In her final one-on-one interview as first lady, Michelle Obama sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a sweeping interview on Monday night, covering issues ranging from definitively saying she has no plans to run for office to the current feeling in America following Donald Trump‘s election victory.
“We feel the difference now. See, now, we are feeling what not having hope feels like,” she said.
Obama spoke candidly about the past election, saying that the whole process was a “painful” experience.
“You know, this past election was challenging for me as a — as a citizen. To watch and experience. It was painful.” The first lady also acknowledged that she ultimately went to sleep not knowing the outcome of the election.
Obama also talked with Winfrey about her initial meeting with the future first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, shortly after the billionaire businessman defeated Hillary Clinton back in November.
“My offer to Melania was, you really don’t know what you don’t know until you’re here, so the door is open,” said Obama. “I’ve told her and as Laura Bush told me and other first ladies told me…We will do whatever they need to help them succeed.”
“You know, you don’t have questions the day after the election. It’s just sort of like, you’re looking around the house and it is like, ‘What do you want to know?’ And it’s like, ‘I don’t know what I should know,” she added.
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Robinson, center, board Air Force One before departure from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, June 6, 2015, for Wilmington, Del., to attend the funeral services for former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the vice presidentâs eldest son. Biden died of brain cancer at the age 46. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
President Barack Obama, left, gives a thumbs-up as he is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, right, at the end of the last debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Lynn University, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, and first lady Michelle Obama wait to greet David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, and his wife Samantha Cameron on the North Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Obama and Cameron showed a united front on finishing the war in Afghanistan and pressing for change in Iran and Syria, seeking to consolidate international support before a North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in May. Photographer: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The first lady said her anonymity was her biggest sacrifice for serving as first lady of the United States. For Obama, she misses the simple, everyday activities that so many Americans take for granted.
“There’s no where in the world I can go and sit and have a cup of coffee,” she told Winfrey.
Winfrey at one point asked the first lady if she would ever run for office and received a rather blunt answer. “No. Look, that is one thing I don’t do, I don’t make things up. If I were interested I would say it. But it’s not something I would do.”
And regarding those rumors and petitions calling for the first African-American first lady to run for president in 2020, she is not even entertaining the idea. According to Obama, if there are any conversations happening about her jumping into the political realm, she wants no part of it.
In fact, one of her responses made that very clear — and she set the internet on fire with two words. “She’s going back to Chicago like ‘bye, Felicia,'” said Obama while talking about her mother’s plans after the family leaves the White House in January.
Twitter erupted with praise over the first lady’s use of the “bye, Felicia” phrase. With one user saying “FLOTUS said “Bye Felicia.”‘
During the hour-long interview the first lady also talked about her initiative to tackle childhood obesity, and when asked if she believed her work over the past eight years moved the needle forward in that fight Obama said confidently, “yes.”
President Barack Obama made an appearance late in the program and affirmed he feels his administration was able to accomplish the goals he campaigned on.
The president also revealed what surprised him most about his wife of 24 years during his time as president. He said her ability to “blend purpose and policy with fun” was always surprising.