What Really Convinced Michelle Obama To Let Barack Run For President

When Barack Obama, who at the time was a senator, first broached the subject of running for president with his wife Michelle, she had some reservations. Not only was she daunted by the idea of what the spotlight may do to her young family, but she was also unsure that she was really ready to share her husband and the father of her small children with the entirety of the world. 

In Michelle Obama's 2018 memoir entitled "Becoming," she wrote that she also harbored fears that a "black man in America" could not win the highest office in the country, saying, "He spoke so often and so passionately of healing our country's divisions, appealing to a set of higher ideals he believed were innate in most people. But I'd seen enough of the divisions to temper my own hopes." 

Eventually, however, she chose to support her husband as he jumped headlong onto the world stage to chase his dream of bettering his nation from The Oval Office. In "Becoming," Michelle says that she realized that she and her husband were surrounded by sincerely good people who wanted to do good things that they truly believed were possible. But in a 2023 interview with Stephen Colbert, Mrs. Obama shared an even more personal reason for her pushing beyond her fear to allow her family to become the First Family of The United States: she owed it to her daughters (via Hola).    

Why Michelle agreed for her daughters' sake

While speaking with host Stephen Colbert in a January 2023 episode of "The Late Show" about her most recent book "The Light We Carry," Michelle Obama shared that if she had asked her husband Barack not to run for president, the whole world may be different (via Hola). "With my fear alone I could have changed the course of history," she said. "But I didn't. I said yes." 

"I didn't want to be like so many people in my family who got stuck in their fears and didn't achieve what they could because their worlds were small," she admitted. "I didn't want to be that example for my girls." But pushing beyond those fears for the sake of her daughters Sasha and Malia and for the sake of their futures was not always an easy task, the former first lady shared, saying, "I had to practice my way through that anxious feeling." 

But now that the former first daughters Sasha and Malia are adults, Michelle and Barack Obama delight in watching them become the fullest versions of themselves, stepping into their own dreams and passions. 

Michelle and Barack are proud of their daughters

In March of 2023, Michelle Obama released the first episode of her podcast entitled "The Light," in which she discussed what it was like being "on the other side of parenting" the daughters she shares with her husband Barack Obama now that they are adults. She shares that she feels confident that she made the right decisions in bringing them up when she sees how well they are doing in the world. 

"I'm moving from mom-in-chief to advisor-in-chief," she shared. "That's a lovely thing — to be able to watch my girls fly and have the relief that 'Okay, I think I didn't mess them up.'" 

And not only are the Obama girls sisters, but in their adulthood, they have become friends, and even roommates (via People). Sasha recently graduated from The University of Southern California with a degree in Psychology, and Malia is working in the television industry. The two share an apartment in Los Angeles where, according to an interview that Michelle Obama did on "Today," they have hosted their famous parents for cocktails (via People). And while Barack and Michelle remain immensely proud of their kids, Michelle admits that they could use a bartending lesson, joking, "The martinis were a little weak. I don't think they really knew what it was."