Michelle Obama on historic midterms and whether Hillary Clinton should run in 2020

The former first lady speaks out in an exclusive live interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts in Chicago about her memoir, "Becoming," the outcome of the midterm elections and 2020 prospects.
9:08 | 11/13/18

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Transcript for Michelle Obama on historic midterms and whether Hillary Clinton should run in 2020
out this morning. It is called "Becoming" and it takes readers on her life journey from being a daughter of the south side to a successful career woman, wife, mother and then first lady of the united States. Then there was that. Then there was that. Then there was that. It's a journey. It is. Thank you for this special. Thank you for being you, robin. No, no. The reaction because people just felt that they were seeing a side to you that they hadn't seen before, how comfortable you were in sharing. Today is the day. The book's out. The book's out. It's a book. It's for real. Already generating headlines. How have you felt about the reaction so far? You know, it's exciting. But it's a little, you know, unnerving because people -- I'm talking about me and all of me in a way that I do with my friend, my girlfriends, there's nothing in here that people who really know me don't know. Now I'm talking about it with the world and it's not just that I'm nervous about my story, but I hope that it inspires people and encourages people and it starts a conversation, so I'm excited to see how people react to what they read. Is that the main message because you start off right at the bat and say, you got a lot to say. Boy, she got a lot to say. We know that. We know that. What is the message that you hope resonates most with readers? That all of our stories matter, and I think, you know, I talked to a group of young students yesterday and a couple said I don't even know why I was picked to talk to you because that's how a lot of us think, by us, women, underrepresented folks, folks who are other. We feel somehow that our stories don't matter and that's because we hear so few stories. The stories of what it means to be human, what it means to be American, those stories are limited. And I want people to be as proud of their stories as I am of mine because I believe my story is a quintessential American story as is all of our stories. You really do. So I hope this encourages people to tap into their memories and to find the power and the truth of who they are and put it out there. To own it. We sat down, it was a little less than two weeks ago, before the historic midterm elections and we are seeing a record number of women that are heading to congress, in fact, freshman orientation today. It's amazing. 100 plus women. Yes, a lot of firs. A lot of first-time candidates. Yes. The youngest woman ever, first native American, Muslim women so we know that the Democrats are going to take control of the house, Republicans remain in control of the senate. What was your initial reaction to the results? Thank god people saw that voting matters because as -- As Barack and I have traveled around 9 country that's what we tell people. People get upset and they feel desperate and they feel in despair and our message is vote. Vote because it actually matters. This is how the democracy works. You don't make change by sitting frustrated, you know. You can be frustrated but that doesn't get you where you want to be. You got to go to the polling places and this midterm people came out, young people, the percentage of young people voting went up by 10 percentage points. And people swore that young people wouldn't be focused so I think this election gives us hope. I'm not talking about what it means for one side or the other. What it speaks to is that our democracy is still ours to own and control and I want people -- I hope people take that from this election. Now we look forward to the next election. You are already on the next election. 2020, I'm looking at you. No, no, no. No, no, no. What are you talking about? What's your point? You made it abundantly clear you have no desire to return to public service life. Yeah. What candidates do you see out there that inspire you and catch your eye even did you hear recently, one of Hillary Clinton's former advisers is speculating that she could run again. Do you think she should? You know, I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha. Sasha. You got some free time. I think you'd do a great job. Are you saying that because of what we currently have? What I am saying is that -- You went there. You went there. No, you went there. No, you went there. You went there. Where I am is that right now we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there and I think that the process will play itself out. I don't -- I haven't really been paying attention and looking at the candidates. I don't think -- I think there's a lot of noise and a lot of talk. It's still pretty early, I think. Let's see who, you know, wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race and that's what the primary process is for and I hope we have a lot of great candidates who get in there and treat each other respectfully. That's the thing that I'm going to be looking out for personally is like I don't want people on either party tearing each other up in the process of getting to the nomination. So I'm going to be looking closely at who handles themself and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general, people aren't beat up and battered. So I think this is open to any and everybody who is -- who has the courage to step up and serve. You also speak in your book a great deal about your love of Chicago. That's no secret, especially the south side. But you also speak of the good and also the not so good. Just recently, Sunday, a young man, a security guard, a black man who was apprehending or trying to do the right thing with somebody else who was the gunman and police mistook him for the assailant and he was shot and killed. You write about it in the book. It's not the first time. What's the climate like to you here right now? You know, I can't speak to the climate because I'm not here often enough. I know my city well enough to know that we have struggles, but, you know, I know that everybody here doesn't want the nation, the world to focus on the broken parts. There are broken parts everywhere. What I do know about my hometown is there is a lot of promise. As my mother says to me, when people ask her and I wrote about it in the book. When people ask, how did Michele and Craig become who they are and she said, they are millions of Craig and michelles all over the city, all over the country, part of the problem is that people see black folks and they see one thing, you know, they see criminal. They see problem. They see, you know -- and I've grown up with just the opposite of that. I grew up in communities of diversity with pride and hard work. That's the Chicago I know and that's the Chicago that I want to lift up in my book. Because we talk too much about the problems. Final thing that you wrote about that I think puts it all together, what I won't allow myself to do is become cynical. In my most worried moments I take a breath and remind myself of the dignity I've seen in people. The many obstacles that have been overcome, I hope others will do the same. For those struggling to find hope, what is your advice. Think about our young people. We owe our young people hope because what's the alternative? And young people grow up better than us. They -- the kids that are growing up today are growing up with -- in a different world than even we grew up, more diversity, more openness. Yes, we still have problems, but as Barack would say, if he had to pick any time in history to be born if you think throughout the history of this country, what time -- what period would you want to be alive in? Today, today -- now there is more acceptance, more openness, more equality, more opportunity. It's not all completely fair, you know, we still have problems but, you know, this is where we want to be for our kids. We want to invest in the now. We're here with you right now and will be with your brother in the next hour. "Becoming" is out now and we

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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