The former first lady didn't call out anybody by name on Thursday morning on the "Today" show, but she did maintain that taking the high road and inspiring hope is the best approach to leadership.
"Fear is not a proper motivator. Hope wins out," she said. "And if you think about how you want your kids to be raised, how you want to think about life and their opportunities. Do you want them afraid of your neighbors? Do you want them angry. Do you want them vengeful?"
The comment came in response to "Today" co-host Savannah Guthrie asking former President Barack Obama's wife if her famous Democratic slogan -- "when they go low, we go high" -- still stands in wake of Hillary Clinton saying the party can no longer be civil with Republicans and former Attorney General Eric Holder modifying Michelle's slogan this week to, "When they go low, we kick 'em."
"At this point you have to think about what you're telling your girls," Michelle told Guthrie, who is a mother as well. "Which motto do you want them to live by? And I have to think about that as a mother, as someone who's a role model to young girls. We want them to grow up with promise and hope and we can't model something if we want them to be better than that."
Michelle did, however, praise one former leader by name: George W. Bush. "Today" co-host Hoda Kotb asked her about a quick moment between the two that was caught on camera during Senator John McCain's funeral, where the former president passed her a cough drop.
"I love him to death. He's a wonderful man, he's a funny man," she said, and explained why the small gestured mattered to people. "That's what people are hungry for. They're hungry for what we all know: Party doesn't separate us. Color, gender — those types of things don't separate us. It's the messages we send. And if we're the adults and the leaders in the room and we're not showing that level of decency, we can not expect our children to do the same."
She sure speaks like a potential political leader herself, but when asked if she has any plans to run for public office, she gave a resounding, "NOOO WAY."
"I've said it time and time again. And as a woman, you understand where your voice works best, where you want to operate, what space you want to be in. I have never wanted to be a politician," she said. "Nothing has changed in me to want to run for elected office. I want to serve, I want to do work, I want to be out there, but there's so many ways to make an impact politics is just not my thing. It's as simple as that."
"And that's what I want these girls to find your passion," she continued. "Don't let someone tell you what they think you should do and who they think you should be. It's up to you to determine what's your message and find your voice. This is how I want to work in the world. I want to work on positive issues with girls around the world."
The former first lady appeared on the NBC morning show on the International Day of the Girl to launch Obama Foundation initiative the Global Girls Alliance, which will work with grassroots leaders in communities around the globe to empower adolescent girls through education.