First Lady: I Won't Run, but US 'Ready' for Woman President

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 10:01 PM

By Cathy Burke

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First lady Michelle Obama says she's got zero interest in a political career once her husband exits the White House, but she says a woman ought to be America's commander in chief "as soon as possible."

At a working families summit in Washington on Monday, ABC News' Robin Roberts asked Obama when she thought it would be time for the nation to elect its first female president.

"That should happen as soon as possible," the first lady said. A video of the interview was posted on Mediate.

"I think this country is ready," Obama said. "This country is ready for anyone who can do the job," she said, adding that her husband had already proved you don't need a "particular race or gender or background or socioeconomic status."

"You know, I think this country is ready — this country is ready for anyone who can do that job," she said.

Then, in a not-so-subtle hint at the possible candidacy of Hillary Clinton, Obama teased, to loud applause: "The person who should do the job is the person who is most qualified — and we have some options, don't we?"

The Hill noted that while not an outright endorsement, Obama's comments are likely to be read as a nod toward the former first lady and secretary of state for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Though The Hill noted that the White House has largely stayed out of 2016 presidential speculation, President Barack Obama, in an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Michael" last month, praised both his former secretary of state and his current vice president, Joe Biden.

"I know that if she were to run for president, I think she'd be very effective at that," he said, The Hill noted. "I've been blessed to have some people around me like her, and Vice President Biden, and my chief of staff, who are just great, hardworking, effective people, and I love them to death."

As for Michelle Obama, she said her post-White House plans "definitely will not be" political.

"It will be mission-based and it will be service-focused," she said.

When Roberts followed up to make sure she had no political aspirations, Obama said, "I am positive."

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