‘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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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

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/).


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.


…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.

Phyllis Softa

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!





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