Michelle Obama Had a Great Excuse For Skipping Barack Obama's Historic Speech in South Africa
Just two short years ago, Michelle and Barack Obama were at the forefront of American politics—like, they were pretty much the most influential people in the country, barring a Kardashian or two (kidding, mostly).
Anyway, since the Obamas left office in January 2017, turning the future of America over to a reality TV host, we haven’t seen or heard much from the beloved former First Family.
They’ve been around, of course … making up for lost vacation time, grooving with Queen Bey, inking a deal with Netflix … but their political activity has been minimal. They’ve let their disapproval of Trump’s presidency be known, and made social media statements when needed, but we haven’t seen the post-White House involvement we’d expected from Barack and Michelle.
In an article published by The Washington Post on Tuesday morning, writer Roxanne Roberts highlighted that the Obamas’ choice to stay in D.C. post-presidency evoked a different set of expectations for the couple. As the first U.S. president to remain in the capital following his term, it was inferred that Barack and Michelle would make their presence known.
Michelle, an accomplished public speaker, hasn’t avoided her former duties completely. She’s spoken at various conferences since leaving the White House, including The American Library Association conference in late June and the United State of Women conference in May.
The former FLOTUS has also been hard at work on her memoir Becoming, which is slated for a fall 2018 release.
All things considered, however, we'd expected/hoped we'd get just a little more face time with the former First Lady, as well as a bit more political wisdom.
In honor of what would’ve been the eve of former South African leader Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday on Tuesday, former President Obama delivered a powerful speech in Johannesburg—arguably his most major political commitment since he left office. Notably absent from the crowd of 15,000 was the former First Lady, who was spotted in Paris at an On The Run II performance just two days prior. And as much as we’d like to think Michelle was like, “Good luck with your speech, bae, goin’ to a Beyoncé concert. Peeeace,” there’s a more likely reason: she’s set to deliver a speech at a charity dinner in Edinburgh, Scotland on Tuesday evening. (Casual reminder that the current President and First Lady were just in the U.K.—where they ruffled more than a couple feathers—and their trip included a quick jaunt to Scotland.)
The event, organized by The Hunter Foundation, is expected to benefit hundreds of local charities. Mrs. Obama will reportedly discuss her years in the White House with Olympic rower moderator Dame Katherine Grainger.
Perhaps this dinner and Barack’s speech will mark the beginning of the Obamas’ return to the public fore?