By Annika McGinnis
WASHINGTON, June 23 – (Reuters) – U.S. first lady Michelle Obama will not go into politics after leaving the White House, she said on Monday, dismissing rumors she might follow in the footsteps of predecessor Hillary Clinton and run for the Senate after her husband leaves office.
At an event to promote family-friendly workplace policies, the wife of President Barack Obama was asked whether her next move would be political.
“No, it will not be political. It definitely will not be. It will be mission-based, service-focused,” Mrs. Obama told ABC newscaster Robin Roberts.
Her comment may have been aimed at shutting down recent speculation that Mrs. Obama was mulling a future run for the U.S. Senate. President Obama’s term in the White House ends in early 2017.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000 just as her husband, President Bill Clinton, was finishing his second term. She went on to become U.S. secretary of state under Obama after losing to him in a run to become the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.
During her time as first lady, Michelle Obama spearheaded a movement to make school lunches healthier, a move for which she has come under recent fire from congressional Republicans.
Before her husband went into politics, Obama worked as an attorney, director of a “public allies” leadership-training group in Chicago and as director for community affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals.