If She Doesn't Want to Be the Cookie-Baker Michelle Must Stop Making Tea; Power's People
When she first met Barack Obama, Michelle Williams was a senior lawyer detailed to teach the new recruit the ropes. She was much further up the pecking order and, personally as well as professionally, considered herself well out of wet-behind-the-ears Obama's league - he has admitted that she took much persuading to date him.
The hugely ambitious and determined great-granddaughter of a slave, working her way through the ranks of a blue-chip legal firm, young Michelle Williams hardly envisaged a future where her role would be to wear pretty dresses and watch opera and eat fancy lunches while her husband got on with serious matters.
I doubt, in fact, that young woman would recognise herself in the queen bee of the First Wives Club, whose sole purpose is to keep her upper arms toned, her heels low and her wardrobe modestly glamorous. She was hailed, in the immediate post-election euphoria, as a role model for working mothers everywhere, but that was a short-lived vocation.
Because the truth is that Americans' don't like their First Ladies soiling their hands with real work, or getting notions above their gilded station - remember how Hillary Clinton had to eat humble pie, along with plates of Barbara Bush's home-made biscuits, after she remarked that she wouldn't be the sort of White House wife who 'stayed home and baked cookies'? …