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May 22nd, 2009
03:02 PM ET

The Meaning of Michelle Obama

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on Michelle Obama on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/28/first.lady/art.first.lady.jpg]

Nancy Gibbs and Michael Scherer
Time

It was just two days after the Inauguration when an e-mail went around to Michelle Obama's staff, instructing everyone to be in the East Room of the White House at 3 that afternoon. The First Lady's advisers arrived to find the room filled with ushers and plumbers, electricians and maids and kitchen crew gathered in a huge circle, and Michelle in a T shirt and ponytail, very casual and very much in charge.

"This is my team that came with me from Chicago," Michelle said, pointing to her communications staff and policy people. "This is my team who works here already," she went on, indicating the ring of veterans around the room. Many of the household staff had served for decades; some had postponed retirement because they wanted to serve an African-American President. And so the two groups formed concentric rings and spent the next hour or so making sure that everyone had a chance to meet everyone else. I want you to know that you won't be judged based on whether they know your name, Michelle had warned her advisers. You'll be judged based on whether you know theirs.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Michelle Obama
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    Watching Michelle Obama is awe-inspiring – I get it when she says nothing in her life's path would have hinted to her that she would be the country's first lady one day. She shows us that no matter what our path was growing up that we have the power to change that path as we mature. Michelle shows us all that everything is possible.

    May 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  2. Lampe

    MY GOD! Give it a rest already, stop treating her like she's The Queen of England or Mother Theresa. All she is , is another women, who happens to be married to the POTUS. And, neither one of them can WALK ON WATER.

    May 22, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  3. Larry

    The whole world revolves around Chicago.

    May 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  4. kate

    The Lady has Class!! We should all strive to be more like her.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  5. Isabel

    First Lady Michelle is a woman of solid conduct, she knows what to want and defends her ideals very well.

    May 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  6. lam0nt Austin

    All I have to say is 'Leader"

    Lamont Austin

    May 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm |