Staying safe. When Amanda Gorman saw Michelle Obama yelling at Barack Obama at the inauguration, she wondered why like the rest of the country. Then she heard what the former First Lady was telling her husband and it all made sense.
Gorman and the Obamas were three of several guests at Joe Biden and Kamala Harris‘ inauguration on January 20, 2021. The inauguration came after Biden and Harris were elected as the 46th President and 49th Vice President of the United States during the 2021 Presidential Election in November 2020. They won the election over former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Due to the current health crisis, the guest list at the inauguration was limited. As the POTUS and FLOTUS when Biden was Vice President, the Obamas were among the guests of honor at the inauguration, and Gorman, who was the inaugural poet, had a front row seat to their conversations. In an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, January 26, Gorman recalled seeing Michelle yell at Barack for hugging too many people amid the current health crisis.
“I remember Michelle Obama, like, being close,” she said. “And she kind of kept yelling at Barack, like, ‘Stop hugging people. Stop getting close to people.'”
However, when Gorman was done with her speech, she remembered Michelle giving her the same embrace she tried to stop Barack doing. “And then when I was done, she kind of like pushed him out the way and gave me the just the biggest, warmest Michelle Obama hug,” Gorman said.
Gorman went on to explain that the inauguration wasn’t the first time she’s met Michelle. “I have met Michelle a few times before,”she said. “Not Barack. And whenever I meet Michelle I hope that she forgets meeting me, because I just want a do-over. I just want a clean slate. Like, I just want to do it right this time. But she always remembers and she’s always great.”
As for what it was like hugging the former FLOTUS, Gorman had this to say. “When I hug her, I’m so short. My forehead is, like, in her belly button.” she said. “She’s awesome. You can always—she’s so down to Earth as you know. You can be yourself around her. And there’s no do-over I’m sure.”