‘It’s Not a Reality Show’: Michelle Obama Explains Why Presidential Candidates Need Experience

Michelle Obama
Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour

The field of candidates in the 2020 presidential elections continues to widen almost every week, but former first lady Michelle Obama argued that not everyone is cut out for the job.

On an episode of Conan O’Brien’s podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” which aired Monday, she spoke with the host about how the perception of the job as changed in the current presidency.

“It’s not a reality show, it’s real-life stuff,” she told O’Brien.

Obama said that in her involvement in the 2016 election, she tried to emphasize that the position is a hard job and that someone with certain experience needed to fill it.

“This is a really hard job, and it’s serious, and it requires a level of knowledge, of history and patience, and you have to be a reader, and you have to be someone that can handle stress, and you have to watch your words,” she said.

“I mean, we live in a time, ‘tell it like it is,’ and it’s like, not when your words can start wars and shift markets. There’s a responsibility to be careful with them.”

Obama didn’t mention President Donald Trump or any candidate in particular and insisted her words weren’t “shade” at anyone.

“As someone who has been there, just let me tell you about this job because it’s real, and when Barack was in office — you know, this is my opinion — he made it look really easy, and it’s not,” the former first lady added.

“So we should all know that as part of the electorate, that we should understand that we have a responsibility to put people in office who are not only ready and passionate about it but have immense skills to do this really hard job for a long time,” she said.

Listen to the podcast here.

Obama admitted she wouldn’t be involved in the 2020 election in a political way but rather to emphasize voting from everyone, as she called the current voter turnout rate “depressing.”

What do you think?

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I. Chin
Member

Experience without effectiveness is just time spent.

“I worked twenty years flipping burgers and working the magic fryer.” So that experience makes one “more” qualified and for what?

Objectively consider Obozo’s *ahem* experience vs. actual achievements.

Madison Summers
Admin

I agree that it’s important to have experience and I would hope any president took their position seriously. One Democrat candidate, Beto O’Rourke, has already been questioned by his own party whether or not he is prepared for a 2020 run and can start filling the “meat on the bones” with his policy views. (https://ijr.com/orourke-isnt-warmest-2020-welcome-dems/).

Ed
Member

She’s wrong, it is absolutely a reality show now. If you don’t play the game right, you get voted off of the island. Once the Dems realize this and float the idea of nominating someone like Tom Hanks, George Clooney, or Oprah, they’ll see the results.

Phyllis Softa
Member

It does not have to be. Sanity can and MUST return to America. We are not a 3rd world country and it is bizarre that we are behaving as one.

I. Chin
Member

…except that disqualifies you Lady Maybe (per your husband’s half-brother). He’s a hoot calling you “Michael”.

Experience. You worked 20 years on an assembly line, slopping food in a school cafeteria, or lining people up at the DMV. Tell me how your “experience” makes you more qualified. Than what?
“Time served” does not and should not qualify as “experience.

I. Chin
Member

Just like recently announced slacker Beta, what have you accomplished? What achievement can you claim? Even failure is a learning experience, because you tried.

Phyllis Softa
Member

It’s Beto, not Beta. You did grasp the concept that she isn’t running for public office? Why would she owe you an answer to any question? She is no longer the FLOTUS. 8 yrs of tolerating the racist, ignorant statements of the far-right is enough for anyone. But thanks for reminding everyone how you perceive a POTUS & FLOTUS should be treated.

Phyllis Softa
Member

Experience is important. I never bought into the “wanna have a beer with” criteria. In 2020, I will be looking for the candidate that can convince me they have a plan to MAKE AMERICA SANE AGAIN!

James
Member

I am reading that your idea of “sane” would eliminate Trump and his 70-odd accomplishments in 2 years as compared to #44’s abysmal 8 years being a Saul Alinsky radical, Karl Marx admiring community organizer. Am I reading you correctly?

Phyllis Softa
Member

I was referring to the SANITY of the American people. Sorry, James, but state issued BC’s indicate the place of birth. Labor Dept Stats aren’t phony. Freedom of the press doesn’t mean freedom to only say nice things about POTUS. Freedom of religion is not freedom to worship a religion sanctioned by POTUS. That’s flat out as nuts as a Democratic Socialist claiming that if he tells R’s “It’s a revolution” they will vote for $15 federal min wage or free college

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