Michelle Obama brings a breath of fresh air to all mourning American Democrats this week by landing on the cover of Vogue magazine.

The FLOTUS flashes a bright smile as she takes the cover — her third in seven years — of the fashion bible’s December issue looking effortless in a cream sleeveless Carolina Herrera dress and Monique Pean earrings.

As she counts down her final days in the White House, Obama sits down with the magazine to reflect on her eight years as one of America’s most-loved First Ladies. “I could have spent eight years doing anything, and at some level, it would have been fine. I could have focused on flowers. I could have focused on décor. I could have focused on entertainment,” Obama shares. “Because any First Lady, rightfully, gets to define her role. There’s no legislative authority; you’re not elected. And that’s a wonderful gift of freedom.”

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U.S. President Barack Obama also chimes in on his wife’s legacy, sharing some swoon-worthy comments about his partner-in-crime. “Michelle never asked to be First Lady … Like a lot of political spouses, the role was thrust upon her. But I always knew she’d be incredible at it, and put her own unique stamp on the job,” he says. “That’s because who you see is who she is— the brilliant, funny, generous woman who, for whatever reason, agreed to marry me. I think people gravitate to her because they see themselves in her— a dedicated mom, a good friend, and someone who’s not afraid to poke a little fun at herself from time to time.”

As for her influence over American fashion, Obama insists that comfort is key. “It all boils down to comfort level: If I’m going to make you comfortable, than I have to be comfortable first,” she says. “So my first reaction isn’t ‘Who made this?’ But ‘Let’s try it on. What does it look like? Oooh, that’s cute. Oh, wow. I never thought of wearing something like this. Let’s put a belt on it. I feel gooood in this’.”

She adds, “there are definitely designers that I love, people I love to work with. And who they are as people matters. Are they good people? Do they treat their staff well? Do they treat my staff well? Are they young? Can I give them a boost? But! When all of that is equal…is it cute?!”