Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama
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{{pp-move-indef}}{{short description|Lawyer, writer and former First Lady of the United States}}{{Good article}}{{Use mdy dates|date=February 2019}}{{pp-semi-blp|small=yes}}

|birth_place = Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|death_date = |death_place = Democratic Party (United States)>DemocraticBarack Obama|October 3, 1992}}Malia Obama>Sasha}}Fraser Robinson IIIMarian Shields Robinson>Marian Shields}}Craig Robinson (basketball)>Craig Robinson (brother)Princeton University (Bachelor of Arts>AB)Harvard University (JD)|signature = Michelle Obama signature.svg}}Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (née Robinson; born January 17, 1964) is an American lawyer, university administrator and writer, who was the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She is married to the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, and was the first African-American first lady.Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, Obama is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. In her early legal career, she worked at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She subsequently worked in non-profits and as the associate dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago and the vice president for Community and External Affairs of the University of Chicago Medical Center. Michelle married Barack in 1992 and they have two daughters.Obama campaigned for her husband's presidential bid throughout 2007 and 2008, delivering a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. She returned to speak for him at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. During the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, she delivered a speech in support of the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, a former first lady.As first lady, Obama served as a role model for women, and worked as an advocate for poverty awareness, education, nutrition, physical activity and healthy eating. She supported American designers and was considered a fashion icon.NEWS,weblink Chicago Tribune, Michelle Obama emerges as an American fashion icon, June 4, 2011, Wendy, Donahue, WEB,weblink Christina, Bellantoni, Michelle Obama settling in as a role model, The Washington Times, April 10, 2009, June 4, 2011,

Family and education

{{See also|Family of Barack Obama#Michelle Obama's extended family}}

Early life and ancestry

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III (1935–1991), a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian Shields Robinson (b. July 30, 1937), a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store.NEWS, January 22, 2008,weblink The woman behind Obama, Rossi, Rosalind, Chicago Sun-Times, January 20, 2007,weblink" title="">weblink February 15, 2008, dead, Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school.JOURNAL, Mrs. Obama goes to Washington, Slevin, Peter, March 18, 2009Princeton Alumni Weekly >volume=109 issue=10, The Robinson and Shields families trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South.WEB,weblink The Family Tree of Michelle Obama, the First Lady, September 23, 2014, October 7, 2009, The New York Times, Dance, Gabriel, Elisabeth Goodridge, yes, On her father's side, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Low Country region.WEB,weblink Examining Michelle Obama's Lowcountry roots, The Island Packet, April 4, 2009, August 10, 2011,weblink" title="">weblink September 27, 2011, Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was born into slavery in 1850 on Friendfield Plantation, near Georgetown, South Carolina.NEWS, Murray, Shailagh, A Family Tree Rooted in American Soil: Michelle Obama Learns About Her Slave Ancestors, Herself and Her Country,weblink The Washington Post, C01, October 2, 2008, October 9, 2008, NEWS, From slave cabin to White House, a family rooted in black America,weblink Bone, James, The Times, London, November 6, 2008, November 7, 2008, He became a freedman at age 15 after the war. Some of Obama's paternal family still reside in the Georgetown area.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Michelle: Barack's bitter or better half?, Levinson, Molly, June 4, 2008, April 4, 2009, NEWS, April 3, 2009,weblink Spouses on the Campaign Trail: Michelle Obama Sees Election as Test for America, Norris, Michele, All Things Considered, July 9, 2007, NPR, Her grandfather Fraser Robinson, Jr. built his own house in South Carolina. He and his wife LaVaughn (née Johnson) returned to the Low Country from Chicago after retirement.Among her maternal ancestors was her great-great-great-grandmother, Melvinia Shields, born into slavery in South Carolina but sold to Henry Walls Shields, who had a 200-acre farm in Clayton County, Georgia near Atlanta. Melvinia's first son, Dolphus T. Shields, was biracial and born into slavery about 1860. Based on DNA and other evidence, in 2012 researchers said his father was likely 20-year-old Charles Marion Shields, son of Melvinia's master. They may have had a continuing relationship, as she had two more mixed-race children and lived near Shields after emancipation, taking his surname. (Later she changed her surname.)NEWS,weblink Meet Your Cousin, the First Lady: A Family Story, Long Hidden, Swarns, Rachel L., June 16, 2012, The New York Times, October 20, 2014, As was often the case, Melvinia did not talk to relatives about Dolphus' father.NEWS,weblink In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery, Swarns, Rachel L., Kantor, Jodi, October 7, 2009, The New York Times, October 20, 2014, Dolphus Shields with his wife Alice moved to Birmingham, Alabama after the Civil War. They were great-great-grandparents of Michelle Robinson, whose grandparents had moved to Chicago. Other of their children's lines migrated to Cleveland, Ohio in the 20th century.All four of Robinson's grandparents had multiracial ancestors, reflecting the complex history of the U.S. Her extended family has said that people did not talk about the era of slavery when they were growing up. Her distant ancestry includes Irish, English and Native American roots.NEWS, Produced by Meghan Louttit/The New York Times,weblink The First Family: A New Glimpse of Michelle Obama's White Ancestors â€” Interactive Feature, Southern States (US), The New York Times, June 22, 2012, December 14, 2012, Among her contemporary extended family is rabbi Capers Funnye; born in Georgetown, South Carolina, he is the son of her grandfather Robinson's sister and her husband, and is about 12 years older than Michelle. Funnye converted to Judaism after college. He is a paternal first cousin once-removed.NEWS, Zev, Chafets, Obama's Rabbi, April 5, 2009,weblink New York Times, April 5, 2009, WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Has a Rabbi in Her Family, September 2, 2008, Anthony Weiss, September 2, 2008, The Jewish Daily Forward, Robinson's childhood home was on the upper floor of 7436 South Euclid Avenue in Chicago's South Shore community area, which her parents rented from her great-aunt, who had the first floor.NEWS, Eli, Saslow,weblink From the Second City, An Extended First Family, The Washington Post, February 1, 2009, July 24, 2010, NEWS, January 22, 2008,weblink Finnegan, William, The Candidate: How the Son of a Kenyan Economist Became an Illinois Everyman, The New Yorker, May 31, 2004, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama, A Life, January 8, 2009, October 13, 2008, Time (magazine), Time, Pickert, Kate, She was raised in what she describes as a "conventional" home, with "the mother at home, the father works, you have dinner around the table". Her elementary school was down the street. She and her family enjoyed playing games such as Monopoly, reading, and frequently saw extended family on both sides. She played piano,NEWS,weblink Tallest First Lady, piano-lover, tights-hater: Michelle Obama hits 50, January 17, 2014,, March 22, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink April 9, 2016, dead, learning from her great-aunt who was a piano teacher.Bond, p. 40. The Robinsons attended services at nearby South Shore United Methodist Church. They used to vacation in a rustic cabin in White Cloud, Michigan. She and her 21-month older brother, Craig, skipped the second grade.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Biography, February 5, 2009, National First Ladies' Library, April 6, 2016, Her father suffered from multiple sclerosis, which had a profound emotional effect on her as she was growing up. She was determined to stay out of trouble and be a good student, which was what her father wanted for her.NEWS,weblink First Lady Michelle Obama Remembers The Struggles of Her Father in Talk To Atlanta Students, Maria, Boynton, September 9, 2014,, February 21, 2016,weblink" title="">weblink March 3, 2016, dead, By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy).NEWS, Rosalind, Ross, Kids at Michelle Obama's old school see reflection, November 10, 2008,weblink Chicago Sun-Times, November 17, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink November 14, 2008, dead, She attended Whitney Young High School,NEWS,weblink Her plan went awry, but Michelle Obama doesn't mind â€“ Chicago Tribune, West, Cassandra, September 1, 2004, Chicago Tribune, August 21, 2010, Chicago's first magnet high school, established as a selective enrollment school, where she was a classmate of Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama's Savvy Sacrifice, October 12, 2008, August 25, 2008, Time (magazine), Time, Newton-Small, Jay, The round-trip commute from the Robinsons' South Side home to the Near West Side, where the school was located, took three hours. Michelle recalled being fearful of how others would perceive her, but disregarded any negativity around her and used it "to fuel me, to keep me going".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Recalls Stressful Childhood in South Shore, at Whitney Young, October 14, 2014, DNAinfo, dead,weblink" title="">weblink January 12, 2016, NEWS,weblink First lady gets personal in education push, November 12, 2013, MSNBC, Morgan, Whitaker, She recalled facing gender discrimination growing up, saying, for example, that rather than asking her for her opinion on a given subject, people commonly tended to ask what her older brother thought.NEWS,weblink In Qatar, Michelle Obama delivers pointed message on women's rights, November 4, 2015, Kevin, Liptak, CNN, She was on the honor roll for four years, took advanced placement classes, was a member of the National Honor Society, and served as student council treasurer. She graduated in 1981 as the salutatorian of her class.

Education and early career

She was inspired to follow her brother to Princeton University, which she entered in 1981.NEWS, Jacobs, Sally,weblink Learning to be Michelle Obama, The Boston Globe, June 15, 2008, December 30, 2018, She majored in sociology and minored in African-American studies, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985.Robinson recalls that some of her teachers in high school tried to dissuade her from applying, and that she had been warned against "setting my sights too high".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Recalls Being Told She'd 'Never Get Into' Princeton, November 13, 2013, ABC News, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama kicks off new education initiative at Washington, D.C. high school, November 12, 2013, New York Daily News, She believed that her brother's status as an alumnus — he graduated in 1983, before being hired as a basketball coach at Oregon State University and Brown UniversityWEB,weblink Oregon State fires Craig Robinson, August 23, 2014, May 5, 2014, Goodman, Jeff, ESPN, — may have helped her during the admission process,BOOK, Michelle Obama: First Lady of Hope, 20., 2008, Lyons Press, 978-1599215211,weblink but she was resolved to demonstrate her own worth.BOOK, Michelle Obama, a Biography, Alma Halbert, Bond, 41–42., Greenwood, 2011, 978-0313381041, She has stated that she was overwhelmed during her first year, attributing this to the fact that neither of her parents had graduated from college,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama recounts difficult first year at Princeton in new video, February 7, 2014, Kelly, Heyboer,, and that she had never spent time on a college campus.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama to Chicago High School Grads: 'Stay Hungry', Time, June 10, 2015, The mother of a white roommate reportedly tried (unsuccessfully) to get her daughter reassigned because of Michelle's race. Robinson said that being at Princeton was the first time she became more aware of her ethnicity and, despite the willingness of her classmates and teachers to reach out to her, she still felt "like a visitor on campus".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama, Race and the Ivy League, March 26, 2015, POLITICO, Peter, Slevin, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama's Career Timeout, May 11, 2007, The Washington Post, There were also issues of economic class. "I remember being shocked", she says, "by college students who drove BMWs. I didn't even know parents who drove BMWs."While at Princeton, Robinson became involved with the Third World Center (now known as the Carl A. Fields Center), an academic and cultural group that supported minority students. She ran their day care center, which also offered after school tutoring for older children.BOOK, Biography Today, 2009, 117, Omnigraphics, Detroit, Michigan, 978-0-7808-1052-5,weblink She challenged the teaching methodology for French because she felt that it should be more conversational. As part of her requirements for graduation, she wrote a sociology thesis, entitled Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.Robinson, Michelle LaVaughn (1985), Sociology Department. "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community (96 pages)." Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University. (Thesis currently unavailable from this library; see next footnote for links to text.)NEWS,weblinkaccessdate=April 19, 2008work=Politico LAST=BONDPUBLISHER=GREENWOODISBN=978-0313381041, Robinson pursued professional study, earning her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1988.NEWS, Brown, Sarah,weblink Obama '85 Masters Balancing Act, Daily Princetonian, December 7, 2005, April 3, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink February 20, 2009, By the time she applied for Harvard Law, biographer Bond wrote, her confidence had increased: "This time around, there was no doubt in her mind that she had earned her place". Her faculty mentor at Harvard Law was Charles Ogletree, who has said that she had answered the question that had plagued her throughout Princeton by the time she arrived at Harvard Law: whether she would remain the product of her parents or keep the identity she had acquired at Princeton; she had concluded she could be "both brilliant and black".BOOK, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, 204., David, Remnick, 2011, Vintage, 978-0375702303, At Harvard, Robinson participated in demonstrations advocating the hiring of professors who were members of minority groups.NEWS, April 3, 2009,weblink Barack's Rock, Wolffe, Richard, Newsweek, February 25, 2008, She worked for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, assisting low-income tenants with housing cases."Biography Today", p. 117 She is the third First Lady with a postgraduate degree, after her two immediate predecessors, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. She later said that her education gave her opportunities beyond what she had ever imagined.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama in Qatar: 'outdated laws and traditions' rob girls of education, November 4, 2015, The Guardian,

Family life

Her father, Fraser C. Robinson III, died from complications from his illness in March 1991.NEWS,weblink Michelle's Life, March 15, 2009,, She would later say that although he was the "hole in my heart" and "loss in my scar", the memory of her father has motivated her each day since. Her friend Suzanne Alele died from cancer around this time as well. These losses made her think of her contributions toward society and how well she was influencing the world from her law firm, in her first job after law school. She considered this a turning point.Lightfoot, p. 53.Robinson met Barack Obama when they were among the few African Americans at their law firm, Sidley Austin LLP (she has sometimes said only two, although others have noted that there were others in different departments).NEWS,weblink When Michelle Met Barack, Mundy, Liza, October 5, 2008, The Washington Post, October 25, 2008, She was assigned to mentor him while he was a summer associate.NEWS, February 12, 2008,weblink Michelle Obama's Career Timeout, Kornblut, Anne E., May 11, 2007, The Washington Post, Their relationship started with a business lunch and then a community organization meeting where he first impressed her.Before meeting Obama, Michelle had told her mother she intended to focus solely on her career.NEWS,weblink What Michelle Obama Didn't Like About Working at Sidley Austin,, October 6, 2008, Martha, Neil, The couple's first date was to Spike Lee's movie Do the Right Thing (1989).NEWS, April 5, 2009, January 22, 2009title=50 things you didn't know about Michelle ObamaThe Daily Telegraph>The Telegraphfirst1=Nickfirst2=MelissaFIRST=SUSANPUBLISHER=WASHINGTON EXAMINERTITLE=MICHELLE OBAMA: 'HE SWEPT ME OFF MY FEET' CHICAGO SUN-TIMES >DATE=OCTOBER 3, 2007 ACCESSDATE=DECEMBER 2, 2007 ARCHIVEDATE=DECEMBER 14, 2007 DF=, After suffering a miscarriage, Michelle underwent in vitro fertilisationHTTPS://WWW.TELEGRAPH.CO.UK/NEWS/2018/11/09/MICHELLE-OBAMA-HAD-MISCARRIAGE-USED-IVF-CONCEIVE-GIRLS/>TITLE=MICHELLE OBAMA HAD MISCARRIAGE, USED IVF TO CONCEIVE GIRLSFIRST=BENDATE=NOVEMBER 9, 2018URL=HTTP://WWW.NEWSWEEK.COM/ID/70165?TID=RELATEDCLAUTHOR2= JONATHAN DARMANWORK=NEWSWEEK, January 29, 2007, The Obama family lived on Chicago's South Side, where Barack taught at the University of Chicago Law School. He was elected to the state senate in 1996, and to the US Senate in 2004. They chose to keep their residence in Chicago after Barack's election rather than to move to Washington, DC, as they felt it was better for their daughters. Throughout her husband's 2008 campaign for US President, Michelle Obama made a "commitment to be away overnight only once a week â€“ to campaign only two days a week and be home by the end of the second day" for their two daughters.NEWS, Mother, wife, superstar,weblink Piasecki, Joe, June 5, 2008, Pasadena Weekly, Southland Publishing, April 3, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 16, 2009, File:Barack Obama family portrait 2011.jpg|thumb|left|Official portrait by Pete Souza of the Obama family in the 234x234pxShe once requested that her then-fiancé meet her prospective boss, Valerie Jarrett, when considering her first career move; Jarrett became one of her husband's closest advisors.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Solidifies Her Role, February 12, 2008, February 11, 2008, Langley, Monica, The Wall Street Journal, The marital relationship has had its ebbs and flows; the combination of an evolving family life and beginning political career led to many arguments about balancing work and family. Barack Obama wrote in his second book, (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream), that "Tired and stressed, we had little time for conversation, much less romance."NEWS, Fame puts squeeze on family life: Many hurdles as Obamas seek balance, October 19, 2006, Chicago Sun-Times, Herrmann, Andrew, Despite their family obligations and careers, they continued to try to schedule "date nights" while they lived in Chicago.NEWS,weblink Whispers Poll: President-Elect Obama and Michelle Obama's Date Night, January 10, 2009, November 21, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Bedard, Paul, The Obamas' daughters attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, a private school.NEWS,weblink The Rantings of a P.T.A. Mom, October 13, 2008, September 9, 2008, The New York Times, Loh, Sandra Tsing, As a member of the school's board, Michelle fought to maintain diversity in the school when other board members connected with the University of Chicago tried to reserve more slots for children of the university faculty. This resulted in a plan to expand the school to increase enrollment. In Washington, DC, Malia and Sasha attended Sidwell Friends School, after also considering Georgetown Day School.NEWS,weblink Obama Girls Will Go To Sidwell Friends: Elite Private School Is 'Best Fit' for Next First Family, Leiby, Richard L., The Washington Post, November 22, 2008, December 9, 2008, NEWS,weblink Just One More Frame!: How do you raise kids in the White House and 'keep them normal,' too?, January 9, 2009, November 22, 2008, Newsweek, Smalley, Suzanne, In 2008 Michelle said in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that they did not intend to have any more children.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: 'I'm Done', October 13, 2008, September 4, 2008, The New York Times, Zeleny, Jeff, The Obamas received advice from past first ladies Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter and Hillary Clinton about raising children in the White House. Marian Robinson, Michelle's mother, moved into the White House to assist with child care.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Slights Working Women, January 10, 2009, November 7, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Erbe, Bonnie,


(File:Obamas at church on Inauguration Day 2013.jpg|thumb|The Obamas attend a church service in Washington, D.C., January 2013.|245x245px)Michelle Obama was raised United Methodist and joined the Trinity United Church of Christ, a mostly black congregation of the Reformed denomination known as the United Church of Christ. She and Barack Obama were married there by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. On May 31, 2008, Barack and Michelle Obama announced that they had withdrawn their membership in Trinity United Church of Christ saying: "Our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views."NEWS,weblink Obama resigns from Trinity United Church of Christ. UPDATE. Obama to answer questions about his church Saturday night, Lynn, Sweet, January 22, 2013, May 31, 2008, Chicago Sun-Times, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 9, 2013, The Obama family attended several different Protestant churches after moving to Washington D.C. in 2009, including Shiloh Baptist Church and St. John's Episcopal Church on Lafayette Square, known as the Presidents' Church. At the 49th African Methodist Episcopal Church's general conference, Michelle Obama encouraged the attendees to advocate for political awareness, saying, "To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better – no place better, because ultimately, these are not just political issues – they are moral issues, they're issues that have to do with human dignity and human potential, and the future we want for our kids and our grandkids."PRESS RELEASE, Obama, Michelle, Remarks by the First Lady at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference,weblink White House, February 22, 2013,


Following law school, Obama became an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband Barack. At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property law. She continues to hold her law license, but as she no longer needs it for her work, she has kept it on a voluntary inactive status since 1993.WEB,weblink Taking License, April 8, 2010, Snopes, WEB, The Obamas' Law Licenses,weblink June 14, 2012, D'Angelo, Gore,, June 22, 2012, In 1991, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies. She worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood 12 years after she left. Obama later said that she had never been happier in her life prior to working "to build Public Allies".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: Who she was before the White House, Peter, Slevin, April 14, 2015, In 1996, Obama served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University's Community Service Center.JOURNAL, University of Chicago Chronicle,weblink Obama named first Associate Dean of Student Services, June 6, 1996, 15, 19, April 4, 2009, In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.PRESS RELEASE,weblink University of Chicago Medical Center, Michelle Obama appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals, May 9, 2005, April 4, 2009, She continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign of 2008, but cut back to part-time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election.NEWS,weblink ABC News, Michelle Obama: Mom First, Politics Second, Snow, Kate, January 24, 2008, April 4, 2009, She subsequently took a leave of absence from her job.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama blazes a new trail, St. Clair, Stacy, Chicago Tribune, November 8, 2008, November 20, 2008, According to the couple's 2006 income tax return, her salary was $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals, while her husband had a salary of $157,082 from the United States Senate. The Obamas' total income was $991,296, which included $51,200 she earned as a member of the board of directors of TreeHouse Foods, and investments and royalties from his books.NEWS, February 12, 2008,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, May 13, 2007, Michelle Obama: Campaigning her way, May 12, 2007, USA Today, Keen, Judy, Obama served as a salaried board member of TreeHouse Foods, Inc. ({{nyse2|THS}}),WEB, April 4, 2009,weblink Board of Directors: Michelle Obama, TreeHouse Foods, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 15, 2009, a major Wal-Mart supplier from shortly after her husband was seated in the Senate until she cut ties shortly after her husband announced his candidacy for the presidency; he criticized Wal-Mart labor policies at an AFL-CIO forum in Trenton, New Jersey, on May 14, 2007.NEWS,weblink Sweet Column: Michelle Obama Quits Board of Wal-Mart Supplier, Sweet, Lynn, Chicago Sun-Times, May 22, 2007, April 4, 2009, dead,weblink" title="">weblink February 9, 2009, She also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.WEB,weblink Directors, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, April 4, 2009,weblink" title="">weblink February 18, 2009,

Barack Obama political campaigns

Early campaigns

During an interview in 1996, Michelle Obama acknowledged there was a "strong possibility" her husband would begin a political career, but said she was "wary" of the process. She knew it meant their lives would be subject to scrutiny and she was intensely private.NEWS,weblink A Couple in Chicago, The New Yorker, Mariana, Cook, January 19, 2009, Although she campaigned on her husband's behalf since early in his political career by handshaking and fund-raising, she did not relish the activity at first. When she campaigned during her husband's 2000 run for United States House of Representatives, her boss at the University of Chicago asked if there was any single thing about campaigning that she enjoyed; after some thought, she replied that visiting so many living rooms had given her some new decorating ideas.NEWS, Kantor, Jodi,weblink Michelle Obama, reluctant no more, The New York Times, August 25, 2008, August 27, 2008, BOOK, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, 314., David, Remnick, 2011, Vintage, 978-0375702303, Obama opposed her husband's run for the congressional seat, and, after his defeat, she preferred he tend to the financial needs of the family in what she deemed a more practical way.BOOK, The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama, 332, David, Remnick, 2011, Vintage, 978-0375702303,

2008 Presidential campaign

{{multiple image| align = right| direction = horizontal| header = | header_align = left/right/center| header_background = | footer = | footer_align = left/right/center| footer_background = | width = | image2 = Michelle Obama and Barack Obama enjoy a victory fist pound upon winning the Democratic Nomination.jpg| width2 = 180| alt2 = The Obamas face each other and bump fists on stage. She wears a purple dress and he wears a dark suit. Several signs read "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN" and several photographers take photos.| caption2 = The Obamas fist bump upon his winning the Democratic nomination.| image3 = Obamas and Bidens.jpg| width3 = 189| alt3 = Barack and Michelle Obama and a woman and a man on an outdoor stage. The first three smile and wave. The men wear suit pants, white shirts with the sleeves rolled up, and ties. Michelle is in a colorful print dress and the other woman is in a creme business suit.Joe Biden>Joe and Jill Biden, at the August 23, 2008, vice presidential announcement in Springfield, Illinois.| total_width = | image1 = | alt1 = | caption1 = }}At first, Obama had reservations about her husband's presidential campaign, due to fears about a possible negative effect on their daughters.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama, April 8, 2009, March 5, 2009, The New York Times, Rachel L., Swarns, Jodi, Kantor, She says that she negotiated an agreement in which her husband was to quit smoking in exchange for her support of his decision to run.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama on Campaign, Family, February 12, 2008, February 11, 2008, The Wall Street Journal, Langley, Monica, About her role in her husband's presidential campaign she has said: "My job is not a senior adviser".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: 'I've Got a Loud Mouth', February 12, 2008, May 22, 2007, ABC News, Roberts, Robin, Robin Roberts (newscaster), NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: I'm his wife, not adviser, April 3, 2008, May 22, 2007, Sioux City Journal,weblink" title="">weblink April 15, 2009, During the campaign, she discussed race and education by using motherhood as a framework.NEWS, Focus: Women to Watch: Michelle Obama, Klein, Sarah A., May 5, 2008, Crain Communications, Inc., Crain's Chicago Business, 29, In May 2007, three months after her husband declared his presidential candidacy, Obama reduced her professional responsibilities by 80 percent to support his presidential campaign.NEWS,weblink First Lady in waiting, Vanity Fair (magazine), Vanity Fair, February 12, 2008, December 27, 2007, Bennetts, Leslie, Early in the campaign, she had limited involvement in which she traveled to political events only two days a week and rarely traveled overnight;WEB,weblink How Michelle Obama Does It: Michelle Obama: The real story behind her everyday life., September 23, 2014, October 18, 2008, Redbook, by early February 2008 her participation had increased significantly. She attended thirty-three events in eight days. She made several campaign appearances with Oprah Winfrey.NEWS,weblink Millions of cell calls for Clinton Big effort to contact list of likely backers gave her the state, San Francisco Chronicle, February 15, 2008, February 7, 2008, Marinucci, Carla, John Wildermuth, NEWS, {{-', I'm Tired of Politics as Usual'; Oprah Winfrey Makes Her Case for Sen. Obama's Presidential Candidacy|work=The Washington Post|date=December 19, 2007|author1=Kornblut, Anne E.|author2=Murray, Shailagh|lastauthoramp=yes|page=A1}} She wrote her own stump speeches for her husband's presidential campaign and generally spoke without notes.NEWS,weblink The natural, January 8, 2009, September 2007, Vogue (magazine), Vogue, Johnson, Rebecca,weblink" title="">weblink January 16, 2009, During the campaign, columnist Cal Thomas on Fox News described Michelle Obama as an "Angry Black Woman"NEWS,weblink After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction, October 13, 2008, June 18, 2008, The New York Times, Powell, Michael, Jodi Kantor, yes, NEWS,weblink A First Lady of a different kind, Mann, Jonathan, CNN, May 23, 2008, April 4, 2009, NEWS,weblink Transcript: 'FOX News Watch', June 14, 2008, June 16, 2008, April 4, 2009, Fox News, and some web sites attempted to promote this image.NEWS,weblink Mincing Up Michelle, October 13, 2008, June 11, 2008, The New York Times, Dowd, Maureen, Obama said: "Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we've developed a thick skin along the way. When you're out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory."BOOK, Robert P., Watson, Jack, Covarrubias, Tom, Lansford, Douglas M., Brattebo, The Obama Presidency: A Preliminary Assessment,weblink April 11, 2012, SUNY Press, 978-1-4384-4330-0, 393–, February 23, 2015, By the time of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, media outlets observed that her presence on the campaign trail had grown softer than at the start of the race, focusing on soliciting concerns and empathizing with the audience rather than throwing down challenges to them, and giving interviews to shows such as The View and publications like Ladies' Home Journal rather than appearing on news programs. The change was reflected in her fashion choices, as she wore clothes that were more informal clothes than her earlier designer pieces. Partly intended to help soften her public image, her appearance on The View was widely covered in the press.NEWS, Stanley, Alessandra,weblink Michelle Obama Shows Her Warmer Side on 'The View', October 13, 2008, June 19, 2008, The New York Times, The presidential campaign was Obama's first exposure to the national political scene; she was considered the least famous of the candidates' spouses.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama plays unique role in campaign, February 12, 2008, July 30, 2007, MSNBC, Zakin, Carly, Early in the campaign, she told anecdotes about Obama family life; however, as the press began to emphasize her sarcasm, she toned it down.New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd wrote: }}On the first night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention, Craig Robinson introduced his younger sister.NEWS, August 2008,weblink Scorecard: First-Night Speeches: Craig Robinson: Grade: B+, Time (magazine), Time, April 4, 2009, Halperin, Mark, She delivered her speech, during which she sought to portray herself and her family as the embodiment of the American Dream. Obama said she and her husband believe "that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say you're going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them."WEB, Naylor, Brian,weblink Interpreting Michelle Obama's speech, NPR, August 26, 2008, August 27, 2008, She also emphasized loving her country, likely responding to criticism for having said that she felt 'proud of her country for the first time'.NEWS, Nagourney, Adam,weblink Appeals evoking American Dream rally Democrats, The New York Times, August 26, 2008, August 27, 2008, NEWS, Pallasch, Abdon M.,weblink Michelle Obama celebrates Chicago roots, Chicago Sun-Times, August 26, 2008, August 26, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink August 29, 2008, dead, NEWS, Helman, Scott,weblink Reaching back to her Chicago roots, Obama tells an American story, Boston Globe, August 26, 2008, August 27, 2008, The first statement was seen as a gaffe.NEWS, Michelle Obama attacked over patriotism gaffe,weblink Alex, Spillius, August 18, 2015, The Daily Telegraph, February 19, 2008, Her keynote address was largely well-received and drew mostly positive reviews.NEWS, Suellentrop, Chris,weblink Michelle Obama's high note, The New York Times, August 25, 2008, August 27, 2008, A Rasmussen Reports poll found that her favorability among Americans reached 55%, the highest for her.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Favorable Rating Reaches Highest Level Ever, Rasmussen Reports, August 29, 2008, November 12, 2008,weblink" title="">weblink September 12, 2008, {{multiple image
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{{clear}}On an October 6, 2008 broadcast, Larry King asked Obama if the American electorate was past the Bradley effect. She said that her husband's winning the nomination was a fairly strong indicator that it was.NEWS,weblink Are We Past The 'Bradley Effect'?, October 13, 2008, October 9, 2008, Blow, Charles M., The New York Times, The same night she was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, where she deflected criticism of her husband and his campaign.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Dismisses Criticisms, October 13, 2008, October 9, 2008, Seelye, Katharine Q., The New York Times, On Fox News' America's Pulse, E. D. Hill referred to the fist bump shared by the Obamas on the night that he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, describing it as a "terrorist fist jab". Hill was taken off air and the show was cancelled.NEWS,weblink Fox refers to Michelle Obama as 'baby mama': TV graphic read: 'Outraged liberals: Stop picking on Obama's baby mama', October 13, 2008, June 12, 2008, MSNBC, NEWS,weblink Fox News presenter taken off air after Barack Obama 'terrorist fist jab' remark, October 13, 2008, June 13, 2008, The Daily Telegraph, UK, Spillius, Alex,weblink" title="">weblink July 19, 2008, dead, {{clear}}

2012 Presidential re-election campaign

File:Obamas and Bidens on presidential election night 2012.jpg|thumb|left|Obama (far right) celebrates with Jill BidenJill BidenObama campaigned for her husband's re-election in 2012. Beginning in 2011, Obama became more politically active than she had been since the 2008 election, though avoided discussions about the re-election bid.NEWS,weblink First Lady Takes on the Role of Staff Energizer, November 18, 2011, New York Times, Jodi, Kantor, By the time of the election cycle, she had developed a more open public image.NEWS,weblink First Lady Strives for Caring Image Above Partisan Fray, September 3, 2012, Jodi, Kantor, The New York Times, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama in a Tie for Tallest First Lady, April 8, 2010, Stephen M., Silverman, Some commentators viewed her as the most popular member of the Obama administration, noting that her poll approval numbers had not dropped below 60% since she entered the White House.NEWS,weblink Can Michelle Obama help her husband win?, CBS News, July 24, 2012, An Obama senior campaign official said she was "the most popular political figure in America".NEWS,weblink First lady seeks to reignite flame for president, September 4, 2012, CNN, The positive assessment was reasoned to have contributed to her active role in the re-election campaign, but it was noted that the challenge for the Obama campaign was to use her without tarnishing her popularity.Obama was considered a polarizing figure, having aroused both "sharp enmity and deep loyalty" from Americans, but she was also seen as having improved her image since 2008 when her husband first ran for the presidency.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama shifts into 2012 mode, Julie, Mason, October 17, 2011, POLITICO, Isabel Wilkinson of The Daily Beast said that Obama's fashion style changed over the course of the campaign to be sensitive and economical.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama's Signs of Fashion Restraint on Election Night, November 7, 2012, The Daily Beast, Isabel, Wilkinson, Prior to the first debate of the election cycle, Obama expressed confidence in her husband's debating skills.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: Husband Is 'Good Debater', October 2, 2012, Laura, Meckler, The Wall Street Journal, He was later criticized for appearing detached and for looking down when addressing Romney.NEWS,weblink 5 things we learned from the presidential debate,, October 4, 2012, Hamby, Peter, Preston, Mark, Steinhauser, Paul, NEWS,weblink Mitt Romney Versus Obama: 4 Key Moments From First Presidential Debate, The Huffington Post, October 4, 2012, Ward, Jon, The consensus among uncommitted voters was that the latter 'won' the debate.NEWS,weblink Poll: Uncommitted voters say Romney wins debate, CBS News, After Obama's speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the First Lady was found through a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted in September to have a 61% favorably rating with registered voters, the highest percentage she had polled since April 2009.NEWS,weblink December 14, 2012, CBS News, Michelle Obama, Ann Romney get positive ratings after conventions, Obama aimed to humanize her husband by relating stories about him, attempting to appeal to female voters in swing states. Paul Harris of The Guardian said that the same tactic was being used by Ann Romney, wife of 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Polls in October showed their husbands tied at 47% for the female vote. However, Michelle Obama's favorability ratings remained higher than Ann Romney's at 69% to 52%.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama and Ann Romney target female voters on campaign trail, October 26, 2012, Paul, Harris, The Guardian, Despite Obama's higher poll numbers, comparisons between Obama and Romney were repeatedly made by the media until the election.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama and Ann Romney: Compare and contrast, Ann, Groer, October 21, 2012, Washington Post, NEWS,weblink Ann Romney Versus Michelle Obama: Two Women, 30 Days, Charlotte, Cowles, November 6, 2012,, But, as Michelle Cottle of Newsweek wrote, "...nobody votes for first lady."NEWS,weblink BATTLE OF THE FIRST LADIES: MICHELLE OBAMA VS. ANN ROMNEY, November 9, 2012, Michelle, Cottle, Newsweek,

First Lady of the United States (2009–2017)

{{multiple image| align = right| direction = horizontal| header = | header_align = left/right/center| header_background = | footer = | footer_background = | width = | image1 = Barack Obama Michelle Obama Queen Elizabeth II Buckingham Palace London.jpg| width1 = 225Elizabeth II>Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, United Kingdom, April 1, 2009.| alt1 = Michelle Obama and Elizabeth II shake hands and smile at each other as Barack enters the room in the background.| image2 = Michelle obama and carla bruni sarkozy.jpg| width2 = 225| caption2 = Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni at Palais Rohan, Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2009.| alt2 = Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni share a laugh while seated on adjacent couches.| total_width = }}During her early months as First Lady, Obama visited homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She also sent representatives to schools and advocated public service.WEB,weblink An Army of Changemakers, April 6, 2009, March 7, 2009, Newsweek, Alter, Jonathan, Obama advocated for her husband's policy priorities by promoting bills that support it. She hosted a White House reception for women's rights advocates in celebration of the enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 Pay equity law. She supported the economic stimulus bill in visits to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and United States Department of Education. Some observers looked favorably upon her legislative activities, while others said that she should be less involved in politics. According to her representatives, she intended to visit all United States Cabinet-level agencies in order to get acquainted with Washington.NEWS,weblink {{-', Mom in Chief' Touches on Policy; Tongues Wag|accessdate=April 8, 2009|date=February 7, 2009|work=The New York Times|author=Swarns, Rachel L.}}(File:US Army 53373 First Lady Embarks on Mission to Help Military Families.jpg|thumb|left|Obama and General Charles R. Davis smile to the crowd before speaking on her mission to help military families, October 2009.)On June 5, 2009, the White House announced that Michelle Obama was replacing her then chief of staff, Jackie Norris, with Susan Sher, a longtime friend and adviser. Norris became a senior adviser to the Corporation for National and Community Service.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama gets new chief of staff, July 27, 2009, June 5, 2009, United Press International, Another key aide, Spelman College alumna Kristen Jarvis, served from 2008 until 2015, when she left to become chief of staff to the Ford Foundation president Darren Walker.In 2009 Obama was named Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of the year.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Named "Most Fascinating" Person of 2009, Joyce Eng, December 10, 2009,, In her memoir, Becoming, Obama describes her four primary initiatives as First Lady: Let's Move!, Reach Higher,WEB,weblink Reach Higher (@ReachHigher) {{!, Twitter||language=en|access-date=January 11, 2019}} Let Girls Learn,WEB,weblink Let Girls Learn {{!, U.S. Agency for International Development||language=en|access-date=January 11, 2019}} and Joining Forces.WEB,weblink Joining Forces (@JoiningForces) {{!, Twitter||language=en|access-date=January 11, 2019}} Some initiatives of First Lady Michelle Obama included advocating on behalf of military families, helping working women balance career and family, encouraging national service, and promoting the arts and arts education.WEB,weblink First Lady Michelle Obama, April 6, 2010,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 7, 2010, Obama made supporting military families and spouses a personal mission and increasingly bonded with military families. According to her aides, stories of the sacrifice these families make moved her to tears.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Makes Military Families Her Mission: The first lady is often moved by accounts of personal sacrifice by service families, April 7, 2009, March 26, 2009, U.S. News & World Report, Walsh, Kenneth T., In April 2012, Obama and her husband were awarded the Jerald Washington Memorial Founders' Award by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV).The award is the highest honor given to homeless veteran advocates.NEWS, President Obama, Michelle Obama Receive Highest Award in Homeless Veteran Advocacy,weblink August 16, 2015, Huffington Post, April 27, 2012, Obama was again honored with the award in May 2015, accepting with Jill Biden.WEB, Michelle Obama And Dr. Jill Biden To Receive 2015 Jerald Washington Memorial Founders' Award For Efforts To End Veteran Homelessness, PR Newswire,weblink August 16, 2015, (File:Michelle-obama-bringbackourgirls.jpg|thumb|Obama holding a sign with the hashtag "#bringbackourgirls" in May 2014.)File:Melania Trump with Michelle Obama at the White House (crop).jpg|thumb|Obama meets future first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpIn November 2013, a Politico article by Michelle Cottle accusing Obama of being a "feminist nightmare" for not using her position and education to advocate for women's issues was sharply criticized across the political spectrum.WEB,weblink Leaning Out: How Michelle Obama became a feminist nightmare, Michelle, Cottle, Politico, November 13, 2013, November 25, 2013, WEB,weblink Michelle Obama a 'feminist nightmare'? Please., Harris-Perry, Melissa, November 23, 2013, MSNBC, February 23, 2015, WEB,weblink Flunking Feminism? Why Michelle Obama keeps playing it safe, Howard Kurtz, Fox News, November 25, 2013, November 25, 2013, Cottle quoted Linda Hirshman saying of Obama's trendy styles, promotion of gardening and healthy eating, and support of military families that "She essentially became the English lady of the manor, Tory Party, circa 1830s." A prominent critic of Cottle was MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, who rhetorically asked "Are you serious?" Supporters of Obama note that the First Lady had been one of the only people in the administration to address obesity, through promoting good eating habits, which is one of the leading U.S. public health crises.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Derided For Being A 'Feminist Nightmare{{'-, |author=Aviva Shen||date=November 22, 2013|accessdate=November 25, 2013}}In May 2014, Obama joined the campaign to bring back school girls who had been kidnapped in Nigeria. The First Lady tweeted a picture of herself holding a poster with the #bringbackourgirls campaign hashtag.NEWS, Bring Back Our Girls: Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai support campaign for return of kidnapped Nigeria schoolgirls,weblink Lizzie, Dearden, July 21, 2014, The Independent, May 8, 2014, Obama writes in her book about enlisting help for her initiative Let Girls Learn to produce and sing the song "This is for My Girls".WEB,weblink Watch Michelle Obama, Missy Elliott in 'Carpool Karaoke', Leight, Elias, Leight, Elias, July 21, 2016, Rolling Stone, en-US, January 11, 2019, Over the course of the Obama presidency, particularly during the second term, Michelle Obama was subject to speculation over whether she would run for the presidency herself, similarly to predecessor Hillary Clinton.NEWS,weblink Barack Obama or Michelle Obama Could Run For President in 2016 and Beyond, June 23, 2011, The Daily Beast, Michael, Medved, A potential Michelle Obama candidacy was supported by both Samuel L. Jackson and James Clyburn.NEWS,weblink January 7, 2013, Michelle Obama: Future presidential candidate?,, On April 6, 2009, CNN did a poll on whether she should run for the presidency in 2020, 83% of responders being opposed to the idea.NEWS,weblink Poll: 'Should Michelle Obama Run For President in 2020?', April 6, 2009, Matthew, Balan, A May 2015 Rasmussen poll found Obama had 22% of support to Clinton's 56% of winning the Democratic nomination, higher than that of potential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders.NEWS,weblink Poll: Michelle Obama would be Hillary's strongest Dem rival in 2016, Neetzan, Zimmerman, The Hill, NEWS,weblink What If Michelle Obama Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination?, May 14, 2015,, Another poll from that month found 71% of Americans believed that Obama should not run for the presidency, only 14% approving. On January 14, 2016, during a town-hall meeting, President Obama was asked if the First Lady could be talked into running. He responded, "There are three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and Michelle is not running for president. That I can tell you."NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama won't run for president, Barack says, January 14, 2016, NEWS,weblink What are the chances Michelle Obama will run for president?, Rebecca, Shabad, On March 16, 2016, while speaking in Austin, Texas, Obama denied that she would ever run for the office, citing a desire to "impact as many people as possible in an unbiased way".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: 'I will not run for president', CNN, March 16, 2016, In the epilogue to Becoming, Obama writes, "I have no intention of running for office, ever," recognizing that "politics can be a means for positive change, but this arena is just not for me."{{citation needed|date=February 2019}}

Let's Move!

Obama's predecessors Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush supported the organic movement by instructing the White House kitchens to buy organic food. Obama extended their support of healthy eating by planting the White House Kitchen Garden, an organic garden, the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady. She also had bee hives installed on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden supplied organic produce and honey for the meals of the First Family and for state dinners and other official gatherings.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama Goes Organic and Brings in the Bees, April 7, 2009, March 28, 2009, U.S. News & World Report, Bedard, Paul, dead,weblink" title="">weblink April 1, 2009, NEWS,weblink Shovel-Ready Project: A White House Garden, Black, Jane, March 20, 2009, The Washington Post, May 3, 2009, NEWS,weblink White House Photo Blog: Wednesday, June 17, 2009: First Garden, April 7, 2010, June 17, 2009, Time (magazine), Time, File:Obama-DeGeneres-dance-20120201.jpg|thumb|left|Obama and Ellen DeGeneres dance on the second anniversary of 236x236pxIn January 2010, Obama undertook her first lead role in an administration-wide initiative, which she named "Let's Move!", to make progress in reversing the 21st-century trend of childhood obesity.NEWS,weblink After a Year of Learning, the First Lady Seeks Out a Legacy, April 6, 2010, January 14, 2010, A20, The New York Times, Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, WEB, Darensbourg, Lauren,weblink Let's Move!,, May 27, 2011, August 10, 2011, dead,weblink" title="">weblink August 20, 2011, On February 9, 2010, the First Lady announced Let's Move! and President Barack Obama created the Task Force on Childhood Obesity to review all current programs and create a national plan for change.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, April 13, 2011, White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report to the President | Let's Move!,, December 15, 2012, Michelle Obama said that her goal was to make this effort her legacy: "I want to leave something behind that we can say, 'Because of this time that this person spent here, this thing has changed.' And my hope is that that's going to be in the area of childhood obesity." Her 2012 book (American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America) is based on her experiences with the garden and promotes healthy eating.NEWS, Benac, Nancy, Michelle Obama's Book on Growing Seeds and Healthy Kids,weblink The Ledger, June 1, 2012, Associated Press, Her call for action on healthy eating was repeated by the United States Department of Defense, which has been facing an ever-expanding problem of obesity among recruits.Daniel, Lisa. "Family Matters: Tackling Obesity, for Security's Sake." {{webarchive | |date=July 14, 2012 }} DoD, July 23, 2012.Several Republicans have critiqued or lampooned Obama's initiative. In October 2014, senator Rand Paul linked to Michelle Obama's Twitter account when announcing on the website that he was going to Dunkin' Donuts.NEWS,weblink Rand Paul to Michelle Obama: Look at me â€” I'm at Dunkin' Donuts, October 17, 2014, Washington Times, Cheryl K., Chumley, In January 2016, Chris Christie, Republican Governor of New Jersey and presidential candidate, criticized the First Lady's involvement with healthy eating while he was campaigning in Iowa, arguing that she was using the government to exercise her views on eating.NEWS,weblink Chris Christie: Michelle Obama 'has no business' meddling in school lunches, January 19, 2016, Washington Times, NEWS,weblink Christie Takes a Tougher Tone against Michelle Obama's School-Lunch Reforms, National Review, January 21, 2016, Obama had previously cited Christie as an example of an adult who struggled with obesity, a demographic she sought to diminish by targeting children since Let's Move! was "working with kids when they're young, so that they don't have these direct challenges when they get older."NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: Chris Christie is 'terrific', May 8, 2013, Catalina, Camia, In February, Senator Ted Cruz said that he would end Obama's health policies and return french fries to school cafeterias if his wife was First Lady.NEWS,weblink Ted Cruz Takes Shot at First Lady Michelle Obama,, February 1, 2016,

LGBT rights

(File:Michelle Obama official portrait.jpg|thumb|Obama's first term official portrait.|340x340px)In the 2008 US presidential campaign, Obama boasted to gay Democrat groups of her husband's record on LGBT rights: his support of the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois gender violence act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, and full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, civil unions; along with hate crimes protection for sexual orientation and gender identity and renewed effort to fight HIV and AIDS. They have both opposed amendments proposed to ban same-sex marriage in the federal, California, and Florida constitutions. She said that the US Supreme Court delivered justice in the Lawrence v. Texas case and drew a connection between the struggles for gay rights and civil rights by saying, "We are all only here because of those who marched and bled and died, from Selma to Stonewall, in the pursuit of a more perfect union."NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama speaks to gay Democrats, January 22, 2013, June 27, 2008, Reuters, NEWS,weblink The audacity of hope â€“ 'from Selma to Stonewall{{'-, |accessdate=January 22, 2013|date=June 27, 2008|work=TMP|archiveurl=|archivedate=March 7, 2009}}NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Speaks to LGBT Delegates at Convention Lunch, January 22, 2013, August 27, 2008, Towleroad, After the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell on September 20, 2011, Obama included openly gay service members in her national military families initiative.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Welcomes Gay Families to National Military Initiative, January 22, 2013, September 19, 2011, The Advocate (LGBT magazine), The Advocate, On May 9, 2012, Barack and Michelle Obama came out publicly in favor of same-sex marriage. Prior to this, Michelle Obama had never publicly stated her position on this issue. Senior White House officials said that Michelle Obama and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett had been the two most consistent advocates for same-sex marriage in Barack Obama's life.NEWS,weblink Jarrett, Michelle Obama pushed for gay marriage, May 9, 2012, March 20, 2012, Politico, Michelle said "This is an important issue for millions of Americans, and for Barack and me, it really comes down to the values of fairness and equality we want to pass down to our girls. These are basic values that kids learn at a very young age and that we encourage them to apply in all areas of their lives. And in a country where we teach our children that everyone is equal under the law, discriminating against same-sex couples just isn't right. It's as simple as that."NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Supports Marriage Equality So That 'Everyone Is Equal Under The Law{{'-, |accessdate=January 22, 2013|date=June 1, 2012|work=Washington Wire}}At the 2012 DNC Michelle said, "Barack knows the American Dream because he's lived it ... and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love."NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama, Rahm Emanuel Make Gay Marriage a Selling Point at Convention, January 22, 2013, September 5, 2012, Advertising Age,

Domestic travels

(File:Obama heads to Selma for 50th anniversary speech 150307-F-WU507-020.jpg|thumb|right|Malia and Sasha Obama prepare to enter Air Force One, Michelle Obama and President Obama behind them, on March 7, 2015.)In May 2009, Obama delivered the commencement speech at a graduating ceremony at UC Merced in Merced County, California, the address being praised afterward by students who found her relatable. Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that there was chemistry between Obama and the students.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama inspires UC Merced graduates, May 17, 2009, Kevin, Fagan, In August 2013, Obama attended the 50th anniversary ceremony for the March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial. Positive attention was brought to Obama's attire, a black sleeveless dress with red flowers, designed by Tracy Reese.NEWS,weblink MICHELLE OBAMA WEARS TRACY REESE TO COMMEMORATE MARCH ON WASHINGTON,, August 28, 2013, Tyler, McCall, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama wears Tracy Reese at March on Washington commemoration, Los Angeles Times, Susan, Denley, Reese reacted by releasing a public statement that she was honored the First Lady "would choose to wear one of our designs during the celebration of such a deeply significant historical moment".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama shines in Tracy Reese's flowers, August 28, 2013, USA Today, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Stuns for the March on Washington Anniversary, Hollywood Life, August 28, 2013, Katrina, Mitzeliotis, In March 2015, Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, with her family to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches.NEWS,weblink Selma 50th anniversary jubilee: President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, 100 members Congress converge, March 7, 2015,, After President Obama's remarks there, the Obamas joined original marchers in crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.NEWS,weblink On Selma anniversary, Obama says racial progress made but more needed, March 7, 2015, Reuters, Jeff, Mason, NEWS,weblink President Obama, First Family Lead The Way in Historic March Across Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, The Huffington Post, Lilly, Workneh, March 7, 2015, In July 2015, Obama journeyed to Coachella Valley while coming to Los Angeles for that year's Special Olympics World Games.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama visits Coachella Valley, July 27, 2015, Colin, Atagi, The Desert Sun, In October 2015, Obama was joined by Jill Biden and Prince Harry in visiting a military base in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, an attempt on the prince's part to raise awareness to programs supporting harmed service members.NEWS,weblink Prince Harry Visits Virginia Military Base With Michelle Obama, Jill Biden, October 28, 2015, Huffington Post, In December 2015, Obama traveled with her husband to San Bernardino, California, to meet with families of the victims of a terrorist attack that occurred two weeks earlier.NEWS,weblink President Obama, First Lady Meet With Families of Victims in San Bernardino Terror Attack, December 18, 2015,,

Foreign trips

File:Michelle Obama at National Craft Museum, Delhi, 2010.jpg|thumb|left|Obama with children in DelhiDelhiOn April 1, 2009, Obama met with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace, Obama embracing her before attending an event with world leaders.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama hugs Queen â€“ breaks royal protocol!, Jimmy, Orr, The Christian Science Monitor, April 2, 2009, Obama praised her, though the hug generated controversy for being out of protocol when greeting Elizabeth.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama hugs the Queen, April 2, 2009, The Telegraph, Murray, Wardrop, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama charms Britain, hugs queen, NBC News, April 2, 2009, In April 2010, Obama traveled to Mexico, her first solo visit to a nation.NEWS,weblink Robin Givhan examines Michelle Obama's first trip abroad alone, Robin, Givhan, April 13, 2010, Washington Post, In Mexico, Obama spoke to students, encouraging them to take responsibility for their futures.NEWS,weblink Mexico Embraces Michelle Obama, April 14, 2010, Marc, Lacey, The New York Times, NEWS,weblink First lady Obama arrives in Mexico, April 14, 2010, CNN, Referring to the underprivileged children, Obama argued that "potential can be found in some of the most unlikely places", citing herself and her husband as examples.NEWS,weblink The age of youth: Traveling abroad, first lady Michelle Obama makes kids Topic 1, Robin, Givhan, April 15, 2010, Washington Post, NEWS,weblink First Lady Michelle Obama Says Mexico Still Safe for Travel, April 14, 2010, ABC News, Obama traveled to Africa for the second official trip in June 2011, touring Johannesburg, Cape Town and Botswana and meeting with Graça Machel. Obama was also involved with community events in the foreign countries.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama and her daughters arrive in South Africa, CNN, June 20, 2011, It was commented by White House staff that her trip to Africa would advance the foreign policy of her husband.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama arrives in Africa, her second solo trip abroad as US First Lady, June 21, 2011, Jeffery, Mason, Al Arabiya News, NEWS,weblink First family goes on safari in South Africa, June 25, 2011, Krissah, Thompson, In March 2014, Obama visited China along with her two daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother Marian Robinson. She met with Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, visited historic and cultural sites, as well as a university and two high schools.NEWS, First lady Michelle to visit China with daughters,weblink March 4, 2014, China National News, NEWS,weblink First lady Michelle Obama faces scrutiny for China trip with daughters, mom, March 18, 2014, CBS News, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said that the visit and intent in Obama journeying there was to symbolize "the relationship between the United States and China is not just between leaders, it's a relationship between peoples".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama arrives in China for official visit, March 20, 2014, Michael, Martinez, CNN, NEWS,weblink In China, Michelle Obama calls for universal rights, March 22, 2014, USA Today, In January 2015, Obama traveled to Saudi Arabia alongside her husband, following the death of King Abdullah. She received criticism for not covering her head in a nation where women are forbidden from publicly not doing so,NEWS,weblink Andrew, Marszal, Michelle Obama causes outrage in Saudi Arabia by not wearing headscarf, The Telegraph, January 28, 2015, NEWS,weblink First Lady Michelle Obama Catches Heat For Outfit Choice in Saudi Arabia, CBS New York, January 28, 2015, though Obama was defended for being a foreigner and thus not having to submit to Saudi Arabia's customs,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Doesn't Owe Anyone a Head Scarf, Amy, Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, January 28, 2015, even being praised in some corners.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama picks loose clothing, no scarf in Arabia, Maria, Puente, January 27, 2015, USA Today, Obama was neither greeted nor acknowledged by King Salman during the encounter.NEWS,weblink What Michelle Obama Didn't Wear in Saudi Arabia, January 27, 2015, Emily, Greenhouse, Bloomberg, File:President and First Lady Obama, With Saudi King Salman, Shake Hands With Members of the Saudi Royal Family.jpg|thumb|left|Michelle and Barack Obama with King Salman of Saudi ArabiaSaudi ArabiaIn June 2015, Obama undertook a weeklong trip to London and three Italian cities. In London, she spoke with students about international education for adolescent girls and met with both British Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Harry. She was joined by her two daughters and mother.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama follows predecessors with foreign travel, June 12, 2015, Darlene, Superville, Associated Press, In November, she spent a week in Qatar, her first official visit to the Middle East. She continued advancing her initiative for international education for women by speaking at the 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education for her "Let Girls Learn" initiative in Doha, Qatar and touring a school in Amman, Jordan, where she met with female students.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama to Promote Education Initiative in Mideast Trip, October 28, 2015,, WEB,weblink 5 Things to Know About Michelle Obama's Let Girls Learn Initiative,, February 22, 2019, During the Qatar trip, Obama had intended to visit Jordan as well, but the trip was canceled due to weather conditions. In Jordan, Obama had intended to visit an Amman school, which had been constructed with assistance from U.S. funds.NEWS,weblink 'Disappointed' Michelle Obama calls off Jordan trip,, November 5, 2015, dead,weblink" title="">weblink December 22, 2015, In March 2016, Obama accompanied her husband and children to Cuba in a trip that was seen by the administration as having the possibility of positively impacting relations between the country and America.NEWS,weblink Obama's Cuba visit to augur a 'new beginning' between nations, Christi, Parsons, Tracy Wilkinson, March 18, 2016, Los Angeles Times, NEWS,weblink Malia and Sasha Obama Will Join the President and First Lady for Landmark Cuba Trip, March 17, 2016, Lindsay, Kimble,, Later that month, the First Couple and their daughters traveled to Argentina,NEWS,weblink Obama brings two fuel-guzzlers to serve as Air Force One in Argentina, March 24, 2016, Dave, Boyer, Washington Times, meeting with Argentine President Mauricio Macri.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Tangos in a Magnificent Metallic Dress, March 24, 2016, Jamie, Feldman, Huffington Post, NEWS,weblink Charlotte, Krol, Barack and Michelle Obama tango in Argentina, March 24, 2016, The Telegraph,

Midterm elections

Obama campaigned for Democratic candidates in the 2010 midterm elections,NEWS,weblink Bill Clinton to Follow Michelle Obama in Stumping for Bennet, Michael, Sandoval, October 11, 2010, National Review, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Stumps for Votes, US News, Kenneth T., Walsh, July 28, 2014, making her debut on the campaign trail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Hits Campaign Trail With Soft-Sell Message, October 13, 2010, The New York Times, Sheryl Gay, Stolberg, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama hits campaign trail for Democrats, Nia-Malika, Henderson, The Washington Post, October 13, 2010, By the time she began campaigning, Obama's approval rating was 20 percentage points higher than her husband's.NEWS,weblink The Sweep: 'Reluctant warrior' Michelle Obama dives into midterms, Ed, Henry, October 13, 2010, CNN, Though Obama indicated in January 2010 that a consensus had not been made about whether she would campaign,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: No first-year do-overs, Associated Press, January 13, 2010, NBC News, speculation of her involvement came from her large approval rating as well as reports that she had been invited to speak at events with Democrats such as Barbara Boxer, Mary Jo Kilroy and Joe Sestak.NEWS,weblink Is Michelle Obama Democrats' Secret Weapon?, Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, August 17, 2010, Stuart, Rothenberg, She toured seven states in two weeks within October 2010.NEWS,weblink CNN, Two-thirds give first lady thumbs up, October 13, 2010, Though viewed as essential by the White House, aides reported that she would not become deeply involved with political discussions nor engage Republicans in public disputes.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Campaigns for Democrats in US Midterm Elections, Dan, Robinson, October 13, 2010,, After the elections took place, only six of the thirteen Democratic candidates Obama had campaigned for won. The Los Angeles Times concluded that while Obama was indeed more popular than her husband, her "election scorecard proved no better than his, particularly in her home state".NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama's favored candidates: 6 wins, 7 losses, November 6, 2010, Los Angeles Times, Katherine, Skiba, Michael A. Memoli, File:Michelle Obama at SNHU October 2016.jpg|thumb|Obama speaks at a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign rally at Southern New Hampshire UniversitySouthern New Hampshire UniversityObama was a participant in the 2014 midterm elections, held at a time where her popularity superseded her husband's to such an extent that it was theorized that she would receive a much larger outpour of support in campaigning. Reporting her travel to Denver, Colorado, David Lightman wrote that while Democrats did not want President Obama to campaign for them, "the first lady is very popular".NEWS,weblink October 23, 2014, McClatchyDC, While her husband is shunned, Michelle Obama hits campaign trail, David, Lightman, In May 2014, Obama was found to have a 61% favorable approval rating from a CNN poll, her husband coming in at 43%. In a video released in July, as part of an effort to encourage voter turnout, she called on voters to be "hungry as you were back in 2008 and 2012".NEWS,weblink Jane C., Timm, Michelle Obama on 2014 midterms: Be hungry, Democrats, July 28, 2014, MSNBC, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama to Democrats: Get Hungry for Midterms, July 28, 2014,, Obama appeared at a fundraiser in Georgia in September for Democratic senate candidate Michelle Nunn. Obama's approach to campaigning in Georgia strayed from discussing current events and instead broadly stressed the importance of registering to vote and turning out during the elections.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama hits the campaign trail, Elizabeth, Hartfield, September 8, 2014, CNN, Obama's infrequent appearances came from her dislike of being away from her children and Washington politics as well as her distaste for the opposition by Republicans to her husband's agenda and her view that Democrats in the U.S. Senate had not sufficiently been supporters of her initiatives to end childhood obesity. Obama raised her profile in October,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama in Detroit: Stakes could not be higher in midterm elections,, Khalil, AlHajal, October 10, 2014, NEWS,weblink Kelly, Cohendate=October 4, 2014FIRST=JACKIEDATE=OCTOBER 3, 2014LAST= THOMPSONDATE=NOVEMBER 3, 2014FIRST=RICKNEWSPAPER=CHICAGO TRIBUNE, July 24, 2014,

Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign

Obama endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and made several high-profile speeches in favor of her, including an address at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.WEB,weblink July 26, 2016, Smith, David, The Guardian, Michelle Obama's stirring speech brings Democratic convention to tears, She also appeared multiple times on the campaign trail in either solo or joint appearances with Clinton.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama to rally with Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, October 23, 2016, Politico, On October 13, 2016, Obama heavily criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for the statements he made in a 2005 audio recording while at a Clinton rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.NEWS,weblink 'bragging about sexually assaulting women', October 13, 2016, A week later, Trump attempted to revive past comments Obama made in regards to Clinton during the 2008 presidential election.NEWS,weblink Donald Trump attacks Michelle Obama over 'vicious' Hillary Clinton comments, October 22, 2016, The Independent, NEWS,weblink Trump Hits at Michelle Obama, Cites Her 2008 Criticism of Clinton, The Wall Street Journal,

Public image and style

With the ascent of her husband as a prominent national politician, Obama became a part of popular culture. In May 2006, Essence listed her among "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women".WEB,weblink Michelle Obama, April 5, 2009, Biography (TV series),, A&E Network,weblink" title="">weblink March 25, 2009, NEWS,weblink First Lady style: Michelle Obama, U.K. MSN, April 5, 2009, April 2009, O'Neil, Nicole, In July 2007, Vanity Fair listed her among "10 of the World's Best Dressed People". She was an honorary guest at Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball as a "young'un" paying tribute to the "Legends" who helped pave the way for African-American women. In September 2007, 02138 magazine listed her 58th of 'The Harvard 100'; a list of the prior year's most influential (:Category:Harvard University alumni|Harvard alumni). Her husband was ranked fourth.NEWS, The Harvard 100, 02138, September 2007, In July 2008, she made a repeat appearance on the Vanity Fair international best dressed list.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama makes best-dressed list: For the second year in a row, Obama's style puts her on Vanity Fair's list, October 13, 2008, July 30, 2008, MSNBC, She also appeared on the 2008 People list of best-dressed women and was praised by the magazine for her "classic and confident" look.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama among 10 best dressed women: People magazine, April 4, 2009, September 18, 2008, The Economic Times, India, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama, Rihanna Named To People's Best Dressed List, April 4, 2009, September 17, 2008, Access Hollywood, {{multiple image
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}}At the time of her husband's election, some sources anticipated that as a high-profile African-American woman in a stable marriage Obama would be a positive role model who would influence the view the world has of African-Americans.NEWS,weblink What Michelle Means to Us: We've never had a First Lady quite like Michelle Obama. How she'll change the world's image of African-American women—and the way we see ourselves., January 9, 2009, November 22, 2008, Newsweek, Samuels, Allison,weblink" title="">weblink December 16, 2008, NEWS, Fiori, Pamela, February 2009, She's Got It!, Town & Country (magazine), Town & Country, 78–83,weblink April 4, 2009, Her fashion choices were part of the 2009 Fashion week,WEB,weblink The New Black, April 7, 2009, March 9, 2009, Newsweek, Von Glinow, Kiki, but Obama's influence in the field did not have the impact on the paucity of African-American models who participate, that some thought it might.WEB,weblink Is Michelle Obama Diversifying Model Portfolios? Not So Much, August 24, 2014, February 18, 2009, Newsweek, Soller, Kurt, NEWS,weblink Has the 'Obama Effect' Come to Runway Castings?, April 7, 2009, February 13, 2009, The New York Times, Trebay, Guy, Obama's public support grew in her early months as First Lady, as she was accepted as a role model.NEWS,weblink Michelle's Image: From Off-Putting To Spot-On, April 4, 2009, March 31, 2009, The Washington Post, Romano, Lois, On her first trip abroad in April 2009, she toured a cancer ward with Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Finds Her Role on the World Stage, April 6, 2009, April 2, 2009, Time (magazine), Time, Scherer, Michael, Newsweek described her first trip abroad as an exhibition of her so-called "star power"NEWS,weblink Mixed Review, April 4, 2009, April 3, 2009, Newsweek, Stone, Daniel, and MSN described it as a display of sartorial elegance. Questions were raised by some in the American and British media regarding protocol when the Obamas met Queen Elizabeth IINEWS,weblink The Queen and Mrs. Obama: A Breach in Protocol, April 6, 2009, April 1, 2009, Time (magazine), Time, Chua-Eoan, Howard, and Michelle reciprocated a touch on her back by the Queen during a reception, purportedly against traditional royal etiquette.WEB,weblink Touch Her ... If You Dare, April 6, 2009, April 2, 2009, Newsweek, Bailey, Holly, Palace sources denied that any breach in etiquette had occurred.WEB,weblink G-20 Gossip: No Touching, Please, August 24, 2014, April 1, 2009, Newsweek, Bailey, Holly, Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy due to her sense of style, and also to Barbara Bush for her discipline and decorum.NEWS,weblink She Dresses to Win, October 13, 2008, June 8, 2008, The New York Times, Trebay, Guy, NEWS,weblink Ground Support: Michelle Obama Has Seemed Ambivalent About Barack's'08 Run. But She's Provided The Entree For Him To Give It A Go., November 16, 2008, January 29, 2007, Newsweek, Springen, Karen, Jonathan Darman, yes, Obama's style has been described as "fashion populist".NEWS,weblink Very Little in Common But That 'O', January 9, 2009, November 29, 2008, Newsweek, Connolly, Katie, In 2010, she wore clothes, many high end, from more than 50 design companies with less expensive pieces from J.Crew and Target, and the same year a study found that her patronage was worth an average of {{dollarsign|US}}14 million to a company.NEWS, Horyn, Cathy, First in Fashion,weblink December 28, 2012, The New York Times, March 15, 2013, She became a fashion trendsetter, in particular favoring sleeveless dresses, including her first-term official portrait in a dress by Michael Kors, and her ball gowns designed by Jason Wu for both inaugurals.NEWS, Wilson, Eric, Mrs. Obama in Kors,weblink February 27, 2009, and NEWS, Mrs. Obama's Inaugural Wardrobe by Many Designers,weblink January 21, 2013, The New York Times, March 17, 2013, She has also been known for wearing clothes by African designers such as Mimi Plange, Duro Olowu, Maki Oh, and Osei Duro, and styles such as the Adire fabric.NEWS,weblink Adire: The Love Affair Between Art And Fashion, Guardian, Lagos, Nigeria, July 12, 2016, September 24, 2017, en-US, NEWS,weblink Alain Elkann interviews designer and curator Duro Olowu, April 9, 2017, Alain Elkann Interviews, September 24, 2017, en-US, Obama appeared on the cover and in a photo spread in the March 2009 issue of Vogue.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama makes Vogue cover, February 14, 2009, February 11, 2009, BBC, Every First Lady since Lou Hoover (except Bess Truman) has been in Vogue,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama graces cover of Vogue magazine, February 14, 2009, February 11, 2009, Reuters, Jill, Serjeant, but only Hillary Clinton had previously appeared on the cover.NEWS,weblink All the Rage: The Image Staff Muses On The Culture of Keeping Up Appearance in Hollywood and Beyond, February 14, 2009, February 11, 2009, Los Angeles Times, Tschorn, Adam, Obama later appeared two more times on the cover of Vogue, while First Lady, the last time in December 2016, with photographs by Annie Leibovitz.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama makes third Vogue cover appearance, Kevin, Liptak, November 12, 2016, CNN, November 29, 2016, In August 2011, she became the first woman ever to appear on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and the first person in 48 years.WEB,weblink Better Homes and Gardens put first woman on its cover | BabyCenter Blog,, July 22, 2011, December 14, 2012, During the 2013 Academy Awards, she became the first First Lady to announce the winner of an Oscar (Best Picture which went to Argo).WEB,weblink Michelle Obama surprises Oscars by presenting Best Picture award, February 25, 2013, February 24, 2013, Reuters, The media have been criticized for focusing more on the First Lady's fashion sense than her serious contributions.NEWS,weblink For Mom-in-Chief Michelle Obama and Women Everywhere, It's About Choice, January 10, 2009, November 14, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Felchner, Morgan E., She said after the 2008 election that she would like to focus attention as First Lady on issues of concern to military and working families.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: As Barack's First Lady, I Would Work to Help Working Families and Military Families, January 10, 2009, October 17, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Obama, Michelle, NEWS,weblink The Editor's Desk, January 9, 2009, November 22, 2008, Newsweek, Klaidman, Daniel, In 2008 U.S. News & World Report blogger, PBS host and Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbé argued that Obama's own publicists seemed to be feeding the emphasis on style over substance,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama Is Making Herself a Stay-at-Home Mom, Not the Media, January 10, 2009, November 13, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Erbe, Bonnie, and stated that Obama was miscasting herself by overemphasizing style.NEWS,weblink Barack and Michelle Obama Sound Tone-Deaf on Women's Issues, January 10, 2009, November 6, 2008, U.S. News & World Report, Erbe, Bonnie, {{clear}}

Subsequent activities

In May 2017, during an appearance at the Partnership for a Healthier America conference, Obama rebuked the Trump administration for its delay of a federal requirement designed to increase the nutritional standards for school lunches.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama slams Trump school meals decision, Max, Greenwood, May 12, 2017, The Hill, In June, while attending the WWDC in Silicon Valley, California, Obama called for tech companies to add women for the diversifying of their ranks.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama to Silicon Valley: 'Make room' for women, June 6, 2017, Mark, Hensch, The Hill, In July, Obama honored Eunice Shriver at the 2017 ESPY Awards.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama gets standing ovation at ESPYs, Julia, Manchester, The Hill, July 12, 2017, In September, Obama delivered an address at the tech conference in Utah charging the Trump administration with having a fearful White House,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: WH being led with fear, September 22, 2017, The Hill, Josh, Delk, appeared in a video for the Global Citizens Festival advocating more attention to giving young girls an education,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama delivers message supporting girls education, Brooke, Seipel, The Hill, September 23, 2017, and attended the Inbound 2017 conference in Boston.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: 'Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice', CNN, September 27, 2017, During an October 3 appearance at the Philadelphia Conference for Women, Obama cited a lack of diversity in politics with contributing to lawmakers being distrusted by other groups.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama criticizes lack of diversity in politics: one side is 'all white, all men', Avery, Anapol, The Hill, October 4, 2017, In November, Obama discussed gender disparity in attitudes with Elizabeth Alexander while attending the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago,NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama: We raise men to feel 'entitled', Judy, Kurtz, The Hill, November 1, 2017, and spoke at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, Connecticut.NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama on dealing with difficult times: 'Don't tweet nasty stuff', Josh, Delk, The Hill, November 17, 2017, Obama's memoir, Becoming was released in November 2018. It had sold 10 million copies by late March 2019.WEB,weblink Michelle Obama book sells 10 million copies, 26 March 2019,, NEWS,weblink Michelle Obama's memoir, 'Becoming,' to be released in November, Andrews-Dyer, Helena, February 25, 2018, The Washington Post, March 1, 2018, en-US, 0190-8286, Despite speculation that she would be running for president in 2020, Barack Obama stated during a campaign rally in Nevada that Michelle would not be running for president in 2020. She has previously stated that she has no passion for politics.NEWS,weblink Barack Obama: Michelle is not running for president, Correll, Diana Stancy, October 22, 2018, Washington Examiner, October 26, 2018,

Authored books

Book reviews

  • New York Journal of Books, 2018WEB,weblink Becoming (review), Walter, Clemens, Walter Clemens, New York Journal of Books, October 9, 2018, December 11, 2018,



Further reading

  • BOOK, Michelle Obama, An American Story, Colbert, David, 2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 0-547-24770-2,
  • BOOK, Michelle Obama: First Lady of Hope, Lightfoot, Elizabeth, 2008, The Lyons Press, 1-59921-521-7,weblink
  • BOOK, Michelle Obama, A Life, Mundy, Liza, 2008, Simon & Schuster, 1-4165-9943-6,weblink
  • BOOK, The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own, Chambers, Veronica

, 2017, St. Martin's Press, 978-1-250-11496-9,

External links

{{Commons category|Michelle Obama}}
{{US First Ladies}}{{Barack Obama}}{{Family of Michelle Robinson}}{{Authority control}}

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