Puff Piece

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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36 Responses to Puff Piece

  1. driguana says:

    The article IS the onion…it stinks….layer after layer. Amazing how easily swayed the American public is sometimes and how little effort we put into real fact-finding and problem solving.

  2. crawdad says:

    Mrs. Obama dazzled Americans with her warmth, glamour and hospitality early in the presidency


  3. HELENK says:

    fiction sells.
    This greedy person always looks unhappy unless she is traveling on the taxpayer’s dime. She is an embarrassment to this country.
    Low class and no class.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Maybe she and debbie downer can go on the road pouting and complaining about how everyone else lies about Obama and how great he’s been.

      • HELENK says:

        can they stay at 5 star hotels and have an entourage with them? She will need a wardrobe mistress, and many makeup artists and her own chef. That is the least the people can do for her after all she did not get a paycheck for being first lady that she wanted. If they sell tickets to her lecturing on how the dumb American people just do not get it on what backtrack is doing for them and how lucky they are to have him, does she get half the proceeds?

  4. Welcome to the Obama campaign. I suspect this will be one in a long line of puff pieces mostly oriented towards helping the Obama’s, even when under the guise of critique or expose.

  5. HELENK says:

    who said backtrack could not create a good paying job?


  6. Zaladonis says:

    unable to walk her dog without risking being photographed

    I know you pointed out they didn’t even have a dog back then (good catch) but even if they had, or even since they’ve had one, what exactly is risked with pictures of the First Lady walking the family dog? Unless she’s kicking it or something.

  7. HELENK says:


    between meeeeschelle and valerie working in the white house must be very interesting.
    Can not wait for the books to come out after the election

    • CJK says:

      Guess: Val Jarrett doesn’t like anyone, anywhere even hinting that she has been questioned or perhaps bested by anyone, including MO, in her role as THE supreme ruler of all that goes on in this WH.

      • Anthony says:

        So let’s recap:

        Most of the staff had a problem with President Jarrett Valerie Jarrett, so Obama got rid of most of the staff and kept her?

        Change we can believe in……

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    lumbering off of Air Force One. 😆 😆

  9. kc says:

    I keep noticing how no one in the press says a word when she shows cleavage, but Hillary got whacked for it. What a double standard–I do suspect they are afraid of being called racist.

  10. jjmtacoma says:

    I find it so hard to care what MO wears. The thing I find really interesting about her is the FAT raise she got while working at the hospital.

    And now she is a perfect homebody gardening mom. Just too weird but at the same time I still find it hard to care.

    • Pips says:

      I still find it hard to care.

      Me too. Unfortunately. Think of what she could have done with that platform: Not only First Lady but first black FL.

      So many opportunities for her to make a difference … so many opportunities squandered. Even her Obesity Project – which actually could have been a worthy cause – seems more to be about photo opportunities for her to be seen with kids [Aaawww! …] jumping, running, skipping, dancing; or her going to the market … media and motorcade in tow.

      I havent heard her talk a lot about children being lonely, bullied, different, unhappy, unloved, poor, without caring and responsible adults in their lives. Which often is a contributing factor leading to child obesity. But then it doesn’t really make for good photo-ops!

      I also agree on the appaling silence (in the mainstream media) on her raise at the hospital and how she earned it. (By helping to steer poor uninsured patients away, wasn’t it?)

      • DeniseVB says:

        Her Let’s Move and Joining Forces certainly puts her in safe crowds, schools and military. This way she can travel around the country giving safe little speeches at taxpayer expense, then dash off to the local fundraiser.

        The media also failed to notice the irony when BO was threatening not to pay the military, MO was off on one of her Support the Troops and fundraising tours. 😀

      • Lulu says:

        They did not “steer” them, they mandatory dumped them on underfunded, understaffed, and totally inadequate storefront clinics that often only had a RN on duty. They targeted the sickest, poorest patients to get rid of the cost of them to a huge, publicly funded university research hospital that had been given zillions of the publics dollars to care for them. That is what Michelle Obama did. And she was paid a boatload of money to do it. Compassion my ass.

      • jjmtacoma says:

        She really could have made a difference. She could have also paid attention to minority children and how to level the playing field in education and minority women’s earning power in the workplace to help children.

        The garden was nice but the obesity thing might have meant well but promoting the idea of exercise while her husband cuts education funding. PE has been a big target at the state level here.

        • DeniseVB says:

          She certainly could have made a difference working pro bono in legal aid for the poorest population. Her and Obama could have used their Harvard bonifides to open legal clinics and take it to the man 😉

          The media could dig deep enough and find that the most compassionate thing BO ever did was represent ACORN suing big banks to give mortgages to the minority unqualifieds. Though, they used the race card to push them through 😦

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