Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The Obamas’ old university professor thinks Michelle should have been president

barack obama michelle obama president 2020.jpg

Even before Donald Trump won the US election and the world saw its collective life flash before its eyes, Michelle Obama had been facing calls to run for president in 2020. So far, she’s firmly rebuffed these appeals – but according to an academic who taught both her and her husband, the former First Lady would be more than up to the job.

Charles Ogletree Jr., a constitutional law professor at Harvard, counted both Barack Obama and the then-Michelle Robinson as students during their days at the Ivy League university. And in a new interview with TMZ, Ogletree says that not only was Michelle a better student, he also believes she would have made a better president.

Barack – a self-proclaimed “nerd” – was something of a know-it-all in law school, says Ogletree. In fact, sharing a seminar with the future president sounds a bit like being classmates with Hermione Granger.

“He was speaking too much,” says the professor, now 65. “He wanted everything. He said, ‘I can answer that question, professor.’ I said, ‘Barack, I want to call on Mary.’”


The young Obamas: Michelle and Barack at home in Chicago in 2004.

But while Barack was busy trying to impress his tutors, it was Michelle who really captured Ogletree’s attention. The future Mrs Obama graduated from Harvard Law School the same year that Barack joined, and was made an associate at legal firm Sidley & Austin while he was still training. The pair never attended classes together at Harvard, but eventually met when Michelle – who is two years younger than Barack – was assigned to mentor him at work.

Read more: You can now intern for the Obamas

And Ogletree says that it was Michelle who really stood out to him as a star student. “You know, [Barack’s] wife should’ve been president,” he says. “Absolutely.

“[Barack] was great too, but she was better.”

Watch: Our farewell letter to President Obama

Ogletree adds that Michelle “could easily be president, but I don’t think she will” – which seems a fair enough assessment, given that the Obamas themselves have repeatedly said the same thing.

Read more: “Diversity is our strength”: the world hits back at Trump’s immigration ban

Michelle has been politely shutting down questions about the matter since at least March 2016, when she told reporters that she would “continue to work with young people all over the world” after moving out of the White House – but “not as president. I will not run for president.”

She added: “There are so many ways to impact the world and you don’t have to be president of the United States to do them.”


Images: Rex Features, Getty Images



The real incredibles: what the Obamas are up to next


Samantha Cameron unveils her new fashion collection


#DressLikeAWoman: Twitter responds to Trump’s sexist dress code



Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick lined up for new thriller

"A feverish and expertly plotted tale of psychological suspense"

by Nicola Colyer
22 Jun 2017

We bloody love Kate Beckinsale’s hilarious Manspreading Action Plan

She knows exactly what to do when a man spreads his legs

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

This is what Amanda Knox’s Instagram account looks like

The Seattle native has made her feed public

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Prince Harry is still haunted by memories of Princess Diana’s funeral

‘I don’t think any child should be asked to do what I did’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Courteney Cox thanks friends for helping her embrace “natural” face

‘I finally look like myself’

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Father's Day celebrations to Lena Dunham's new crop

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jun 2017

Michelle Obama has the best advice for you and your girlfriends

The former FLOTUS does this with her friends every single summer

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

The Voice’s Delta wore a dress on TV, and Twitter lost its s**t

You should have left your boobs in the dressing room, duh!

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

Queen Helen Mirren has a message for sexist Wonder Woman critics

Watch out, dinosaurs

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

Chrissy Teigen has leaked her own private texts to John Legend

And it hilariously sums up their 10 year relationship

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017