President Obama and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, have taken the stage in Europe. While the G-20 Summit frames the visit by the American President, Michelle Obama has become an iconic presence. Like Princess Diana of Great Britain, Mrs. Obama is known for her compassion, style, charisma – and her high profile marriage.
The public stage of 2009 is as broad as the planet, with the play being broadcast around the globe in real time. Every now and then, unpredictably and without forethought, a person rises from the ashes of world despair to bring fresh optimism and hope. Princess Diana was one such world figure. Michelle Obama is that public figure of the early 21st Century.
President Obama is engaged is some of the most serious issues facing this generation. Even with this backdrop, the First Lady often eclipses the President in the evening news. The President and First Lady met with the Queen of England two days ago – The news carried some of the President’s visit, but focused on the First Lady. In an unusual parting from royal protocol, the Queen put her arm around the Mrs. Obama, and Mrs. Obama returned the gesture. No one is supposed to touch the Queen (thankfully a rather strange idea for most of us Americans). When the gesture was challenged by the desperate media, the Queen intervened to report the gesture was simply one of affection – with no disrespect by either party.
Michelle Obama went on to visit a girl’s school in London, giving an emotionally charged appeal to the young ladies to have faith in themselves. Mrs. Obama focused on two issues – Education for girls, and healthy relationships with men. While the leaders of the twenty most powerful economic powers were meeting, each granting his/her own press conference, Mrs. Obama captured the world media stage.
Like Princess Diana, First Lady Michelle Obama has captured the imagination, the hopes and dreams, and the energy of a generation. Her power to permanently influence the lives of others is indisputable. Like Princess Diana her power does not come from her office; her power comes from grace, humility, charm, intelligence, perseverance, hard work, education, and marrying well.
I added the marrying well as a last thought. Michelle Obama would be so powerful on any stage, with or without a husband.
We can only imagine what Michelle Obama’s future holds.
The hoopla aver Mrs Obama gained some attention by Jon Stewart:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M – Th 11p / 10c|
|The Poisonous Queen|
And here is Arianna Huffington on Mrs. Obama: