04 April 2009

Michelle Omania

Pity the President. His wife's approval ratings (78%) are higher than his o'er here, and she seems to have outshone him o'er there. Between her open displays of affection (for Queen and commoner alike), her largely down-to-earth fashion choices (J Crew over haute couture Dior), and her demeanor, Michelle Obama seems to have won universal acclaim in Europe (you doubt it? Google)--even in France:

“People identify with her, even here, she is seen as a woman of the people,” said Crystal Fleming, who is affiliated with the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. “The French magazine Le Point dubbed her ‘the princess of the people,’ which is pretty impressive when you think about it. She’s an African American woman.”

Fleming said that for non-Americans, Michelle Obama, even more so than her husband, “incarnates how far African-Americans have come, she’s the descendant of slaves, Barack is not, and that is really a source of inspiration that she is in the White House. She is seen as a symbol of progress and source of pride.” (Henderson and Martin)

Mrs. Obama embodies the USA in the best possible way, for she is entirely representative of America's opportunity: a girl from a working-class family, raised without privilege, who studied and worked her way up the socio-economic ladder, and who found success even before meeting a fella named Barack Obama. Far from being detrimental to America, as some pundits portrayed her before the election, Michelle Obama has helped to improve our image--and, thereby, our standing--in the world.

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