Michelle Obama Tells Grads: ‘I Could Take Up a Whole Afternoon Talking About’ Barack Obama’s Failures

By Melanie Arter | May 20, 2013 | 10:26am EDT

First lady Michelle Obama (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – First lady Michelle Obama in her commencement speech at a high school in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday said she could “take up a whole afternoon talking about” President Barack Obama's failures.

“And then there’s this guy, Barack Obama, who lost – 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,” she told graduates of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School during commencement exercises held at Tennessee State University.

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Mrs. Obama told students that “failure is the key to success for so many great people,” pointing to Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey.

“Take Steve Jobs, who was fired from Apple early in his career, and now his iPods and iPads and iPhones have revolutionized the entire world.  Oprah was demoted from her first job as a news anchor, now she doesn’t even need a last name,” the first lady said.

Mrs. Obama said she learned in college that “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,” she said.

“Resilience and grit, that ability to pick yourself up when you call” are “some of the most important skills you’ll need as you make your way through college and through life,” Mrs. Obama said.

Those qualities are not something you’re born with, she added. “You can dictate whether you’ll have grit.”

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