About Time Michelle Obama Got Out There

What Women Really Think
Aug. 17 2010 2:32 PM

About Time Michelle Obama Got Out There

Michelle Obama is being sent out to campaign for select Democratic candidates in the fall. She won’t say anything negative, only highlight her husband’s successes. Still, I’m happy to see her out there in the mix. The flap over her recent vacation to Spain , on her husband’s birthday, seemed trivial. We no longer need a first lady who stands beaming at her husband at every possible opportunity and can bake him a chocolate cake. And her rising or falling popularity is not all that interesting either. The public is fickle and bases its judgments of a first lady on very little.

But what I’ve lately started to feel is some anxiety that Michelle Obama will waste this perfect opportunity. Here is a smart, successful woman, the first African-American first lady. And what she’s known for most is her fashion sense. She does fewer appearances than most first ladies, travels less, and even on her pet issue-childhood obesity-spends relatively little time. And her media appearances tend to be in old-fashioned lady journals and on daytime talk shows. Maybe she felt burned by the campaign and so has kept a low profile. But two years later, maybe it’s time to take a risk or two.

Hanna Rosin is the founder of DoubleX and a writer for the Atlantic. She is also the author of The End of Men. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

You Might Not Be Crazy if You Think You Can Hear the Earth Humming

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 6:39 PM Spoiler Special: Transparent
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?