First lady Michelle Obama is due to leave the White House when her husband’s term ends in January 2017, and she said she has no intentions of going back.
Speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, the first lady made it clear that she has no designs on the presidency.
“I will not run for president. No, nope, not going to do it,” Obama said.
She indicated a desire to be free from partisan controversy while still serving the public, saying she wanted to “impact as many people as possible in an unbiased way.”
She also cited her children as a reason not to seek the office.
“They’ve handled it (the presidency) with grace and with poise, but enough is enough,” Obama said.
The first lady has often enjoyed high popularity relative to other public officials and rumors once floated — notably spread by Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois — of her running for Senate from her home state of Illinois.
She has pursued a range of causes during her time in the White House, particularly children’s health initiatives, and she said she would continue to do so after the end of President Barack Obama’s term, perhaps even more successfully “without the constraints and the lights and the cameras” that surround the White House.
“There’s a potential that my voice could be heard by many people who can’t hear me now because I’m Michelle Obama, the first lady,” she said.