Former first lady Michelle Obama drew some unflattering comparisons between her husband's presidency and that of his successor, likening Donald Trump to an irresponsible parent who lets his kids "eat candy and stay up late and not follow the rules".

Mrs Obama made the parenting analogy while speaking to a cheering crowd of supporters at the 39th annual Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston on Thursday, reports Daily Mail.

The mother-of-two said Barack Obama's eight-year presidency "was like having the 'good parent' at home, the responsible parent, the one who told you to eat your carrots and go to bed on time".

She added: "And now we have the other parent. We thought it'd feel fun. Maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late and not follow the rules."

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When asked about her reaction to what Trump has done since taking office, Mrs Obama replied that she takes a "deep sigh".

"I think about what I've learned from my husband, and I've learned watching him be a leader," she said. "And a lot of what I've learned about temperament and patience, that really comes from him. I think he was born with that DNA."

Taking a broader look at what she called "the arc of history," the former first lady said: "There are times in history when we feel like you're going backward, but that's part of the growth."

The reason why I don't want to run for president, (and) I can't speak for Oprah, but my sense is that you have to want the job.

Michelle also took the opportunity to lavish praise on Hillary Clinton, whom she called "the most qualified person to ever seek the office of the presidency", and blamed her stunning loss to Trump on low voter turnout.

It will be up to the next generation of leaders to determine the future of the nation, Mrs Obama said, but she is adamant that she will not be among them, having ruled out the possibility of becoming president.

"The reason why I don't want to run for president, (and) I can't speak for Oprah, but my sense is that you have to want the job," Michelle told the crowd.

The mother-of-two is seen with former US President Barack Obama and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Photo / Getty Images
The mother-of-two is seen with former US President Barack Obama and their two daughters, Malia and Sasha. Photo / Getty Images

"I have never had the passion for politics... I just happen to be married to somebody who has the passion for politics."

Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate, added that, just because she is intelligent and female, doesn't mean she should take on the challenge - as some have encouraged her.

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"You just can't say... 'you're a woman! Run!'" she said. "And we can't look for women like that.

"We can't just say, 'let's find the women we like, and then ask them to do it' because there a millions of women out here who are inclined... who do have the passion for politics."

And now we have the other parent. We thought it'd feel fun. Maybe it feels fun for now because we can eat candy all day and stay up late and not follow the rules.

She further joked that Barack even had to assist her in getting to the arena for today's seminar.

"He dragged me kicking and screaming to this arena... so, you know, just because I gave a good speech, doesn't mean I should be the next president. That's not how we should pick the president," she added, as the crowd began clapping.

Obama then concluded: "That's been our problem. We're very short-sided about how we think about selecting the commander-in-chief.

"Over the course of the last campaign, I gave people some indication. I tried to give people some hints about what we should be looking for."

Roughly 3,400 people were in attendance to Thursday's convocation held at the Seaport World Trade Center.

The 39th seminar, themed "Disrupt the Ordinary," according to Simmons.edu, is a one-day professional development program. The event included speeches from other inspiring women.

Past speakers were Hillary Clinton, Diane Von Furstenberg and Diana Nyad, to name a few.