Michelle Obama Explains Her Reluctance To Endorse A Democratic Primary Candidate
Former First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans to give a speech covering topics from her children to the 2020 Democratic primary race.
Obama was greeted with thunderous applause when she emerged onstage Saturday night at the biggest event space of the entire festival. Gayle King, Obama’s interviewer for the night, greeted the former First Lady by saying, “Do you have any idea how much you are missed?” to which Obama replied, “I miss us too.”
Talking about our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s appearance at #EssenceFest, Joe Biden’s absence at Essence Fest, Black women’s voting power, and the 2020 Presidential election. #PoliticsNation pic.twitter.com/3EZmLWJr0A
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) July 7, 2019
During her hour-long interview, Obama covered a variety of topics, both political and personal. After King mentioned that five Democratic candidates (Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Beto O’Rourke) were appearing at Essence Festival to speak, the former First Lady commented that she and her husband were trying not to get involved in the primaries. “It’s very early,” Obama said. “It is like trying to figure out who is going win the World Series after the first seven games.”
Instead of backing one candidate now, Obama stated that she and her husband would be supporting whoever won the Democratic primary, as the general election is “so important” for the future of the country. “We’re watching everyone, we’re supportive of everyone,” Obama said. “We are giving advice to whomever seeks it.”
When asked if she had any thoughts on the recent spat between Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden over race relations, Obama said, “I do not.” So far the Obamas have been pointedly silent during the primaries, choosing not to publicly endorse their former colleague Biden.
Obama also said she stood by her 2016 election statement that “when they go low, we go high.” “It has to be true — you know, look, that’s the one thing people ask me about, in this climate, how do you find it in yourself to go high,” she said. “And here’s the thing, going high is a long-term strategy — because the truth is, going high is about thinking about trying to really get to the real answer, because a lot of time the low answer is our immediate instinct. It’s just, I’m mad, I want to punch you in the face, but it doesn’t solve anything.”