On Thursday, during a Today show interview in honor of the International Day of the Girl, Mrs. Obama, 54, revealed behind-the-scenes details from her unlikely friendship with Bush, and the sweet moment that captured the internet’s attention.
“I didn’t realize at the time that anybody noticed what we were doing,” the mother of two told anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. “[President Bush] is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather. So we’re together all the time, and I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”
The Becoming author then clarified that the candy in question was actually a cough drop given to the Republican during his time in the big office. “They were old cough drops,” she recalled. “That’s the funny thing, because they were in the little White House box, and I was like, ‘How long have you had these?’ And he said, ‘A long time, we got a lot of these!’ ”
The bipartisan moment quickly went viral because, Mrs. Obama believes, “That’s what people are hungry for…. Party doesn’t separate us; color, gender, those kinds of things don’t separate us. It’s the message that we send.”
Also during the interview, she emphasized that she has no interest in a political career — at least in part because she’s enjoying “the small things” about no longer being in the White House.
“Absolutely not,” Mrs. Obama responded to Guthrie, who raised the topic. “I’ve never wanted to be a politician. Nothing has changed in me. I want to serve. … There are so many ways to make an impact. Politics is not my thing. It’s as simple as that.”
She continued: “It’s opening up my door and walking out, it’s enjoying the weather and sitting on my patio. There’s nothing new that’s going on. It’s just that we’re out in the real world.”
Mrs. Obama also shared that things are busy at the Obama household because both she and her husband are working on books. Her memoir, which she’s said is so candid that she’s “a little frightened,” will be released on Nov. 13.
In an intimate video released in mid-September, she told fans, “Over this time that I’ve been out of the White House, I’ve had time to think and reflect for the first time in a long time. I spent some time really thinking about the people, the stories and the experiences that have shaped me and helped me become the person I am today… I am proud of what I’ve created. I’m proud because it is candid, it’s honest, it is totally and utterly me.”