As a kid, Michelle Obama rode around with her Chicago-precinct-captain father in his Buick during his visits to constituents. She later became friends with Jesse Jackson's daughter.
And it was from these experiences that she learned something important — that she wanted nothing to do with politics.
"Politics felt mean," the former first lady tells All Things Considered host Audie Cornish, "and I could see how disruptive it could be to family life, how all consuming it could be."
Obama, whose memoir Becoming hits shelves Tuesday, sat for an interview with Cornish in Chicago earlier in November. She also took questions from three girls who go to Whitney M. Young Magnet High School — the same high school the young Michelle Robinson attended.
"Politics was never ever anything I would have chosen for myself. ... It was very difficult being married to a man that felt like politics was his destiny," Obama says.
That man, of course, would be former President Barack Obama, who very much altered her destiny.
Michelle Obama is a self-described "box-checker," who was even meticulous about how she played with Barbie dolls when she was little. "I like order," she says. "I liked my Barbie dolls neatly kept, don't touch my stuff you know?" She says she would choose the comfort of her house, rather than go outside into the chaos. "Yeah, I was absolutely cautious. And I was cautious when I went out to college." She says she regretted that she wasn't bolder during this time.
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