In an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, former first lady Michelle Obama said she still believes that “going low” won’t work in the end—no matter what President Trump’s first two years in office have shown.
“What’s the alternative?” Obama asked King, while doing the media rounds to publicize her new memoir, Becoming. “Going low means you’re operating from your place of emotion. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re operating from a place of results. More often than not, you don’t get results when you go low. You just get your attitude out.”
Hinting more specifically at President Trump, she continued: “When you’re in the White House and you have that responsibility where every word matters, you’re often thinking—or at least Barack and I often thought—’Is what we’re about to say going to help? Is it going to move the needle forward? Or is it just going to make us feel vindicated in the moment?’ You learn that vindication in the moment is so short-term.”
But it’s more practical than that, she argued.
“Going ‘high’ doesn’t mean you don’t feel and have feelings and that you don’t express feelings, that you don’t acknowledge hurt or pain or anger,” Obama added. “That’s not what going ‘high’ is. It’s ‘How do you put that feeling in the world and how do you do that responsibly?’”
King asked: “You still feel optimistic about our country?”
“Yes,” Obama answered emphatically. “I traveled the country. I saw the heart of who we are. Forget race or party or ethnicity or gender. People agree with us our not, people were kind; people are worried, people have issues. But everybody's working for the same thing. The same goal.”