A 12-year-old member of the audience put the question to the first lady at the White House’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, an event held for the children of Executive Office employees.
But the question was a relevant one because the last wife of a Democratic president — Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State — ran against President Obama for the Democratic nomination in 2008. Currently, Michelle Obama’s popularity with voters is stronger than that of her husband, which is not unusual for a first lady.
Obama added that being president is “a really hard job” and first lady is “the better job.”
“I have a lot to do, but I couldn’t call it hard, because I’m doing the things that I really love,” she explained, citing events like Thursday’s, her work with the Let’s Move and Joining Forces, her anti-obesity and military family support initiatives, as well as mentioning her appearance on the popular Nickelodeon show “iCarly.”
Obama made a point of showing support for the Secret Service in her question-and-answer session, praising the agency currently under investigation for at least one scandal involving agents who solicited prostitutes in Columbia last month.
“We could not do what we do if it weren’t for the Secret Service and the police officers,” Obama said. “We love them dearly, and they do a great job, right?”
The first lady added that the Secret Service keeps an eye on her because her “fantasy” is to sneak out of the White House more often.
“If I could change something [about being first lady], I'd be able to sneak around a little bit more,” she said in response to another question. “One fantasy I have—and the Secret Service, they keep looking at me because they think I might actually do it—is to walk right out the front door and just keep walking. Just go right over there and go into some shops, and stop and have some ice cream and—yeah, go shopping.”
Obama has been photographed on sneaky shopping expeditions in the past, including a memorable trip to the Potomac Yard Target in Alexandria, Va., last year.