Formerly First Lady Michelle Obama employed a parenting metaphor to describe the Trump administration while speaking at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. She likened her husband's presidency to having "the good parent" at home; the Trump administration, she said, is the total opposite.
"I think what we see is what happens when we take things for granted," Obama said. "I always felt like for the eight years Barack was president, it was like having the ‘good parent’ at home. The responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time.
She added: "And now we have the other parent. We thought it’d feel fun, maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late, and not follow the rules. We're gonna at a point in time look at those two experiences and see how we feel."
Responses to the former First Lady's statements were mixed, with many of the president's supporters weighing in.
I already have a mom & dad @MichelleObama & @BarackObama Don't need a President to be my "daddy" need a President t… https://t.co/4io3qkXQCd— Jon Hartt (@Jon Hartt) 1523040745.0
@seanhannity @MichelleObama I think that she has no right to criticize any ones parenting skills. She should learn… https://t.co/aU39v6orkU— Josie (@Josie) 1523043232.0
Perfect. President Obama was our parent. We needed him to tell us to eat our veggies. To do our homework. Of course… https://t.co/RMPll7aF0I— Herbert Mark Rogers (@Herbert Mark Rogers) 1523010424.0
So how did the United States end up with "the other parent"? The answer is simple, Obama said, and it comes down to one thing: Voting responsibly.
"I think it's going to take young people, the next generation of leaders, to really determine what kind of world they want to be in — and voting has got to be a part of that equation," she said.
Obama also praised Hillary Clinton during her speech, saying that she was “the best-qualified candidate" even if she "wasn't perfect, but she was way more perfect than many of the alternatives."
Clinton is perhaps the most qualified candidate in history, she said, noting that voters were not "willing" to go out and vote for her despite her many qualifications:
We've got to be willing, when we do find qualified people, to vote for them. And we didn't do that in this election. So I think people should be less ... disheartened that me and Oprah don't want to run, and more disheartened by the fact that Hillary Clinton, probably the most qualified person to ever seek the office of the presidency, lost. She lost.
Michelle Obama on women in politics: "People should be less disheartened by the fact that me and Oprah don't want t… https://t.co/wC5mFc1nQl— David Mack (@David Mack) 1523030712.0
Although Obama has continued to make headlines for her politically charged remarks, she stressed that she has no intention to run for the presidency, let alone any political office in the future. She also briefly mentioned Oprah Winfrey, whom many on the left have touted as a possible progressive candidate for the 2020 election following her much-publicized speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony earlier this year:
The reason why I don't want to run for president — I can't speak for Oprah, but my sense is that first of all, you have to want the job. And you can't just say, 'You're a woman. Run.' And we can't look for women like that. We can't just say 'let's find the women we like and ask them to do it,' because there are a million women who are inclined and who do have the passion for politics.
She also said that she doesn't have the same political ambitions as her husband:
Just because I gave a good speech, I'm smart and intelligent doesn't mean I should be the next president. That's been our problem. We're very shortsighted about how we think about selecting the commander-in-chief.