Preach, Michelle: 5 Things We Want to Hear From the First Lady

In her husband’s second term, we are hoping that a no-holds-barred Mrs. Obama will re-emerge.

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ROBYN BECK

(The Root)—In less than three months, President Barack Obama will celebrate the anniversary of being sworn in for his second term as president. Although many conservatives are looking ahead with anticipation to the end of his final term in office, many liberals are looking ahead with the hope that in his final years as commander in chief, the president might begin pushing a more aggressively progressive agenda.

Then there are those of us who are hoping that in the president’s final term, we might get to see the Michelle Obama we haven’t seen since the early days of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Though she now enjoys an approval rating much higher than her husband’s (his is currently at an all-time low, while hers consistently hovers in the 60s), that was not the case on the campaign trail five years ago.

Voters had trouble connecting with the nearly 6-foot-tall lawyer-turned-hospital executive, who campaigned in her power suits. When she made a clumsily worded remark about being proud of her country following her husband’s early primary win, her image took a hit, and the makeover of Michelle Obama began in earnest. Gone were the power suits, replaced by the pastel cardigans and floral prints we are all used to seeing today. And gone was the woman the Rev. Al Sharpton once described in a New York magazine article as follows:

“Sharpton thinks Obama should take more cues from his wife, Michelle. He still thinks about the time he bumped into her at a recent Chicago fund-raiser. He claims the conversation went like this.

‘How you doing, Mrs. Obama?’

She’s tall, and looked down at him. ‘I’d do a lot better if we had your endorsement.’

Sharpton tried to play dumb. ‘What do you mean?’

‘We need your endorsement. I’m just telling you straight out: We need your endorsement. What are you going to do?’

Sharpton didn’t know what to say. ‘I’m like, ‘Uh, well, duh.’ I mean, she was like a sister back in Brownsville, where I grew up!’”

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