June 24th, 2011
05:53 PM ET
CNN's Robyn Curnow caught up with first lady Michelle Obama in Botswana for an interview during which she discussed some of the high points of her African trip:
On Mandela: "The one thing I told him, I wanted to make sure he understood how important his leadership and sacrifice has been to who I've become, to who my husband has become and, in short, I just said, 'Thank you.' It's really hard to know what to say to such an icon."
On the U.S. elections: "We really don't talk about the election. We're really doing the work, and that's an important and useful distraction in the midst of it. There's a lot on the president of theUnited States' plate that keeps him focused on what needs to be done, so you just keep doing what you believe is right. I always say this: One of the reasons why I support this president and not just as my husband, but as a citizen, is because I see him taking that long view. I see him every day waking up worrying, not about polls, but worrying about what is the right thing to do for the future. That keeps you pretty focused on what's important."
On husband's campaign: "When it comes to the campaign we're ready to work hard. We did it before and we'll do it again, so we're rolling up our sleeves and getting on with it."
On daughters: "Fortunately, we have help from the media. I have to say this: I am very grateful for the support and kindness that we've gotten. People have respected their privacy, and in that way, no matter what people may feel about my husband's policies or what-have-you, they care about children, and that's been good to see."