Michelle Obama: “Vindication in the moment is so short term”

Michelle Obama still stands by her motto, “When they go low, we go high,” asking, “What’s the alternative?”

“You learn that vindication in the moment is so short term,” the former first lady told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King in an interview that will air Wednesday. Obama’s slogan became famous after her Democratic National Convention speech in 2016 where she addressed the bitter discourse in American politics ahead of the presidential election.  

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Obama said going low “means you’re operating from your place of emotion,” not results. “More often than not, you don’t get results when you go low,” she said.

Obama is out with her highly anticipated memoir, “Becoming,” which follows the journey from her childhood in the South Side of Chicago to life after the White House. She also slams President Trump in her book, saying she would “never forgive” him for the birther conspiracy claims against her husband, Barack Obama, and putting her family’s safety at risk. 

Even as divisive rhetoric continues  in the political landscape, Obama stressed the power and impact of words.

“When you’re in the White House and you have that platform and that responsibility where every word matters, you know, you’re often thinking – at least Barack and I often thought is what we’re about to say going to help? Is it going to move the needle forward? Or is it just going to make us feel vindicated in the moment?” Obama said, adding, “The goal is moving forward.”

But that doesn’t mean you don’t express your feelings – “that you don’t acknowledge hurt or pain or anger,” she said.

“That’s not what going high is. Going high means, now you have the feeling. How do you express that feeling in the world and how do you do that responsibly?” Obama said.

Obama was also joined by her mother, Marian Robinson, in their first TV interview together where they shared what finally convinced Robinson to move to D.C. with her family, as well as how Robinson became one of the most beloved figures in the White House.

Watch their wide-ranging interview Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, on “CBS This Morning,” which airs 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET/PT.

Michelle Obama and her mother, Marian Robinson, with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King

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