Michelle Obama is back in business. The former First Lady made her first public appearance since the inauguration in January, and opened up about her family’s life after the White House.
Obama appeared at the American Institute of Architects 2017 conference in Orlando, Fla., taking the stage in a black and cream Lafayette 148 maxi dress ($548; neimanmarcus.com) to roaring applause. While the event might seem a little off-brand for the former FLOTUS, she revealed her connection on stage.
VIDEO: Michelle Obama Gets Honest About Post-White House Life in First Public Appearance
“In my other life before I was the first lady, I worked in economic development and in planning … so I got to learn how important of a role architects play in the lifeblood and of a city. [This conference] is a little full-circle for me,” she said.
Obama also discussed life after the White House. “It’s good to get out of the house,” she joked. “[Our dogs] Bo and Sunny have never heard a doorbell in their life.”
“It’s good not to have the weight of your world on your shoulders,” she said of her husband leaving office. But the former First Lady admitted that it was difficult for herself, husband Barack, and daughters Malia and Sasha to leave the White House.
"So that moment of transition, right before the doors opened and we welcomed in the new family, our kids were leaving out the back door in tears, saying goodbye to people," she explained. "They had a sleepover, because of course on Inauguration Day, because my girls are so normal, they're like, 'Well, eight girls are gonna be sleeping here because its our last time, and we want pizza and we want nuggets.' And it's like, really?"
"It was emotional," she said. "And then those doors opened, and I didn't want to have tears in my eyes because people would swear I was crying because of the new president."
And as for those rumors of a potential bid for Michelle herself, she gave a great reason why you won’t see her running for president. “It’s all well and good until you start running—then the knives come out,” she said. “As I’ve said, I wouldn’t ask my children to do this again, because when you run for high office, it’s not just you. It’s your whole family.”
That being said, she’ll continue to do the work she believes in. “You don’t have to be the first lady to influence,” she said.
We’ve missed you, Michelle.