How Will Michelle Obama Make Her Mark?

By Samuels, Allison | Newsweek, November 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

How Will Michelle Obama Make Her Mark?


Samuels, Allison, Newsweek


Byline: Allison Samuels

Military families, organic gardening, and a failed Olympic bid do not a lasting legacy make.

Michelle Obama decided to go all in. Ever since her husband took office in January, the first lady has been cautious about the causes she embraced. But with her hometown of Chicago vying to host the 2016 Olympics, Michelle boarded a plane to Copenhagen last month to make a personal appeal. She brought along Oprah Winfrey, worked her sleeveless charm on the assembled dignitaries, and even lunched with the Queen of Denmark. Her efforts culminated in a passionate televised speech to the International Olympic -Committee---perhaps her most high-profile advocacy ever. Then it all fell flat. Rio won the Olympic bid; Chicago never made it to the final round.

Friends say Michelle was heartbroken by the surprise defeat. But I hope she won't be discouraged for long. Even if her push did not pay off, Copenhagen provided a glimpse of what Michelle can be like when she wants something: determined, focused, spirited, graceful. We saw flashes of that Michelle during her husband's campaign. But in the year since the election, she's mostly played it safe, dabbling in traditional East Wing issues--much like the first ladies before her--without yet gaining much traction on any particular front.

OK, expectations were impossibly high when Michelle stepped into the role of first lady in January. African-American women in particular followed her every move--from her attention-getting wardrobe choices to her brief remarks on domestic policy. The truth is, she's done pretty much what she said she'd do. She's served as the "mom in chief" helping her family adjust to life in Washington. She's opened the White House doors to local residents for evenings of mentoring and jazz music. Her schedule--which is typically jampacked on the three days of the week she holds public events--has included more than 50 visits to schools and community centers. She's accompanied the president to seven countries on three different trips. She's also made good on her vow to take up the problems of military families by visiting bases regularly to personally hear their stories of pain and loss--tales she relays to White House staffers back home. She's even been Hula-Hooping with kids on the White House lawn to play up the virtues of exercise and healthy eating.

But I selfishly yearn for more. I want to know how she feels about children killing children back in her hometown of Chicago. Or whether she has any ideas about how to stop the ever-increasing numbers of African-American women falling victim to AIDS. That's a huge problem in her own backyard: at least 3 percent of Washington, D. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

How Will Michelle Obama Make Her Mark?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.