President Obama embodied hope because he was able to psychologically manipulate Americans through times of trial much like parents trick their kids, his wife Michelle told talk show host Oprah Winfrey Monday.

Claiming Trump’s election is what it feels like not to have hope, the First Lady said Obama’s gentle attitude was useful because it helped ease the nation through multiple crises.

Michelle also drew parallels between the president’s disingenuous approach, and psychologically tricking a child into not feeling pain after bumping their head.

Watch the video or read her quotes below:

Michelle: We feel the difference now, now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like. Hope is necessary; it’s a necessary concept, and Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. I mean, he and I and so many believe, what else do you have if you don’t have hope? What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?

Our children respond to crises the way they see us respond. You know? It’s like the toddler that bumps his head on the table and they look up at you to figure out whether it hurts. And if you’re like, “Ah!” then they’re crying, but if you’re like, “You know what, babe? It’s ok, it’s ok.”

Oprah: Yes.

Michelle: And I feel that way about the nation. I feel that Barack has been that for the nation in ways that people will come to appreciate. Having a grown up in the White House who can say to you in times of crisis and turmoil, “Hey it’s gonna be OK. Let’s remember the good things that we have. Let’s look at the future, let’s look at all the good things that we’re building.” All of this is important for our kids to stay focused and to feel like their work isn’t in vain that their lives aren’t in vain. What do we do if we don’t have hope Oprah?


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