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


The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Dakota Johnson’s hidden talent to David Beckham’s sweet moment

by Nicola Colyer
26 Sep 2017

Diane Abbott calls for end to abuse of BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg

“Why – just because she is a woman journalist – does she get that level of abuse?”

by Moya Crockett
26 Sep 2017

The important life lessons that Barack Obama taught his daughters

Guaranteed to leave you feeling more than a bit emotional...

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Sep 2017

“We should all be angry that Laura Kuenssberg needs a bodyguard”

The BBC's political editor needs protection because of misogyny, pure and simple

by Ellie Mae O’Hagan
25 Sep 2017

Piers Morgan's comments about Meghan Markle have riled up the internet

A heavy dose of sexism with your morning telly

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Sep 2017

Julia Stiles talks women in Hollywood and her controversial baby name

Stylist.co.uk chats with the Riviera star

by Harriet Hall
25 Sep 2017

Chrissy Teigen’s reason for never divorcing John Legend is too good

Just when we thought we couldn’t love her more

by Susan Devaney
25 Sep 2017

NASA just paid tribute to Hidden Figures' Katherine Johnson

This is long overdue

by Susan Devaney
25 Sep 2017

Ellen DeGeneres has officially banned Donald Trump from her TV show

Her powerful statement sums up everything that’s wrong with the president

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Sep 2017

Jessica Ennis-Hill unveils baby girl’s incredibly trendy name

The gold medallist announced the news via an intimate Instagram photo

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Sep 2017