Michelle Obama more popular than ever (or anyone, come to that)

The perils of popularity!             (ap)

While President Obama's approval ratings are hovering at 50 percent, first lady Michelle Obama is enjoying a 62 percent favorability, according to Rasmussen Reports. Her numbers are up four points from last month and represent her highest favorables in several months.

Lesson: Playing it safe pays off. The first lady, once a controversial figure during the campaign, has successfully rebranded her image to be softer, more nurturing, approachable — non-controversial. What is she best known for? Her clothes and figure, the White House kitchen garden, and her visits with schoolchildren.

It's a trick that former first lady Laura Bush pulled off just as well, and it's clear that Mrs. Obama has taken a page from her predecessor, whom Obama has said she admires. Mrs. Bush is formidable, sometimes icy, with an iron spine — and yet she was generally misunderstood to be merely a gentle librarian (not unlike her mother-in-law, former first lady Barbara Bush, a tough matriarch popularly perceived as an avuncular grandma).

A popular first lady is a huge asset to any president, and the Obama administration is likely to deploy Michelle Obama in much the same way the Bush administration used Laura Bush during election years — dispatching her to fundraisers and rallies in support of Democratic candidates.

It would be a newish role for the first lady, who has mostly steered clear of an overtly political or policy role (despite her strong credentials and reported interest in a more robust portfolio).

It could be slightly tricky: Right after the election, 62 percent of voters said they expected Michelle Obama to be an activist first lady, according to Rasmussen. One year later, after seeing her in action, that number has dropped to 56 percent.

 

 

 

 

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Breed declares local emergency to counter threat of coronavirus

City officials warn against discrimination while they prepare for the possibility of an outbreak.

Tumlin apologizes after Muni subway suffers five breakdowns in three hours

Agency working on fixes for aging train control system and cars

SF approves facility for homeless youth in Lower Nob Hill

Approval of navigation center latest expansion in city portfolio of shelter beds

Man suing SFPD alleging officers beat him with batons

Cop attorney fires back: police were ‘interrupting a dangerous domestic violence incident’

Driver arrested after vehicle strikes 2 pedestrians in Haight Ashbury

An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide for… Continue reading

Most Read