Michelle Obama has responded to calls for her to run for president by issuing a warning about the dangers of “[waiting] for the next person to save us” instead of getting more politically active and involved oneself.
“Change starts close to home. So looking for the next person to run, and I don’t mean to cut that off, but that’s been our distraction,” explained the former first lady during an appearance at the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles. “We thought it was Barack Obama, and then he didn’t end racism.”
“When I hear people say, ‘You run!’ It’s part of the problem,” added Obama. “We still didn’t get ‘Yes We Can’ right. It’s not ‘Yes You Can’ it’s ‘Yes We Can.’ Until we get that right, it doesn’t matter who runs. I don’t think I’m any different from Hillary [Clinton].”
In a wide-ranging interview with Golden Globe-winning actress Tracee Ellis Ross, Obama also called on women in particular to be fearless in working to make the world a more equitable place for both themselves and their daughters.
“In light of the last (presidential) election, I’m concerned about us as women and how we think,” Obama told Ross. “I think if we want our daughters to dream bigger than we did, then we have more work to do. So many of us have gotten ourselves at the table, but we’re still too grateful to be at the table to really shift the thinking. And that’s not a criticism, because for so many of us just getting to the table was so hard, right? So you’re just holding on! But now we have to take some risks for our girls.”
She also highlighted the difference in margin of error between what men are allowed and what women are allowed in their careers.
“I wish that girls could fail as bad as men do and be OK,” she said. “Because let me tell you, watching men fail up — it is frustrating,” she said drawing a loud round of applause from the audience. “It’s frustrating to see a lot of men blow it and win. And we hold ourselves to these crazy, crazy standards.”
In her remarks, Obama also touched on the important role that men have to play in the women’s rights movement, and how spending time with her children and young people helped her endure some of her most trying times in the White House.
Watch the full conversation below.
Read the full story at Variety.