Delivering her only speech at a high school graduation this year, first lady Michelle Obama joked about the failures her husband, President Obama, has encountered in life as she told a graduating class of high school seniors in Nashville, Tenn. today that in order to achieve success in life, they must first experience failure.
“When something doesn’t go your way, you’ve just got to adjust. You’ve got to dig deep and work like crazy, and that’s when you’ll find out what you’re really made of during those hard times, but you can only do that if you’re willing to put yourself in a position where you might fail, and that’s why so often failure, is the key to success for so many great people,” Obama said at the graduation ceremony for Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School.
“Oprah was demoted from her first job as a news anchor. Now she doesn’t even need a last name,” she said. “And then there’s this guy Barack Obama. … I could take up a whole afternoon talking about his failures, but he lost his first race for Congress, and now he gets to call himself my husband.
“All jokes aside, the point is that that resilience and grit, that ability to pick yourself up when you fall, those are some of the most important skills you’ll need as you make your way through college and through life,” she said. “I want you to tell yourself that no matter what challenges you face that you will commit yourself to achieving your goals no matter where life takes you.”
As a student introduced Obama, he noted that his own mother found inspiration in the first lady and her well toned arms.
“Now my mom’s arms look better than mine,” the graduate said.
“I would love to see your mom’s arms. Where are they?” Obama asked as she started her speech and asked the graduate’s mother to stand. ”Yes! I love that, and she’s showing them off too!”