Michelle Obama compares Donald Trump to neglectful parent who lets children 'eat candy all day'

'I think what we see is what happens when we take things for granted,' says former first lady

Maya Oppenheim
Friday 06 April 2018 17:32 BST
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Ms Obama says she has learnt a great deal about the virtues of patience from her husband
Ms Obama says she has learnt a great deal about the virtues of patience from her husband (REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski)

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Michelle Obama has compared Donald Trump to a neglectful parent who lets their children gorge on sweets all day and stay up late.

The former first lady used the parenting allegory to compare her husband's presidency to that of his successor.

“I think what we see is what happens when we take things for granted. For the eight years Barack was president, it was like having the ‘good parent’ at home,” she said at the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston.

“The responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time. And now we have the other parent. We thought it’d feel fun, maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late, and not follow the rules.”

Ms Obama, who has taken a number of swipes at Mr Trump without explicitly naming him, said she had learned a great deal about the virtues of patience from her husband.

“I think about what I’ve learned from my husband, and I’ve learned watching him be a leader,” she said. “And a lot of what I’ve learned about temperament and patience that really comes from him. I think he was born with that DNA."

She added: “What I learned is that as he said, the arc of history is long, and what we’re here to do is make a mark. And you do what you do because you know it’s the right thing to do, not because you’ll get credit for it, or because it says something about your personal legacy. You do the work because you’re slowly moving the needle. There are times in history when we feel like you’re going backwards, but that’s part of the growth.”

Ms Obama who enjoyed consistently high popularity ratings as first lady, will publish her memoir, Becoming on 13 November.

Penguin Random House will release the book in 24 languages after gaining world publishing rights to both Barack and Michelle Obama's memoirs in a deal rumoured to be worth $65m (£46m).

“Writing Becoming has been a deeply personal experience,” she said recently. “It has allowed me, for the very first time, the space to honestly reflect on the unexpected trajectory of my life.”

“In this book, I talk about my roots and how a little girl from the South Side of Chicago found her voice and developed the strength to use it to empower others. I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can’t wait to share my story.”

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