Michelle Obama dishes on ‘exhausting’ weight of responsibility during White House years

During the second episode of "The Light Podcast," the former first lady referenced her husband's "tan suit scandal" and the "terroristic" rumors that circulated after the couple fist-bumped in the Oval Office.

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There was undoubtedly a political shift when American voters elected Barack Obama as the country’s first Black president in 2008, and the former first lady is revealing just how “exhausting” it was for her family to bear that burden for eight years.

While speaking during the second episode of Audible’s “The Light Podcast,” which featured a conversation with Tyler Perry, Obama shared that there wasn’t much room for error as the first Black family in the White House, and her family didn’t take it lightly, according to CNN.

“It was no accident that the administration was scandal-free,” Obama said, CNN reported. “It was no accident that … our children had to show up right in the world.”

Former first lady Michelle Obama visits New York City’s Lower Eastside Girls Club in December 2018 to meet and greet the members and discuss her book “Becoming.” She is now promoting her third book, “The Light We Carry,” in a recently launched podcast, sharing details of her family’s experience in the White House. (Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The former first lady noted that perceived scandals involving her daughters “wouldn’t have been laughed off” or chalked up to their youth, but instead would have sparked a broader conversation about “the soul of Black folks.”

“So we didn’t underestimate that,” she maintained. “But that, that weight is exhausting when you’re carrying that.”

Obama referenced her husband’s “tan suit scandal” and the rumors that circulated after the couple fist-bumped in the Oval Office, a move many people deemed “terroristic.”

“One small misstep isn’t just a misstep for you, but it’s a misstep for your family,” community, race and all of humanity, the former first lady previously told journalist Hoda Kotb during a stop on her book tour, noting that “we don’t often get a second chance.”

Obama’s remarks not only highlight her experience as the first and lone Black woman to be the United States’ first lady, but it appears to reaffirm a typical African American trope that Blacks must perform twice as well as their white peers to receive even half the credit.

“And when you’re the first at stuff, especially the first in the biggest spotlight with the world watching you – you don’t want to mess it up,” she told Kotb, adding that you want to ensure you’re “representing.”

Audible’s recently launched podcast coincides with Obama’s third book, “The Light We Carry,” which examines how she’s juggled relationships, self-doubt and anxiety during uncertain times.

The award-winning author has also been giving listeners a more detailed recollection of the eight years she and her family spent in the White House.

Elsewhere in the podcast’s second episode, Obama disclosed how being overcome with emotions led to her “uncontrollable sobbing” for 30 minutes following the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, tears she attributed to leaving the only home her children knew and resentment over Trump’s forthcoming presidency.

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