Who run the world? Girls. This week the first lady made a speech to some New York City College graduates which focused on the importance of diversity and immigration for America, but it also came with a not-so-subtle dig at Republican nominee Donald Trump. Michelle Obama didn’t say his name but she criticized leaders who name-call, build walls and demonize and dehumanize people. This latest attack on Trump topped off a week-long tag-team effort between the Obamas and Hillary Clinton, giving voters a sneak peek at the Democratic strategy for the general election. But having stepped into the boxing ring alongside her husband in order to score political points, has Michelle overstepped the line in acceptable first lady behavior?
This is not the first time Michelle has used her status and popularity to support the Democratic cause – she is on television almost as much as her husband and is well known for her strong stance on gun control, LGBT rights and gender rights. In a year where the United States may have its first woman president, many are asking whether Michelle will follow in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps. Her consistently high approval ratings and intimate knowledge of the White House could translate into a viable path to the presidency, and, like Hillary, she is used to countering personal attacks and speaking her mind. Of course she has never indicated that she has political ambitions, but stranger candidates have stepped forward in this political cycle.
Traditionally America’s most popular first ladies kept their opinions out of public sight and adhered to the role of the devoted Stepford wife. Opinion polls show that the public loves a traditional first lady, but Michelle has been breaking barriers since she entered the White House and her role model status speaks for itself. And this year is all about breaking with tradition – the first lady in 2017 may well be a first gentleman or a Slovenian immigrant. So whether you agree with Michelle’s actions or not, deviating from the norm has certainly helped her husband’s presidency, and that kind of power should never be underestimated.
First wives have all the fun. Movie for your mood: The First Wives Club