Michelle's To-Do List

By Cottle, Michelle | Newsweek, November 19, 2012 | Go to article overview

Michelle's To-Do List


Cottle, Michelle, Newsweek


Byline: Michelle Cottle

Can the first lady finally win over Washington?

Let's say you're Michelle Obama. You fall for an inspirational com munity organizer with a taste for politics. Up the ladder he zips, from state Senate to U.S. Senate to--OMG!--the presidency, as you scramble to pick up the slack on the homefront and satisfy the increasingly insane demands of political spousedom.

Now imagine waking up on Nov. 7, 2012, with the realization that your hubby has won not simply his toughest political race but also his last. Ever. A second White House term stretches before you, only this time with hard-won experience under your stylishly wide belt and without the paralyzing shadow of that next election looming overhead.

Faced with such freedom and opportunity, what would you do with the next four years: Travel? Throw more state din ners? Write another book? Team up with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban Big Gulps? Organize a biweekly bipartisan P90X workout with congressional spouses in the White House gym? Don't get too carried away. Michelle Obama has already said that her second-term focus will be pretty much the same as her first term's: combating America's bal looning waistline.

And why shouldn't she stay the course? asks Democratic strategist Donna Brazile. "It's worked."

Still, some political veterans dare to dream of a bigger, bolder agenda for the first lady, including action items such as:

1. Embrace race. If ever there was a moment to spotlight the plight of minority youth, this is it, asserts top Democratic lobbyist Hilary Rosen. Citing the unlikelihood of our having another black first couple any time soon, Rosen hopes Mrs. Obama will do "whatever she can to inspire young African-American boys and girls to reach higher and break the cycle of a disproportion ate amount of school dropouts and low self-esteem.

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