Obama participated in a 45-minute Q&A during the American Institute of Architects’ annual conference at the Orange County Convention Center on Thursday. She spoke about adjusting to life after the White House and discussed her goals for the future and causes she hopes to support. “One issue that I am excited about continuing to work on is … to help young girls get an education around the world,” she said, citing the Let Girls Learn initiative she launched as first lady. Obama also stressed the need to combat violence against women and improve their access to healthcare.
Obama said said she and her family were enjoying the freedoms of post-White House life, such as being able to open their windows at night, travel without a motorcade and answer their own front door. Despite her hesitance to seek elected office in the future, Michelle Obama pledged that she and her husband will be active in social causes. “Barack and I have been in public service our whole lives,” she said. “Public service will always be in our blood.”
Ariel Foxman: First Lady Michelle Obama On Style, Social Media, And The Biggest Challenges Facing Girls Today
“Sixty-two million girls around the world aren’t in school, and the first thing that comes to my mind is, ‘That could’ve been me.’ [I think about] how I would have felt at the age of 10 or 11 or 12 if somebody walked up and said, ‘That’s it. Your dreams are over! You’re going to have to leave school and get married to somebody twice your age and start having kids.'” “We can fool ourselves into thinking that everybody is still watching the evening news, but I live with Generation Z, and I know that their habits, the way they take in information in, is so different. And they’ve changed…
We’ve got to meet our constituents where they are, and they’re on Snapchat.” For more from the First Lady, pick up the October issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and fordigital download Friday, September 16. Coming soon: InStyle’s super-chic designer tote collection to benefit the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund. Sign up for an email alert and be first to shop the collection when it launches on Monday.
After I became then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s adviser/ director of scheduling in late 2004, [chief of staff ] Pete Rouse became my spiritual guide and mentor. Pete had worked on Capitol Hill for about 40 years, many of those as chief of staff to Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, and was known as the “101st senator” and “mayor of Capitol Hill.” There is no one more thoughtful in the way he gives advice. He returns every e-mail, makes every connection, and does it all while being a wheeler and dealer. When we got to the Senate, Possum drafted one of his famous “strategic plans”—lengthy, painfully thorough memos about how to get something done.
In this case, it was the strategic plan for Senator Obama’s first year, and it could be summed up as “workhorse, not show horse.” It included lots of time with constituents and in Illinois, and less time with D.C. insiders and celebrities. Obama was quite fine with that. Every decision we made had to stand up to the workhorse vs. show horse test. Obama had a political action committee called the Hope Fund that was right down the street from the Hart Senate Office Building. The Hope Fund ran initiatives for getting young adults from diverse backgrounds into community organizing and politics; it also managed Obama’s political engagements