DENVER — Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaJill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Obama to adapt memoir 'Dreams From My Father' for young readers Harris emerges as main GOP foil on campaign trail MORE on Thursday joked that former President Obama's 2008 campaign message of "hope and change" started in their early family life with his attempts to be home for dinner on time.

"Hope got its start in our early years when he was like, 'I hope I'm going to be home,' " the former first lady said at an event in Denver for her "Becoming" book tour, explaining that her husband's estimated time of arrival was often vastly different from reality.


Obama's worldwide book tour, which recently expanded to additional cities, is selling out stadium-sized events. Her publisher announced this week that "Becoming" has sold 3 million copies, more copies than any other book sold in 2018 in the United States. In Denver, she spoke to a nearly full 20,000-seat Pepsi Center.

She is openly critical of President Trump in the book and has also criticized the president during the tour.

Without ever mentioning the Trumps by name, Obama also made several references to the current occupants of the White House at the Denver event.

Obama recounted Inauguration Day in January 2017, when she said she was "feeling the weight of all that we had done being flipped over" as she listened to Trump give a speech on a stage that lacked diversity.

She also told actress Reese Witherspoon, who interviewed her on stage at the event, that it was "surreal" to hear "some people literally taking my voice as their own." 

She did not refer specifically to first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump discussed pardoning Ghislaine Maxwell: book Jill Biden appears on Vogue cover White House did not brief Pence team on swearing him in after Trump COVID-19 diagnosis: book MORE repeating a paragraph of an earlier Michelle Obama speech in her 2016 remarks at the Republican National Convention. But Witherspoon joked in response that a "very similar person" also stole the voice of her fictional character from "Legally Blonde," an apparent reference to a speech President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE made in 2017.

Jimmy Fallon made a viral video last year comparing Trump's commencement speech at Liberty University in May 2017 to an Elle Woods speech in "Legally Blonde." The video was heavily edited.

Witherspoon responded to the video last September on "The Graham Norton Show" by saying Trump's speech did bear a strong resemblance to that of her character.

"I'm sure he's just a big fan," she said at the time.

Earlier in the day, Obama signed books at Denver bookstore Tattered Cover, where an estimated 500 people stood in line to meet her.

She also made a surprise visit to Children's Hospital Colorado in nearby suburb Aurora. There the kids taught her the dance "orange justice" from the popular video game "Fortnite" and read “The Night Before Christmas."

She noted as she read that St. Nick, who is pictured at one point with a pipe in his mouth, later gave up smoking.