely.”
When asked how he might interact with any potential boyfriends arriving at the White House to court his daughter, the president insisted the process would go smoothly. “I’m not too intimidating, I don’t think,” he said.
While his wife may never try to run for office, Obama said he’d be happy to see another former first lady take control of the White House.
“Hillary and I, we’re buddies,” he said. “I think because we ran in the longest primary in history, you know, and our staffs I think we’re doing battle politically the perception was that this was always kind of a marriage of convenience when she came in as secretary of state. I always admired her as soon as she got here she couldn’t have been more effective more loyal and since that time we’ve become really really good friends.”
“I don’t know what she’s going to decide to do,” he added. “But I know that if she were to run for president I think she’d be very effective at that.”
But he made a point to praise Vice President Joe Biden as well, noting he and Hillary were both, “great, hardworking effective people and I love them to death.”
The president also reflected on what he believes makes a good president.
“I think it’s a combination of vision. You’ve got to know where it is that you want to take the country and what core convictions and values you want to fight for. You’ve got to have judgment because most of the problems that land on my desk don’t have an easy answer,” he said.
“Then the third thing is persistence,” he continued. “I think you just have to understand that the way the country moves forward, the way the world moves forward, requires a lot of elbow grease and sticktoitiveness and you can’t get discouraged.”