Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson revealed a phrase that former first lady Michelle Obama said upon meeting with Branson, after she and former President Barack Obama left the White House last January.
In his new autobiography, Finding My Virginity, Branson, 67, relays anecdotes about his circle of internationally-known friends. The list includes Bill Gates and the late Nelson Mandela, as well as the Obama family.
Following their exit from the White House, the Obama family joined Branson for a 10-day vacation on Necker Island, a property he owns in the British Virgin Islands.
According to excerpts of the book provided to People Magazine, Michelle Obama exclaimed “We’re free!” as Branson and his wife, Joan, greeted the couple.
“I’ve never been one for reserve and Barack and Michelle were eager to do away with formalities, too,” Branson wrote. “When one of our team asked how to address the former first lady, she gleefully shouted, ‘Michelle!’”
Obama told Branson, “It’s so nice to have my name back after eight years,” according to the book.
At a September tech conference hosted by Pluralsight, a Utah-based company, Michelle Obama spoke about life as the first lady of the United States.
“It’s like being shot out of a cannon while drinking from a fire hydrant blind,” Obama said about getting used to living in the White House. “You have to tell the White House what kind of toilet paper you like. You don’t know where your forks are.”
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Obama appeared relieved that she was no longer living in the White House.
“Freedom! I’m out,” Obama said with a smile.
When asked how she views the world in its current state, Obama said, “things are tough” and “we’re being tested.”
Obama compared her husband’s administration to that of President Donald Trump.
“We are looking at two different administrations,” she said. “One administration was built on hope, while the other administration leads with fear.”
One woman from the audience of more than 1,000 shouted a suggestion that Obama should run for president.
“No,” Obama said. “Running for office is nowhere on the radar screen, but continuing in public service is something I will do for the rest of my life.”
Obama used the IT conference platform to urge IT companies to invest in and hire more women.
“You can’t just say you want to fix the problems, you have to mean it,” she said. “If a bunch of white guys are sitting around the table trying to get more women involved, they’re not going to come up with the answer.”
Obama also insisted that there needs to be a behavioral change in the office environment at IT corporations.
“You can’t hire women and then they come in and they’re working for chimps. No offense — you guys aren’t all chimps,” Obama said, garnering laughter from the crowd. “I call my husband a chimp sometimes, especially when he’s watching the Sports Center. I’m like ‘Come on. Look at you. You’re an animal.’
Image and Content: Western Journalism