Michelle Obama: Cover Girl, Cover Girl, Cover Girl
You better be ready for a lot of her in coming days.
Potential first lady Michelle Obama will dominate the pages of three major magazines this month. She'll appear by herself on the cover of Ebony and with her husband, Barack, on the cover of Ladies' Home Journal. And, as the Ticket previously reported, in the pages of Harper's Bazaar, she'll be played by supermodel Tyra Banks.
Yes, it's true. Earlier rumors that Banks dressed up like Michelle Obama and cavorted around a faux White House with a Barack Obama look-alike for the September issue of the magazine have been confirmed. Here's a link to a video documenting the baffling photo shoot.
No word yet on what the Obamas think about all this. But they're going on vacation in the face of the developing "Obama fatigue" and probably don't care.
Meanwhile, here's an excerpt from their interview in Ladies' Home Journal, which hits newsstands August 17. In it, the pair open up about how they deal with problems in their marriage, the role women will play in this election, and whether or not Michelle would play a role in an Obama White House.
Barack Obama: “Michelle is one of the smartest people I know. She is my chief counsel and advisor. I would never make big decisions without asking her opinion. Certainly about my career and my life.
"My sense is — and I’ll let her speak for herself here — that she’d probably be more interested in having a set of projects that were driven by her interests and her desires, as opposed to me handing her some sort of portfolio and saying, ‘Here, do this.’”
Michelle Obama: “There are a ton of issues that I care deeply about. But the notion of sitting around the table with a set of policy advisors — no offense — makes me yawn [laughter].
"I like creating stuff. I’d love to be working with young people. I’d love to be having more conversations with military spouses. I’ve learned not to let other people push you into something that fundamentally isn’t you.”
On marital problems:
MO: “There were a lot of things time-wise that he couldn’t provide because he was not there. So, how do I stop being ...
... mad at him and start problem solving, and cobble together the resources?
"I also had to admit that I needed space and I needed time. And the more time that I could get to myself, the less stress I felt. So it was a growth process for me individually and for us as a couple. He had to grow, too.”
On being a father:
BO: “As somebody who didn’t grow up with a father in the home, I like having men come up to me saying, ‘You know, I’m really glad you’re a good father.’ I like that maybe some little boy somewhere who doesn’t have a dad in his house sees Michelle and the girls and me out somewhere and is going to carry that image in his head with him somewhere down the road.”
On the presidency:
BO: “If you were not occasionally jolted awake at three in the morning thinking about ... the magnitude of the work that has to be done, then you probably shouldn’t be president. It’s a big job. The thing that keeps me awake at night is not the prospect of losing. It’s the prospect of winning and governing.”
On women’s roles in this election:
BO: “In this election the issues of the economy are ones that women are going to particularly feel and be concerned about. But I also think the fact that Senator [Hillary] Clinton ran such an outstanding campaign and inspired so many women to think about that glass ceiling — not just in politics but in all walks of life — makes the women’s vote particularly important this year.”
On raising a family:
MO: “It’s a unit that raises a child. As far as I’m concerned, in this couple, Barack is the person who has the skill, the inclination, the desire, the ability to be in politics. I have no desire.
"So that’s a good thing, in my view, since someone has to be focusing on the kids — and that’s me. But it could easily be him. There’s no reason why the nurturing has to come from Mom — it just has to be there.”
His grandmother’s thoughts:
BO: “My grandmother was not wild about me going into politics. She liked the idea of me being a judge. She thought that was a more sensible pursuit, and not as nasty.”
What to look for in a leader:
MO: “It touches me when our girls touch him. Whether it’s with a story or a word. You can see it in his face. That’s the leader I want: somebody who is so moved by his own children that he’ll go out there and fight for everyone else’s.”
On finding his identity:
BO: “I had to shape my identity, in some ways, on my own. It wasn’t until I came to Chicago and started immersing myself in the work of rebuilding communities that I saw how my own story of an absent father or my teenage rebellion started to fit in with the stories of African-Americans I was meeting all across the South Side of Chicago.”
On the government:
BO: “The government can’t solve every problem, but an enlightened government can make sure that people can work hard for their dreams and achieve them. Government can knock down barriers so that families are in a stronger position. And that’s what we’re going to be fighting for in this election.”
-- Kate Linthicum
Photo credits: Top, Ebony magazine. Inset, George Lange for Ladies’ Home Journal.