There is a certain majesty about the way Michelle Obama approaches her role. It shows, at the same time, a humility, and in some ways, the spirit of a community organizer. When she was talking about being mom in chief, she’s not saying that she’s exclusively concerned about her own family, but rather the role mothers have played in the whole society.
—Lani Guinier, professor of law, Harvard University
A Friendly Neighbor: Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist and CNN commentator
A-Plus: Congressman James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, House Majority Whip
21st Century Ambassador: Vishakha Desai, president, Asia Society
Not About PR: Dorothy Height, chair and president emerita, National Council of Negro Women
Black Love Guru: Cathy Hughes, CEO, Radio One
An American Mother: Rep. John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia
Working It Out: Julianne Malveaux, president, Bennett College for Women
Carrying Her Own Head: Susan L. Taylor, former editor, Essence
Rock Star: Baratunde Thurston, editor, The Onion
Gardener in Chief: Alice Waters, restaurant owner and activist
Covers the White House and Washington for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.