Barack Obama explained how his wife objected to him making his historic run for the presidency.
During an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, the 44th president recounted former first lady Michelle Obama‘s reaction once she found out about her husband’s grand ambitions.
“I do not want you running for president. God, Barack, when is it going to be enough?” he recalled her saying. “And then she walked out of the room.”
“Why did that not stop you?” CBS’ Scott Pelley asked.
“It’s a legitimate question,” Obama said. “Keep in mind, the context. Just two years earlier I had run for the U.S. Senate in an unlikely race. Two years before that I had run for Congress.
“A couple of years before that I had run for state senate. We’ve got two young kids. Michelle’s still working, and I ask myself in the book, ‘How much of this is just megalomania, how much of this is vanity, how much of this is me trying to prove something to myself?’ ”
In the end, he said she eventually “made a conclusion that, ‘I shouldn’t stand in the way of this.'”
Obama said his wife capitulated to his personal ambitions but “did so grudgingly. And the fact that I ended up winning didn’t necessarily alleviate her frustration because the toll it takes on families is real,” Obama concluded of that time.
Pelley surmised that “it’s only after you emerge from an all-consuming job that you realize that everything you hold dear is thanks to the one you love.”
Obama agreed. “I think I actually realized that even while I was in the job,” he said. “The fact that she put up with it and forgave me is, was an act of grace that I am grateful for and I’m not sure I deserved.”
Flip the page to view Obama’s entire interview on “60 Minutes.”