Monday, April 27, 2009

Michelle Obama's 100 Days

While many are clicking off everything President Obama has done, implemented, plan on implementing, we cannot forget First Lady Michelle Obama.

First off, this country never had a spirited First Lady, let alone the first African-American in this position. Everything she says, wears, etc. is talked about by women around this country. Why? Because we have never had a woman who is almost like us, she dresses like us, talks like us, has a family like us, and is young like many of us.

This is what has been missing in the White House, youth and vigor. Look at all the past Presidents with the exception of Clinton and possibly Carter; they did not bring that energy that turned on a nation as the Obamas. Let's be frank, they did not, nor were these presidents in the media time that President Obama is in neither.

But no one was fascinated with a First Lady since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; can we remember any First Lady that had not just Washington DC talking but all across this country? No, not since Jackie Kennedy.

The 100 Days goes back to FDR days and many presidents have been measured by this metric since, it does not mean anything in the realm of things, but the media has made it a big deal. And as President Obama moves past the 100 days, FLOTUS will continue to mesmerize many worldwide. She is that popular.

Michelle Obama's first 100 days in the White House really began more than 365 days ago in Wisconsin.

Rallying an audience in Milwaukee, she said: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country." She explained that she was proud of the people who'd gotten involved in politics, but that's not what her critics heard.

They said the comment proved she hated America. They portrayed her as the stereotypical angry black woman. Fox News Channel talked of the "terrorist fist jab" she and her husband shared the night he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination. The New Yorker, making fun of the people making fun of her, sketched Mrs. Obama on its cover in an afro and militant garb.

It was a dark time in the many months she had spent campaigning. Yet it was a teachable moment, too.

Mrs. Obama learned from her mistake.

And in the months since, she has gone from lightning rod to rock star, from the cover of The New Yorker to the cover of Vogue, from just plain fashionable to worldwide fashion icon.

She is popular as the president, maybe more. Depending on the poll, she has approval ratings in the 60s and 70s. Practically the only issue being debated these days, silly as it seems, is whether she goes sleeveless too much and for the wrong occasions.

It's not unusual for a first lady to be more popular than the president, but that usually happens further along. That it has happened so quickly for Mrs. Obama says a lot about how perceptions of her have changed.

"If you had told me a year ago that she would attain this kind of popularity I would have said, 'No way,'" said Myra Gutin, a professor at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., who studies first ladies. "She's really reversed things in a way that no one would ever have expected."


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