When Barack Obama became the first African-American president, in 2009, he embodied hope for many people in the United States. Eight years later, as the president prepared to depart the White House, the first lady weighed in on whether her husband kept his promise to bring change—and explains why it's important for the leaders of our country to give us hope for the future.
"So your husband's administration—everything, the election—was all about hope," Oprah says. "Do you think that this administration achieved that?"
"Yes, I do because we feel the difference now," the first lady says. "See, now we're feeling what not having hope feels like, you know? Hope is necessary. It's a necessary concept. And Barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes."
Michelle tells Oprah that President Obama fostered hope during times of crisis. His ability to reaffirm the country's faith in the future during tough times, the first lady says, is a quality that's crucial to the highest office in the land. "I feel that Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate. Having a grown-up in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, 'Hey, it's going to be okay. Let's remember the good things that we have. Let's look at the future. Let's look at all the things that we're building.' All of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn't in vain. That their lives aren't in vain. What do we do if we don't have hope, Oprah?"