Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Michelle Obama - should she be more active in the White House?

I think Michelle Obama is an interesting case. Not only is she the wife of the first African American President, but she is also a Princeton grad, a fashionista, and a mother of two children. Clearly, Mrs. Obama has a lot on her shoulders, but I constantly wonder why she is not motivated to be more active in the White House.

At the University of California Merced, Michelle spoke to the graduating class and urged them to be bold and embrace challenges. Her words are wise, and she continues to successfuly caputre the nation with her friendly aura. Students at the university were very happy to have Michelle there, and one student commented on the role Michelle Obama plays.

"I think she's just a new modern type of role model for women. She's incredibly intelligent, well spoken, and she's just interesting," she said.

"It's very good to see the White House pushing people to help others. That's what my university's always done too." (Piya Radia, BBC Newsbeat)

I agree with Piya, Mrs. Obama is a role model. But still, I long for a woman in the White House, not just a Mom-in-Chief, which I think is great, but a Woman-in-Chief. During the Clinton Presidency, we all know that Hillary was very active, and she was able to make positive changes. Now, I hope, Michelle will realize the power of her position and maybe take on some more polticially charged tasks. Of course, she's already been around the world and is helping, I just want to see more! I have high hopes for both President Barack Obama and Michelle.


Jenna said...

I strongly agree. Lets have more news stories about the work she does and less stories on the clothes she wears.

Bonnie said...

I'm not really sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I can understand the desire for Michelle Obama to be active in the White House - but from my perspective, it seems as though she already is. She's launched a major campaign of national public service and has been an advocate for better public schools. She is a phenomenal speaker, and when she and Lily Ledbetter came to speak at my school, I was completely inspired.

The thing that most unsettles me though is that you say you don't want "just a Mom-In-Chief". I think I understand your point - that you don't want someone who neglects the opportunity of this platform, but saying that Michelle Obama is "just a Mom-In-Chief" is downplaying the importance of that role. Having two young children in the White House hasn't happened in decades, and I think it's critical that we don't underestimate the amount of parenting that is expected from Michelle Obama. If she were to even be perceived as at all neglectful of her daughters, the media would blast her like they did Hillary Clinton. Now that she is somehow balancing her childcare with her spectacular public service, we say she isn't doing enough. I think that Michelle - like any mother - has expectations on her that are unrealistic and unfair, and we should try not to add to them.

Lauren said...

Also bear in mind that Obama's term has JUST begun. I'm sure Michelle has a lot in store.

Laura said...

Yes, I agree with Bonnie. Many of us have discussed the fact that Michelle, while incredibly talented and capable of holding a position in politics, was not actually elected by the American people to hold political office.

Like Bonnie has said, if Michelle did neglect her children, the media would pounce on that. It would be easy to create drama about being a bad mother and so on, which seems very untrue.

I have become curious to find out what the actual responsibilities of first ladies are, and the official white house website states that "The position of First Lady carries no official duties, so each First Lady has served her nation according to her own wishes and interests." Thus, I am sure Michelle will continue to work in areas of her own interest and expertise, but for now, people should give her a break!