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Michelle Obama: ‘I Didn’t Believe America Was Ready For A Black President’

Former United States first lady Michelle Obama admitted again Monday that she never believed her husband, Barack Obama, would win the 2008 presidential election.

“I didn’t believe America was ready for a black president,” she told a sold-out crowd at the London Royal Festival Hall stop of her Becoming book tour. “Let alone a black president named Barack Hussein Obama.”

Obama repeated the claim she made in her best-seller, which was released last month, saying that she only went along with her spouse’s campaign because “deep down, I was like: ‘There’s no way he’s going to win.’”

“And we can just sort of get this out of the way and I can be that supportive wife going, ‘Aw honey, you tried.’ OK, now let’s go back to our lives as usual,” she added. “That was my whole plan.”

Donald Trump’s presidency and the rise of the far right has in some circles been seen as a direct response to two terms of progressive policies under Barack Obama.

But Michelle Obama told author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that it was “ridiculous” to think her husband’s administration “was going to erase hundreds of years of history in eight years.”

“We are putting down markers, we make progress and going backward doesn’t mean the progress wasn’t real. It just means that it’s hard, what we are trying to do is shift culture,” she added.

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