Michelle Obama has addressed the pain and disappointment she felt when Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in a new book.
“I was deeply moved to hear the man who replaced my husband as president openly and unapologetically using ethnic slurs, somehow condoning selfishness and hatred, refusing to condemn white supremacists or support people demonstrating for racial justice,” Obama wrote in “The Light” in the book. We Carry,” according to audio excerpts released to NPR on Monday. “I was surprised to hear them talk about the difference as if it were a threat.”
Obama wrote that he and Barack Obama built their principles on “hope and hard work,” and that he was confused when the country decided to elect Trump.
“For eight years, we tried to live these principles out loud while also recognizing that we stood up against the bigotry and bias that is so embedded in American life,” said Michelle Obama. “We understood that being in the White House as a black person said something about what was possible. So we redoubled our hope and hard work, trying to live that opportunity.”
“Whether or not the 2016 election was a direct rebuke to all of this, it hurt. It still hurts,” he said. “It felt like something more, much uglier than a simple political defeat.”
“Stuck in my house, in the scary months of early 2020, I didn’t see the logic in it,” Obama said, describing how he had sunk into a deep sense of hopelessness. “What I saw was a president whose lack of integrity was reflected in the rising national death count and whose poll numbers were still decent.”
In another audio clip released Monday, Obama also talks about how he was scared when Barack Obama first told him he wanted to run for president.
“I found the prospect of it really scary,” she said, describing how she took her time making the decision. “I could change the course of history because of the fear. Instead I said ‘yes’”.
Obama’s new book, which goes on sale on Tuesday, is a guide and reflection on how he has dealt with the last few years, how he has overcome despair and anxiety and how he has regained hope for the future. His first memoir, “Becoming,” was released in 2018, selling more than 17 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time.