Michelle Obama, the former first lady, hinted at plans for a graceful step out of the limelight and towards retirement, in a recent interview with People Magazine. She shared that the pivot would allow more time for her and husband, Barack, to “be with each other”.
Since leaving the White House, the pair has taken on multiple, selective projects, from campaigning for Joe Biden to securing deals with Netflix and Spotify.
Following Donald Trump’s election defeat, she said: “We breathe for a moment, but there is still work to be done.”
“That’s why Barack and I are focused on developing the next generation of leaders through the Obama Foundation … so that each year we step further out of the spotlight and make room for them.” The foundation includes a number of fellowship and leadership projects, as well as a project to build the Obama Presidential Centre on Chicago’s South Side.
Aside from political and philanthropic ventures, the Obamas are enjoying the mundane life. Michelle Obama, 57, shared that she has taken up swimming and has taught herself to knit to pass the time. Barack Obama spends his free time golfing. She told daughters Malia and Sasha they are “chasing summer”.
“Barack and I never want to experience winter again,” she said. “We’re building the foundation for somebody else to continue the work so we can retire and be with each other – and Barack can golf too much, and I can tease him about golfing too much because he’s got nothing else to do.”
During the pandemic, the Obamas also welcomed back their daughters from university.
“Our girls were supposed to have emptied out of my nest,” she said. “I was sort of celebrating that they were out building their lives and allowing me the emotional space to let them go. Well, they’re back!”
Despite her mention of retirement, the Obamas have a busy slate in the coming months. Both have written memoirs and are set to produce podcasts through Spotify. Michelle Obama recently landed a Netflix deal where she will star alongside puppets to teach children about home cooking.