September 18th, 2009
09:55 PM ET

Michelle Obama could be secret weapon in health care reform

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/18/michelle.obama.health.reform/art.michelleobama.gi.jpg caption="First lady Michelle Obama listens to remarks during a health care forum at the White House on Friday."]

Ed Hornick

She stood by her husband throughout the contentious 2008 presidential campaign and during heated health care reform debates during his presidency.

Now, as the reform debate is reaching a fever pitch, first lady Michelle Obama is weighing in on the issue by focusing on how health care can affect families.

"What she's doing is putting a personal and human face on the issue ... there's nothing more crucial," said Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn. "Everybody gets sick, and everybody has someone in the family that gets sick."

"I think if you can humanize it and personalize it, it suddenly brings it home to people - especially those who are screaming and yelling about the government taking over," Quinn said.

On Friday, the first lady, a former hospital administrator, spoke about the issue to a crowd at the White House, highlighting her own family's experience with health care.

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Bringing in her Chicago Hospital experience that got her a big pay raise while Barack was State Health boss. You may want to interview the people who picketed the hospital protesting against her changes.

    September 19, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  2. Amanda

    Here's what they should do if people are really serious about not wanting government run healthcare...get rid of ALL of it. Including medicare, medicaid,etc...those are all government run too. I'll bet if they did that, within a few months people would be singing a different tune.

    September 19, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  3. Linda

    Unlike some of our Congressmen and women, at least Michelle Obama understands the need for health care reform and has the professional credentials and personal experience to back up her statements.

    September 18, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    I saw CNN coverage of Michelle Obama's speech for health care reform and as usual she brought it home like the great mother, wife and daughter she is. I am a grandmother of four. My two children were in college when the Clinton's tried to pass health care reform. I was for it then and I am for it now. I was forced into early retirement from my job as a court reporter due to a repetitive injury. My repetitive injury affects my central nervous system. I am without insurance because I can not afford it due to the pre-existing conditions of the sydrome I have. My family can not provide insurance for me because they have to take care of their families. I do not know whether a better quality of life will be granted to me, but I remain hopeful that my country will not let me down. I did what was I supposed to do to gurantee me a comfortable life after work and now I found myself very unsure. The government by the people and for the people owe its citizens a recovery that they can protect and give them hope. The government should not err on the side of the people.

    September 18, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  5. Richard W. Royal

    I think the first lady did an outstanding job. I am so glad to see her involved with health care. I think she should be out on the front line. Even though we did not elect her, I think she is in a position to have a strong voice. Again, very good job.

    September 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  6. SLM

    If she is considered their secret weapon, they are more desperate than we realized. Doesn't matter who sends the message, we don't want it.

    September 18, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Michelle might can help but I have my doubts that her help will be enough to pull the health care reform out of the proverbial hat to where it can be passed into law. Too many people yelling and not listening and I doubt they will close their mouths and open up their opinions and minds to any message she may try to convey. At best she will solidfy the support for the bill among people who already support it or are inclined to support it.

    September 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  8. JD

    How nice to hear some good news for a change & hear about our First Lady making some positive & caring, personalized, effort for a good cause

    September 18, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  9. Enough

    Nice try! Is she willing to give up her insurance and hop on Obama care? If not, she's done, there is no reason to listen to her.

    September 18, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Conserve' for USA

    The president must be getting scared because he is pulling out the big guns, now!

    September 18, 2009 at 5:10 pm |