Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Obama’

IMAGE | Det är lite av en tradition att presidentens fru skall ställa upp för amerikanska modemagasinet Vogue.

Vogue (USA) april 2013

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.

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VIDEO | Första presidentdebatten mellan Barack Obama och Mitt Romney infaller på presidentparets bröllopsdag.

First Lady Michelle Obama har alltid varit populär bland väljarna. Inte konstigt att man försöker använda henne så mycket som möjligt i valkampanjen.

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PRESIDENTENS kampanjstab har länge beklagat att Michelle Obama har velat hålla en låg profil i Vita huset. Detta kan låta otroligt med tanke på att det inte går en dag utan att hon syns i media.

Men nu skall det bli ändring. På henne välbevakade PR-resa till Afrika fick hon t.ex. även till en träff med Nelson Mandela. Detta trots expresidentens sviktande hälsa.

Lois Romano på Newsweek skriver:

Her husband is entering his reelection bid battling rough economic headwinds, against a GOP energized by the successes of the 2010 mid-terms. Barack Obama will need every ounce of his wife’s considerable star power—she’s polling 20 points ahead of her husband—to win reelection. Although the full-throttle campaign is still months away, Michelle is already traveling the country fundraising.


So reluctant has Michelle been to raise her profile that it’s been easy to forget what a ferocious asset she was in the 2008 campaign. Toward the end, thousands of people were pushing into her rallies, shoving babies at her for photos, and mimicking her J.Crew clothes.

Coming off that huge success, Michelle startled the political establishment when she announced that she would limit her public appearances so she could tend to her family. […] The president’s strategists say privately they would have liked her to do some heavier political lifting over the past two years, but that she’s not someone who can be pushed.


Meanwhile, outside allies and advisers have encouraged Michelle’s staff to push the envelope beyond her two signature issues—childhood obesity and helping military families—and raise her profile.


It is a move in the direction toward more substantive exposure, but still shy of embracing the traditional public role that some would like to see.

First ladies essentially step into these unpaid jobs with no official duties and work to carve out an agenda that at best dovetails with the president’s—or at least doesn’t get in his way. History shows that finding the right issues and tone can be a tricky effort. Nancy Reagan was viewed as a vapid California socialite until she latched onto her signature “Just Say No” campaign to discourage teenage drug use. By contrast, Hillary Clinton drew harsh criticism for leading her husband’s failed drive to reform health care. Michelle has come across as neither the doe-eyed adoring wife nor the intense political adviser. But she has been fully engaged in shaping her own image and goals.

Övrigt: Ovanstående tidskriftsomslag är majnumret 2010 av Condé Nast Traveler. Det var första gången tidskriften haft en First Lady på omslaget. Ett annat exempel på medias stora intresse var när linslusen Oprah Winfrey för första gången inte var själv på omslaget till sitt O, The Oprah Magazine. Hon delade på utrymmet med just Obama.

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KOMMUNIKATION: Allting i Washington handlar om politik. Även äktenskapet mellan Barack och Michelle Obama har blivit en del av presidentens politiska varumärke.

Jodi Kantor skriver i The New York Times Magazine:

[T]he Obamas mix politics and romance in a way that no first couple quite have before. [P]hotograph after official White House photograph has shown the Obamas gazing into each other’s eyes while performing one or another official function. Here is a shot of the Obamas entering a Cinco de Mayo reception, his arm draped protectively around her back. Next, a photo of the president placing a kiss on his wife’s cheek after his address on health care to Congress. Poster-size versions of these and other photographs are displayed in rotation along the White House corridors. It’s hard to think of another workplace decorated with such looming evidence of affection between the principal players.

The centrality of the Obama marriage to the president’s political brand opens a new chapter in the debate that has run through, even helped define, their union. Since he first began running for office in 1995, Barack and Michelle Obama have never really stopped struggling over how to combine politics and marriage: how to navigate the long absences, lack of privacy, ossified gender roles and generally stultifying rules that result when public opinion comes to bear on private relationships.

Along the way, they revised some of the standards for how a politician and spouse are supposed to behave. They have spoken more frankly about marriage than most intact couples, especially those running for office, usually do.

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vogue-michelle-obamaMODE: Att vara gift med USA:s president innebär med automatik att media kommer att rapportera minsta lilla uttalande. För att nu inte tala om eventuella förändringar i kjollängd och frisyr.

Mycket av detta beror naturligtvis på att rollen som First Lady – som i realiteten innebär att synas utan att verka – begränsar just medias möjligheter att variera rapporteringen.

Intresset har naturligtvis inte blivit mindre av att paret Obama utstrålar samma ”coola” och ungdomlig fräschhet som president John F. Kennedy och hans fru Jacqueline en gång stod för.

Likheterna är slående. Det skulle därför inte förvåna om någon kampanjmedarbetare i sina kommande memoarer också kommer med något avslöjande att Barack och Michelle Obama av någon medierådgivare fick rekommendationen att studera och kopiera paret Kennedys stil och framtoning.

Det får vara hur det vill med det. Att Michelle Obama har och kommer att ha en fortsatt ”style impact” står utom all tvekan. 

Trots detta kan man inte mer än sucka över mode- och livstilsmagasinens – men även de ”seriösa” mediernas – intetsägande skriverier om Michelle Obamas utseende och kläder.

Så här skriver t.ex. Anna Wintor som är redaktör för amerikanska utgåvan av Vouge;

Change was the clarion call of Barack Obama’s election campaign, though I don’t think any of us at Vogue initially realised that would include the difference that was going to be made by the First Lady Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. It’s inspiring to see our first lady so serene and secure in her personal style.

Som svar på detta en syrlig kommentar från Zoe Williams;

How about that? We all knew change was coming: that we were going to have a president who would shut down Guantanamo Bay, whose election would mark the end of racial injustice that is as old as the nation itself (…) But who knew, folks, that his wife would be able to choose clothes and then wear them? Who knew

Men att befinna sig i Vita huset utan någon politiskt mandat kräver också viktiga överväganden om hur man vill fylla sin roll som First Lady och hur man vill kommunicera detta.

Molly Meijer Wertheimer har studerat hur en rad kvinnor i Vita huset har förvaltat sin tid genom studera deras tal och skrifter och hur de har interagerat med media. Och inte minst hur man har sett på de förväntningar som har funnits från allmänheten och de begränsningar man har uppfattat att rollen som First Lady innebär.

Detta är något Michelle Obama också kommer att behöva ta itu med. Och det kommer inte att bli lättare när man även måste handskas med en massa modejournalisters krav.

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