Michelle Obama Turning 50; What’s Next On Agenda For First Lady?
Michelle Obama turns 50 tomorrow and is celebrating with a ’50 and Fabulous’ party, but many are wondering what will be next in the upcoming three years for the First Lady. While she has proved to be an immensely popular First Lady, some Democrats have expressed disappointment that she hasn’t done more up to this point. Obama hasn’t addressed racial issues specifically and didn’t push for tighter gun control measures after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
However, White House officials believe that she doesn’t want to “spread herself too thin” and instead only focus on a couple of primary issues. “She really wants to have a maximum impact and to do that in fewer areas,” said White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. “[That’s] better than trying to take on every single possible cause that’s a priority for the administration.” Obama has been extremely active with her “Let’s Move” campaign to tackle childhood obesity.
However, Hilary Clinton and Laura Bush were far more vocal about numerous important to them during the second term of their husband’s Presidency and many predict that the First Lady will adopt the same approach. Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff to Mrs. Bush, said that a second term often results in realizing “you have a growing number of issues where you can use your voice and use your platform to support the administration’s causes. You also recognize how fast the time goes that you have this temporary custodianship of this enormous platform, and you jump in there and you do it.”
And while some wouldn’t be surprised if the Obamas addressed race issues more specifically in the coming years, McBride said it may not be in their best interest to do so. “The most important thing to remember is, whether you are black, white or Hispanic, you’re the first lady and the president of all the people in the United States,” she said. That’s a huge melting pot, so to reinforce that she’s African-American over anything else would not be wise.”