Sunday, April 22, 2007

Barack's rock

A nice article about Michelle Obama from tomorrow's Chicago Tribune:
MAKING OF A CANDIDATE Sixth in an occasional series

Barack's rock

Obama calls wife Michelle 'an unbelievable professional, and partner, and mother, and wife'—and integral to his campaign

By Christi Parsons, Bruce Japsen and Bob Secter
Tribune staff reporters,1,5447838.story?coll=chi-news-hed

April 22, 2007

The featured speaker at a luncheon, Michelle Obama is about to ask a crowd of influential Chicago women to commit their hearts and wallets to her husband's presidential campaign.

But first she's going to make sure they know that U.S. Sen. Barack Obama forgot to put the butter away this morning.

"I'm like, 'You're just asking for it,' " she says, sending an exasperated look toward the candidate. " 'You know I'm giving a speech about you today.' "

Ultimately, she praises her husband as a gifted leader who deeply understands the struggles of American women, and she asks far more directly than he does for the crowd's financial and political support.

But Michelle Obama, 43, has a reputation for telling it like she thinks it is—whether about the butter, her husband's ongoing effort to quit smoking or his political priorities. And though she's lighthearted in her critiques, she never plays the role of the deferential political wife.

"He's a gifted man," she tells the audience, "but, in the end, he's just a man."

The fact that the crowd responds with laughter and a long, warm ovation is a good sign for the Obama team.

One of its most formidable tasks, after all, is to win over Democratic-leaning women tempted to help make Sen. Hillary Clinton the first woman president, and Michelle Obama figures prominently in the promotion strategy. She's a charismatic public speaker, an accomplished professional whose life as a working parent looks familiar to all kinds of women.


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