IMAGE | Det är lite av en tradition att presidentens fru skall ställa upp för amerikanska modemagasinet Vogue.
Det började på 1920-talet när Lou Henry Hoover, president Herbert Hoovers fru, fotograferades av Edward Steichen.
Bättre PR får man leta efter. Riskerna är minimala. Frågorna är softa. Och bilderna alltid smickrande.
Trots att allt är väldigt orkestrerat får också i bästa fall också en känsla för hur huvudpersonen bakom titlarna.
Och ingen gör så bra PR för presidentparet som presidentparet själva.
En kort tid efter valet intervjuade Jonathan Van Meter med First Lady Michelle Obama och president Barack Obama
When I ask the First Lady if her husband’s mellow nature is what gets interpreted as “aloof,” she says, “Absolutely. I mean, I don’t know what people expect to see in a president. Maybe they want him to yell and scream at somebody at some point. Sometimes I’d like him to do that.” She laughs and looks at him. “But that’s just not how he deals with stress. And I think that’s something we want in our leaders.”
“It is true that I don’t get too high or I don’t get too low, day to day,” the president says. “Partly because I try to bring to the job a longer-term time frame. I’m a history buff, and I know that big changes take time. But I also know that, setting politics aside, usually things are never as good as you think they are or as bad as you think they are. And that has served me well temperamentally.”
As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded me, the Obamas went from relative anonymity to worldwide superfame—potent symbols of once-unimaginable progress—in the blink of an eye. Most couples take the long road to the White House; the Obamas’ zip-line arrival left them no time to develop the public personas presumed to be essential for surviving a life subject to that level of scrutiny. “There is a distance that naturally happens as you rise up the political ladder,” says Jarrett. “And I think because his rise happened so fast there was no time to create that distance.”
The president chooses to see their rapid ascent as an advantage. “I think that’s been very helpful . . .” he says. “We were pretty much who we are by the time I hit the national scene. We didn’t grow up or come of age under a spotlight. We were anonymous folks. I was a state senator, but nobody knows who a state senator is. So most of our 30s and 40s were as a typical middle-class family. . . . That really didn’t change until I was 45 years old. And there’s something about having lived a normal life and raised kids.”
“Now, in fairness,” says the president, “there is one thing that’s changed.” The First Lady looks at him. “What’s that?”
“Which is, I used to only have, like, two suits,” he says.
Now you must have dozens, I say.
“Thank God,” she says. “Now, let me tell you: This is the man who still boasts about, This khaki pair of pants I’ve had since I was 20.” The president throws his head back, laughing. “And I’m like, ‘You don’t want to brag about that.’ ” Jay Carney and the young staffers from the White House press office, who are all sitting on a sofa on the other side of the room, crack up.
“Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song,” says the president. “ ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.”
“The girls and I are always rooting when he wears, like, a stripe. They’re like, ‘Dad! Oh, you look so handsome. Oh, stripes! You go!’ ”
Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är amerikanska Vogue, april 2013. Fotograf var Annie Leibovitz. Detta är inte första gången hon fotograferar en presient.