It was widely reported that former first lady Laura Bush played a role in convincing her husband to consider nominating a woman, attorney Harriet Miers, to the Supreme Court. Though Miers ended up withdrawing from consideration, the first lady’s private advocacy on her behalf was a reminder of the often quiet power that a first lady can wield.
There have been two African-American male Supreme Court justices (Thurgood Marshall and now Clarence Thomas), and Sonia Sotomayor became the court’s first Latina justice. But so far there has not been a black female justice. It would be nice to see one (who is qualified, of course) before the first black president leaves office. (Here is a helpful list of possible black female nominees for the president and his team to reference in case they need ideas.) Here’s hoping the first lady uses her behind-the-scenes influence the same way the previous first lady tried to use hers.
4. “Sometimes I’m an angry black woman, and I have every right to be.”
During an interview with Gayle King about a controversial book about her marriage, the first lady responded, “I guess it’s just more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here. That’s been an image people have tried to paint of me since the day Barack announced, that I’m some kind of angry black woman.”
Well, guess what; Michelle Obama has more than a few reasons to be angry—from the National Rifle Association pulling her children into a political fight, to endless lies and racially charged language aimed at her and her family. Is Michelle Obama a black female stereotype? Hardly. But does she have a right to occasionally get angry, as all of us do? Absolutely.
5. “Here’s what I really think of … ”
Everybody from Ted Cruz to Sarah Palin to Bill Clinton. There are so many Barack Obama critics for whom we all know Michelle Obama has some choice words behind closed doors. Although she will likely save the really juicy stuff for her memoirs, it would be nice to see a teaser in her final year in the White House. If nothing else, could she at least tell us why she really rolled her eyes at John Boehner?
Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.