Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, drops tomorrow—and though dribs and drabs of tea from the #ForeverFirstLady’s new book have been circulating through various media outlets in the last week, we’re ready to receive the full kettle like manna from the heavens come Tuesday.
Among the revealing new details Obama shares is how she actively stopped herself from smiling during Donald Trump’s inauguration. Previously, she wrote, inaugurations had been celebratory events, and as relieved as she was to be leaving the White House, the 2017 inauguration should have been more or less the same.
It was not.
According to ABC (h/t The Hill), Obama wrote:
“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics there were bad, that what the public saw didn’t reflect the [Trump’s] reality or ideals. But in this case, maybe it did.”
“Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment. I stopped even trying to smile.”
Last week, the Washington Post reported that Obama’s new memoir also disclosed that she would never forgive Trump for stirring the xenophobic, racist pot with his birther mania—a pattern that continued into his presidential campaign and to the present day.
But despite calling Trump out specifically, Obama—who recently told NPR she didn’t want to become involved with politics because it “felt mean”—maintains that she’s still taking the high road, even as progressives call into question how effective such a tactic is when there are literal Nazis marching down American streets.
Back in 2016, Obama famously told a raucous crowd at the Democratic National Convention, “When they go low, we go high,” referring to Trump’s divisive and racist rhetoric.
“What’s the alternative?” Obama asked NPR’s Audie Cornish. “Are we all just gonna go low? Are we all just gonna be in the mud, kicking and screaming and hating and wreaking havoc and fear?”
And despite the turmoil of today’s political and cultural landscape, Obama says she still sees progress being made.
“I am making my mark in hopes that my grandchildren will experience something better than I did, just as my parents laid down markers so that my life would be better than theirs. We don’t fix things in a lifetime,” she continued. “There have been harder times in our nation’s history than this.”
The publication date also marks the start of a book tour, meaning there’s much more Michelle—be it print and broadcast interviews or her sold-out arena book tour—to come.