Michelle Obama wants to create 'thousands of mes' — and she's not interested in running for president

  • Former first lady Michelle Obama isn't particularly interested in running for president.
  • Instead, Obama, who is 54, is interested in "creating thousands of mes" by working with younger leaders.
  • "As an older leader I think an important part of leadership is stepping out of the way and making room," she said at a conference on Tuesday.

Michelle Obama is hopeful about the next generation of leaders in the US.

The former first lady of the US, 54, has been meeting many younger leaders through her work with the Obama Foundation. It's given her a lot of optimism about their approach to leading the country. 

"They're tired of watching us do the same old thing and expect different results," Obama said at Klick Health's Muse event in New York on Tuesday. "So I'm optimistic about the future. There are some bright young people out there doing some amazing things."

Those interactions have helped to solidify her plans, which likely won't involve a run for office.

"This is why I'm not going to run for president" she said. "Because I think it's a better investment to invest in creating thousands of mes."

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Michelle Obama after the White House
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks with poet Elizabeth Alexander at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former First Lady Michelle Obama (L) holds hands with poet Elizabeth Alexander at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former First Lady Michelle Obama laughs during the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, November 1, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 31: Former first Lady Michelle and former president Barack Obama are introduced at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit on October 31, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The two-day event will feature a mix of community leaders politicians and artists exploring creative solutions to common problems, and experiencing art, technology, and music from around the world. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois, October 31, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jim Young (Photo credit should read JIM YOUNG/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama speaks onstage The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama (L) and David Letterman speak onstage as The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 25: Michelle Obama (L) and David Letterman speak onstage as The Streicker Center hosts a Special Evening with Former First Lady Michelle Obama at The Streicker Center on October 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama watches the surprise video message from her husband Former President of the United States Barack Obama during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Screenwriter, director and producer Shonda Rhimes speak on stage during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado President and CEO Lauren Y. Casteel at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 03: Screenwriter, director and producer Shonda Rhimes and Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama pose for a photo together during Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2017 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on October 3, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Pennsylvania Conference for Women)
DENVER, CO - JULY 25: Former First Lady Michelle Obama speaks, emphasizing that women must celebrate their strength, during a live conversation with The Women's Foundation of Colorado at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women's Foundation of Colorado)
THE 25TH ESPYS - Theatre - The world's best athletes and biggest stars join host Peyton Manning for 'The 25th ESPYS presented by Capital One' live from the Microsoft Theater on WEDNESDAY, JULY 12 (8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC. (Photo by Image Group LA/ABC via Getty Images) MICHELLE OBAMA
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 12: Former First Lady Michelle Obama (C) speaks onstage with Special Olympics athletes at The 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 7: Former U.S. President Barack Obama receives the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy as Michelle Obama and Jack Schlossberg look on at the John F. Kennedy Library May 7, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. Obama was honored for 'his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century,' with specific mention of his expansion of healthcare options, his leadership on confronting climate change and his restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba. (Photo by CJ Gunther-Pool/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 03: Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for a roundtable discussion at the South Shore Cultural Center about the Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in nearby Jackson Park, on May 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Presidential Center design envisions three buildings, a museum, library and forum. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MAY 03: Former first lady Michelle Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel arrive for a roundtable discussion at the South Shore Cultural Center about the Obama Presidential Center, which is scheduled to be built in nearby Jackson Park, on May 3, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Presidential Center design envisions three buildings, a museum, library and forum. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama waves and greets the audience during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 27: Former United States first lady Michelle Obama speaks during the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 on April 27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Michelle Obama is making one of her first public speeches at the Orlando Conference since leaving the White House. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10: Michelle Obama leaves Upland restaurant on March 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
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Rather than just having one "Michelle Obama" vying for the presidency, she hopes to help more people get into leadership positions.

"We don't need just one, we need thousands and thousands," Obama said.

Obama spent eight years in the White House as first lady. The idea of swapping spots with her husband President Barack Obama doesn't appeal to her.

"As an older leader I think an important part of leadership is stepping out of the way and making room," Obama said.

If the Obamas were to trade spots and Michelle decided to run for office, that would limit the country. "We're not finding that new energy out there," she said.

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SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama explains how she made time for date nights and workouts as first lady — and why President Obama never missed a parent-teacher conference

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