Michelle Obama discussed hope in the post-election world, Politico reports.
“We feel the difference now. See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like, you know,” she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview.
“Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept,” the first lady said. “And Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe that if you — what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”
Michelle Obama’s speech against Trump towards the end of the campaign was perhaps the single most memorable, emotionally resonant argument against him from the Democrats. Hillary Clinton spent much of the campaign arguing that Trump was indecent and beneath us, without the passion of Michelle’s speech. She also didn’t base her campaign in policies that would better the lives of voters.
Michelle renewed the importance of hope through an allegory:
“Our children respond to crises the way they see us respond. You know, it’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table, and they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts, and if you’re like,” she began, then gasped, “‘Oh, my God,’ they’re crying.”
Barack Obama, she said, is the type to say: “You know what? Babe, it’s OK, it’s OK.”
“I feel that way about the nation. I feel that Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate,” she said. “Having a grownup in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil: ‘Hey, it’s gonna be OK. Let’s remember the good things that we have. Let’s look at the future. Let’s look at all the things that we’re building.’ All of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn’t in vain, like their lives aren’t in vain. What do we do if we don’t have hope, Oprah?”