Former first lady Michelle Obama said she’s “terrified” about the potential outcome of the 2024 election, listing November’s presidential contest as among the fears that keep her awake at night, in a podcast interview released Monday.
“What’s going to happen in this next election? I’m terrified about what could possibly happen, because our leaders matter. Who we select, who speaks for us, who holds that bully pulpit, it affects us in ways sometimes I think people take for granted,” Obama told Jay Shetty on his podcast “On Purpose.”
“The fact that people think that government — ‘eh, does it really even do anything?’ — and I’m like ‘Oh my God, does government do everything for us, and we cannot take this democracy for granted.’ And I worry sometimes that we do. Those are the things that keep me up,” she said.
Her comments come as President Joe Biden begins to ramp up his reelection campaign, narrowing in on a message that democracy is on the ballot this year.
Still, many Democrats have expressed concern that his message isn’t resonating, pointing to polls showing him in a close contest with former President Donald Trump.
In the interview, the former first lady listed a number of other items that worry her, including: “Are people going to vote, and why aren’t people voting?”
“Those are the things that keep me up, because you don’t have control over them. And you wonder: ‘Where are we in this? Where are our hearts?’” she said.
Later, Obama suggested there was a double standard when it came to Trump’s legal entanglements and what might happen if a similar predicament befell a Black man.
“The bars are different for people in life. That I’ve learned,” she said.
Without naming Trump, she continued: “Other people can be indicted a bunch of times and still run for office. Black men can’t. You just learn to be good. And in the end, you benefit from that extra resilience.”