Former first lady Michelle Obama spoke for the first time on Wednesday about the anxiety she had felt while attending the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden only two weeks after insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overturn the Nov. 3 election results.
“The mood was wonderful, but it was also mixed,” she told Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America.”
“I think everyone was concerned about more riots, but we were assured that things were under control. When you see fellow Americans storming the Capitol, that sits with you. That reality was with us on that stage.”
Obama said that watching the Bidens as well as Vice President Kamala Harris and her family taking on “a massive amount of responsibility to get this country back on track” greatly reassured her.
Witnessing 22-year-old inaugural poet Amanda Gorman move the crowd with her poem “The Hill We Climb” also made Obama “proud and moved almost to tears.”
“I know there are many, many Amanda Gormans,” she said. “I’m just proud when one of them gets a chance to be seen, and the rest of the nation and the world gets to see, yup, a lotta Black folks contribute to this country. A lot of Black folks have made this country what it is today.”
The former first lady also spoke on the recently released young reader’s adaptation of her memoir, “Becoming,” stressing that the youth of today represent America’s future and that “we need a lot more decent people who have humility and compassion and who are ready to be out in the world showing that off in whatever occupation they choose.”
“It feels different,” Obama said on the topic of young voters turning out en masse for last year’s election. “What gives me even more hope is what happened at the polls in November. We gotta march, we gotta protest, and we have to vote. We have to be educated, we have to be informed. Young people are starting to put those pieces together.”
Watch the full interview below.