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Crafting the image of Michelle Obama May 2, 2009

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As President Barack Obama completed his first 100 days in office, many people in the media noted last week that First Lady Michelle Obama has secured a strong public image.  Once depicted as an “angry black woman” by her husband’s political opponents, Michelle Obama had an 84 percent approval rating in a recent New York Times/CBS News poll.  She is often well regarded for her simple sense of style, family values, and relaxed mentality.  However, Michelle Obama is also getting some flack for breaking this mold, as The New York Daily News attacked her last week for wearing a $540 pair of shoes during a major recession.

Michelle’s powerful image, and her missteps, then, raise at least a few interesting questions. But first, consider watching the following videos. The first is a biographical sketch released by the DNC during the election. The second is more commentary on Michelle’s job as First Lady.

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why is it important for Michelle Obama to maintain an excellent public image?

2.  After watching her biographical video posted above, what image do you think the Democratic Party was trying to give her during the campaign?

3.  Did the recent story about Michelle wearing $540 shoes threaten her image?  If so, what should she do from here on out to protect the powerful image she and the campaign has worked so hard to maintain?

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