Michelle Obama and the Evolution of a First Lady
Michelle Obama was privately fuming, not only at the president’s team, but also at her husband.
In the days after the Democrats lost Edward Kennedy’s Senate seat in January 2010, Barack Obama was even-keeled as usual in meetings, refusing to dwell on the failure or lash out at his staff. The first lady, however, could not fathom how the White House had allowed the crucial seat, needed to help pass the president’s health care legislation and the rest of his agenda, to slip away, several current and former aides said.
To her, the loss was more evidence of what she had been saying for a long time: Mr. Obama’s advisers were too insular and not strategic enough. She cherished the idea of her husband as a transformational figure, but thanks in part to the health care deals the administration had cut, many voters were beginning to view him as an ordinary politician.
Let’s see, the seat formerly belonging to Teddy Kennedy unexpectantly went to a Republican who campaigned against Obamacare, and that was whose fault? As you can see, this article is not going to be big on accuracy.
The Michelle Obama of January 2012 is an expert motivator and charmer, a champion of safe causes like helping military families and ending childhood obesity, an increasingly canny political player eager to pour her popularity into her husband’s re-election campaign. But interviews with more than 30 current and former aides, as well as some of the first couple’s closest friends, conducted for “The Obamas,” a new book, show that she has been an unrecognized force in her husband’s administration and that her story has been one first of struggle, then turnaround and greater fulfillment.
Mrs. Obama is a supportive but often anxious spouse, suspicious of conventional political thinking, a groundbreaking figure who has acutely felt the pressures and possibilities of being the first African-American in her position and a first lady who has worked to make her role more meaningful.
Initially, she had considered postponing her move to the White House for months; after arriving, she bristled at its confinements and obligations — unable to walk her dog without risking being photographed, and monitored by her husband’s aides for everything from how she decorated the family’s private quarters to whether she took makeup artists on overseas trips.
They didn’t even have a dog when they first got to the White House, but I guess gardening is a form of groundbreaking.
The whole article is full of inconsistencies – she wants to play a meaningful role and be actively involved but she wants to stay out of the spotlight; she is a savvy political advisor who had no idea how it would look if she stayed in Chicago after her husband was inaugurated.
The article should have been published in The Onion.
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