First Lady Michelle Obama played Capitan Obvious today as she weighed in on the battle of the sexes, making a quip that typically might land a male in hot water.

Michelle Obama

“Women are smarter than men,” Obama said as she, former First Lady Laura Bush and moderator Cokie Roberts laughed along with the audience during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. “And the men can’t complain because they are outnumbered today,” she said to an audience of primarily first ladies from across Africa.

Michelle Obama draws a sharp distinction between herself and Bush

“My name is Michelle Obama and I am an African-American Woman,” the first lady said, drawing a sharp distinction between herself and Bush that might be less apparent when considering their husband’s political views. “Life is short, change is needed.”

It seems that “hope for change” message has been used before, but this didn’t stop Obama, she was clearly on a role referring to Laura Bush as “a first lady who has been an inspiration to me,” and noting that Bush “set a high bar.”

When speaking about social media, Obama mused about the crazy world of hashtags but noted the importance of using this to spread social messages on a global basis. “I want my kids to use Instagram to take pictures of something important,” she said, “not just take pictures of their food. No one really cares what you had for lunch.”

Then the humble attitude that makes Obama so popular – and is said to have helped shape President Obama – became evident. “There is nothing in my life that would indicate I would be sitting here on this stage with a former First Lady, one of the most renowned journalists and many first spouses in Africa,” she said.

Michelle Obama on American education

Then Obama, perhaps considering the challenges women have had in Afghanistan and West Africa just being allowed to have access to education, called on America’s youth to consider themselves fortunate. “We are blessed in this country to have public education and opportunities around the world that many girls around the world are putting their lives at risk to achieve.”

Obama and Bush were speaking at a day long “spousal program” at the Kennedy Center attended by spouses of African leaders visiting the capital this week for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.