On Wednesday, September 23, former First Lady Michelle Obama dropped by Conan to discuss quarantining with her entire family on Martha’s Vineyard, Barack’s forthcoming book, and her friend, the late great Ruth Bader Ginsburg. After Conan O’Brien drew a parallel between his own mother, who was one of the first women to attend Yale Law, and Michelle Obama, a Harvard Law graduate, and Justice Ginsburg, Obama echoed that sentiment while detailing the tremendous amount of effort it took to navigate those spaces early on as a woman. Obama said to O’Brien, “I think about the determination and the sheer intelligence it took for people like Justice Ginsburg, and your mother, and so many other women — well, not many of them because there are very few of them in that generation — who were at the frontlines of opening up opportunities for all of us.” Spoken like a woman who knows a thing or two about leading the way.
Obama went on to touch upon Ginsburg’s legacy and relationship to herself and Barack. “Her entire legal career … her time on the Supreme Court really pushed open a new set of possibilities for women all over the country, all over the world,” said Michelle Obama. “She was an icon. A great role model to me, and a dear friend to me and Barack.” As per usual, Michelle Obama, with a placard for her campaign When We All Vote in view behind her, did not mince words when speaking about the immense loss of Ginsburg and the importance of voting in the upcoming election, while refusing to utter the president’s name. “Now that we’ve lost this icon, and the balance of power in the Supreme Court lays in the hands of this sitting president and will impact the lives of young people for generations to come, it is all too real what having someone like her on the Court has meant. But it makes it plain that we cannot take this election for granted. Not now. Not ever.” As a wise woman once said, it is what it is. You can see Conan O’Brien’s full interview with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama below.