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Why Michelle Obama Cried Uncontrollably for 30 Minutes After Trump's Inauguration

Charles Dharapak

Former First Lady Michelle Obama has been floated as a potential presidential candidate, though it’s a moot discussion since there’s no way she’s running. Even if Biden and Trump never became president and she had a 90 percent chance of winning the general election, Michelle would steer clear of a return to public life. She has zero presidential ambitions and appeared relieved that her eight-year tenure in the limelight due to her husband’s job had concluded. She was, however, not thrilled with his successor, Donald Trump, but that’s to be expected. The culmination of her husband’s career coming to a close and the reality that it’s all over sent her into an emotional tailspin during the 2017 inauguration (via WaPo):


“Bye, Felicia,” Obama cheekily replied of the moment that marked the end of her family’s time at the White House and the beginning of the Trump administration.

That was in December 2018, when Obama was promoting her first book, “Becoming.” Now, four years and another book later, the former first lady is offering a more serious assessment of the emotions she felt on Jan. 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump became president. 

When her family took off from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, she began to cry, Obama says in a clip of “Michelle Obama: The Light Podcast,” which premieres Tuesday.

“I cried for 30 minutes straight — uncontrollable sobbing — because that’s how much we were holding it together for eight years,” Obama says in the clip shared by People. 


When she arrived at Trump’s inauguration, she said, she was disappointed that the ceremony did not reflect “the broader sense of America.” 


While detailing the moments that led up to her final wave at Joint Base Andrews, Obama weighed in on a dispute from the early days of the Trump administration: the inauguration crowd size. 

“You walk through the Capitol, you wave goodbye, you get on Marine One, and you take your last flight flying over the Capitol, where there weren’t that many people there — we saw it, by the way,” Obama said.


This doesn’t sound like a woman who wants to be back in DC, let alone be at the helm of the country, despite that being a historic moment. Democrats are stuck with Joe Biden, or someone else whose name isn’t Michelle Obama. The irony is that despite her thin resume regarding national politics, she could probably win a general election. Let’s say I wouldn’t be shocked, but we don’t even need to worry about an Obama 2.0 presidency; Michelle doesn’t want it.


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