This morning Michelle spoke with Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America … the BOOK IS OUT!
The former first lady speaks out in an exclusive live interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts in Chicago about her memoir, “Becoming,” the outcome of the midterm elections and 2020 prospects.
Obama and her brother, Craig Robinson, reflect on growing up on Chicago’s South Side, plus the former first lady shares how her daughters have gotten guidance from the Bush sisters.
USA Today shared this great article which I think really embodies who Michelle is.
Michelle Obama has some thoughts about how to succeed in politics.
The former first lady is not a fan of politics in general or certain politicians in particular, she makes clear in her blockbuster memoir, Becoming. The political process is messy and the costs were high for her family, her personal life, her professional ambitions.
“I didn’t much appreciate politicians and therefore didn’t relish the idea of my husband becoming one,” she writes. Before his breakthrough bid for the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004, she made him promise, out loud, that he’d leave politics altogether if he lost that race.
But he won the Senate campaign that year and the two White House campaigns that followed. His remarkable rise gave her a birds-eye view of politics as it’s played at the highest levels and for the greatest stakes. Her new book, being published Tuesday by Crown, offers some thoughts about what works.
Actually, the former Michelle Robinson had some experience with politics, local and presidential, before she ever met Barack Obama. Her father, Fraser Robinson, was a Chicago city worker, a job that carried the expectation he would volunteer as a Democratic precinct worker. One of her best friends at Whitney M. Young High School was Santita Jackson, the oldest child of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988.
Michelle Obama promises, persuasively, she will never follow in the footsteps of Hillary Clinton, a first lady-turned-presidential contender, and run for office herself.
That said, for the present, here are some of the lessons she’s learned.
Define yourself, or somebody else will
Fourteen words Michelle Obama said at a Milwaukee event during the opening stages of the 2008 primary campaign created a ferocious blow-back. “For the first time in my adult lifetime,” she said, “I’m really proud of my country.”
In her book, she quotes a fuller version of her unscripted remarks, which included a declaration that “hope is making a comeback” and the feeling that “people are hungry for change.” But critics used that key sentence to portray her as angry and disgruntled, as not really a patriot. It fed the “angry black woman” meme that she faced, to her frustration.
That stereotype was unfair and inaccurate, she thought, but it was still damaging. Campaign strategists David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett staged what she later realized was an intervention, showing her clips of some of her public appearances. She realized she sometimes came across as too serious, too severe, which made it easier for opponents to portray her as “some sort of pissed-off harpy.”
She worked on conveying more warmth. “If you don’t get out there and define yourself,” she says, “you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”Read More
Michelle wrote an open letter exclusively for the Chicago Defender …
“Chicago made me who I am. I wanted to pay tribute to the South Side community that poured so much love into me from the very beginning, so I wrote this letter to The Chicago Defender.
I hope you’ll read it.”
In the summer of 1975, Dr. Joseph A. Lavizzo, Jr., the principal at Bryn Mawr Elementary School in South Shore at the time, wrote a letter to this newspaper. In it, he defended his school from a vitriolic opinion piece that had been published a week earlier, which referred to Bryn Mawr as a “run-down slum” governed by a “ghetto mentality.” Dr. Lavizzo fought back forcefully, calling the charges “an outrageous lie, which seems designed to incite only feelings of failure and flight.”
At the time, I was going into seventh grade. Bryn Mawr was my school, and Dr. Lavizzo was my principal. I didn’t know that the letter had been published, but by then I’d already begun to recognize what was happening in my neighborhood.
In kindergarten, my classroom had been wonderfully diverse, full of children of varying ethnic and economic backgrounds—Black and White, Hispanic and Asian, most of us middle-class, though some families landed on either side of that description. In the span of just a few years, though, most of the better-off families left our neighborhood for the suburbs, and by fifth grade, almost every student in my class was Black. As “White flight” took off, prospects in South Shore fell. Observers began throwing around words like “ghetto” to describe our neighborhood. My mother would tell me years later that all the while, predatory real estate agents were never far, whispering to home owners that they should sell before it was too late. The future was coming, they’d say, and it didn’t look good.Read More
The Chicago Sun Times shares that Michelle started today with a visit to her alma mater, Whitney Young High School to talk with some of the seniors about her new book.
A day before the launch of her book tour, former first lady Michelle Obama on Monday returned to her high school, Whitney Young on Chicago’s West Side, to talk to about 20 girls, all seniors, about her memoir, “Becoming,” in which she writes about how the school exposed her to a world outside the South Shore community where she was raised.
The girls met with Obama in the magnet school’s library.
The visit — the second in a week — is part of a media blitz organized for the kick-off of the book, as Obama fills arenas to talk about her life in conversations with friends. Oprah Winfrey returns to Chicago for the first tour event, Tuesday night at the United Center. Billed as “an intimate conversation with Michelle Obama,” it will take place before an audience of about 14,000.
Obama has added a European leg to her tour, appearing Dec. 3 at Royal Festival Hall in London.
Obama, the Whitney Young class of 1981 salutatorian, surprised a dance class at the school when she walked the halls while being interviewed by ABC’s Robin Roberts for a “20/20” special that aired Sunday.
Check out more images from her visit in our gallery.
Be sure to tune into ABC this Thursday to watch Jimmy Kimmel Live! where Michelle will talk with Jimmy about her new book, Becoming.
The former First Lady will discuss her new memoir, ‘Becoming’ during her Thursday night appearance.
In lieu of her recent book release, Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama will be making an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, Nov. 15.
Obama’s book was recently selected as Oprah Winfrey’s next book club choice, marking Winfrey’s first pick by an author from the political world since she started her club in 1996.
In Becoming, Obama candidly shares personal revelations she experienced throughout her life such as, suffering a miscarriage and sharply criticizes President Donald Trump. The former first lady’s book will be released to bookshelves on Tuesday via Crown Publishing, a part of Penguin Random House, and is among the most anticipated political memoirs in years, having already topped Amazon.com’s best-seller list throughout the weekend. The memoir is projected to sell millions of copies and is being published globally in 31 languages.
Ahead of her late-night appearance, Obama recently sat down with Winfrey for an in-depth conversation that will be released across multiple platforms this month, timed to the release of her memoir.
In their candid conversation, Obama spoke about the life experiences that have shaped her, including her childhood on the South Side of Chicago, her years working as an attorney and executive in Chicago and how she worked to balance the demands of her career and raising two daughters.
She also opened up about the challenges her and Barack Obama have endured during the early years of their marriage, including undergoing counseling and facing the pressure of being the “first black family” to live in the White House.
The conversation will air as a primetime special, Oprah Winfrey Special: Michelle Obama, that debuts at 8 p.m. Thursday. An extended, unedited version will be available on the Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast starting the same day, with Part 2 available on Nov. 19. In addition, the full interview will be streamed on Oprah’s Facebook at 11 am. Nov. 18.
To celebrate the release of the memoir, OprahMag.com is posting an exclusive excerpt of the book.
“This book is everything you wanted to know and so much you didn’t even know you wanted to know. I believe it’s going to spark within you the desire to think about your own becoming,” Winfrey told the Associated Press. “It’s so well-written I can hear her voice; I can hear her expressions; I can feel her emotion. What she allows us to see is how she was able to discover, define and then refine her voice.”
To further promote the book release, Obama also sat down with Robin Roberts for a 20/20 special on Sunday.
Obama is also embarking on a 10-city book tour, which kicks off in Chicago on Tuesday. During each tour stop, Obama will be interviewed by special guests including Valerie Jarrett, Reese Witherspoon, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Obama is also set to make appearances on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, and CBS This Morning this week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
People has done a feature on Michelle for their November 26th issue which is released this Friday!
Michelle and Barack Obama may seem like they have an ideal marriage and that’s exactly why she’s now opening up — in an exclusive at-home interview with PEOPLE — about the time the former first couple sought help from a marriage counselor.
“Because we’re role models, it’s important for us to be honest and say, if you’re in a marriage and there are times you want to leave, that’s normal — because I felt that way,” the former first lady, 54, says in the interview about her book, Becoming, out Nov. 13.
“My mother would talk about leaving my father in the spring, when she’d do spring cleaning,” Obama says, recounting one story in her hotly anticipated memoir. Did she herself ever consider leaving Barack? “There were definitely times when I wished things were different,” Obama tells PEOPLE, “but I don’t think I ever thought, ‘I’m just checking out of this.’ “
In Becoming, Mrs. Obama is candid about the difficulties she and the former president faced. Though their commitment to each other has remained steadfast since their marriage in Oct. 1992, their lives got more complicated as they struggled to get pregnant and after they had their two daughters Malia, 20, and Sasha, 17.
While promoting her book, Mrs. Obama revealed that she suffered a miscarriage and was only able to conceive the girls through in vitro fertilization (IVF). After their daughters were born, the couple had to balance her high-powered career with Barack Obama’s burgeoning career as a politician and the stress of being new parents, according to the Associated Press
Michelle Obama writes that they went to marriage counseling “a handful of times,” per the AP.
“Marriage counseling, for us, was one of those ways where we learned to talk out our differences,” she said during a recent interview on Good Morning America, according to The Hill.
Through marriage counseling, Mrs. Obama explained, she learned to take control of her own happiness.
“What I learned about myself was that my happiness was up to me and I started working out more, I started asking for help, not just from him but from other people,” she said on GMA.
She added, “I stopped feeling guilty.”
“I know too many young couples who struggle and think that somehow there’s something wrong with them,” Mrs. Obama said during the GMA interview. “And I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama, who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other, we work on our marriage. And we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
For the full PEOPLE interview with Michelle Obama, including intimate details of her new laid-back life with Barack, pick up the new issue on newsstands Friday.
Elle features Michelle on the cover of their December issue and she is interviewed by her good friend Oprah Winfrey, here is part of their interview!
The former First Lady discusses her life now, couples counseling, and President Trump.
Upon the release of her highly-anticipated memoir, Becoming, the former First Lady gets candid with Oprah Winfrey about her struggles with Barack, the threats to her children’s lives, and her vow to be a force for good.
Oprah Winfrey: First, let me just say: Nothing makes me happier than sitting down with a good read. The book is tender, it is compelling, it is powerful, it is raw. There are so many revelations in this book. Was writing about your private life scary?
Michelle Obama: Actually, no, because here’s the thing that I realized: People always ask me, “Why is it that you’re so authentic?” “How is it that people connect to you?” And I think it starts because I like me. I like my story and all the bumps and bruises. That’s what makes me uniquely me. So I’ve always been open with my staff, with young people, with my friends. And the other thing, Oprah: I know that whether we like it or not, Barack and I are role models.
I hate when people who are in the public eye—and even seek the public eye—want to step back and say, “Well, I’m not a role model. I don’t want that responsibility.” Too late. You are. Young people are looking at you. And I don’t want young people to look at me here and now and think, Well, she never had it rough. She never had challenges, she never had fears.
We’re not going to think that after reading this book. Millions of people have been wondering how you’re doing, how’s the transition, and I think there’s no better example than the toast story. Can you share the toast story?
Well, I start the preface right at one of the first weeks after we moved into our new home after the transition—our new home in Washington. It’s the first regular house, with a door and a doorbell, that I have had in about eight years. The toast story is about one of the first nights I was alone there—the kids were out, Malia was on her gap year, I think Barack was traveling. As First Lady, you’re not alone much. There are people in the house always, there are men standing guard. There is a house full of SWAT people, and you can’t open your windows or walk outside without causing a fuss.
You can’t open a window?
Can’t open a window. Sasha actually tried one day—Sasha and Malia both. But then we got the call: “Shut the window.”
So here I am in my new home, just me and Bo and Sunny, and I do a simple thing. I go downstairs and open the cabinet in my own kitchen—which you don’t do in the White House because there’s always somebody there going, “Let me get that. What do you want? What do you need?”—and I made myself toast. Cheese toast. Then I took my toast and I walked out into my backyard. I sat on the stoop, and there were dogs barking in the distance, and I realized Bo and Sunny had really never heard neighbor dogs. They’re like, What’s that? And I’m like, “Yep, we’re in the real world now, fellas.” It’s that quiet moment of me settling into this new life. Having time to think about what had just happened over the last eight years. Because what I came to realize is that there was absolutely no time to reflect in the White House. We moved at such a breakneck pace from the moment we walked in those doors until the moment we left. It was day in and day out because we, Barack and I, really felt like we had an obligation to get a lot done. We were busy. I would forget on Tuesday what had happened on Monday. I forgot whole countries I visited, literally whole countries. I had a debate with my chief of staff saying, “You know, I’d love to visit Prague one day.” And Melissa was like, “You were there.” I was like, “No, I wasn’t. Wasn’t in Prague, never been to Prague.” She had to show me a picture of me in Prague for the memory to jog. So the toast was the moment that I had time to start thinking about those eight years and my journey of becoming.
In reading the book, I can see how every single thing you’ve done in your life has prepared you for the moments ahead. I do believe this.
That’s if you think about it that way. If you view yourself as a serious person in the world, every decision that you make really does build to who you are going to become.
Yes, and I can see that from you in the first grade. You were an achiever with an A+++ attitude.
My mother said I was a little extra.Read More
Here is a preview of a new 20/20 that aired last night between Michelle and ABC’s Robin Roberts.
From Michelle Obama’s humble Chicago upbringing to the White House; Michelle Obama opens up about miscarriage, IVF and marriage counseling
Oprah has a big announcement for book lovers: a new Oprah’s Book Club selection! The latest pick is Becoming, by Michelle Obama. “She just opens up herself; it’s so vulnerable,” Oprah says of the former first lady’s memoir. “It is Michelle Obama’s personal story, of course, but I believe it’s going to spark within you the desire to think about your own becoming.” Watch the video to find out why Becoming is being called the book of the season. Order your copy today.
I am excited to share this small tribute to an amazing woman and one of my role models, Michelle Obama. Michelle is the former first lady of the United States of America. During her time in office she focused on spreading awareness related to education, physical fitness and nutrition, and making the White House more accessible. Recently she has lent her voice to encourage everyone to go out and vote in our elections so that each individual voice can be heard.
This site is my small way of recognizing this amazing woman and help spread a little of the light she shares with the world. I have set up a twitter account twitter.com/MichelleOOnline to help you stay up to date on the site and the activities of Mrs. Obama.
A giant thank you to my friend Claudia at Never Enough Design for our beautiful theme!