Michelle Obama arrives. And she’s in Charlotte, too.

First lady Michelle Obama, right, appears on the stage with actor Kal Penn for filming a campaign video, as a Secret Service agent watches the floor at the Democratic National Convention inside in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday. AP/Jae C. Hong

First lady Michelle Obama, right, appears on the stage with actor Kal Penn for filming a campaign video, as a Secret Service agent watches the floor at the Democratic National Convention inside in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday. AP/Jae C. Hong

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For Democrats, 2012 is not 2008. On many levels, and this includes unresponding economy, this is a bad thing.

But when it comes to Michelle Obama, the passage of four years is a very, very good thing for her husband.

The skeptical, hard-edged woman and mother who stumbled through much of 2008 today made her own smooth and self-possessed entrance in the arena where the Democratic National Convention will convene on Tuesday.

Hers will be the most important speech on opening night. Her calendar is filled through the week.

Last week in Tampa, Ann Romney declared that her marriage to the GOP presidential candidate was no storybook union. It was filled with the challenge of raising a brood of sons and the banes of multiple sclerosis and breast cancer.

It’s unlikely that Michelle Obama is likely to talk about what made her married life difficult. Because the answer would be, in large part, her husband’s political ambitions.

Last January, New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor published her book, “The Obamas.” It’s a look at what may be the most important marriage of the decade. The paperbook edition ($16, Little Brown) is now out.

Kantor will be speaking in Dunwoody on Sept. 12 at the annual book festival sponsored by the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

The book was founded upon a 2009 interview that Kantor had with the First Couple. “The reason I wrote the book is because I saw the Obamas changing so much in office,” Kantor said Monday. “When we met them in 2008 they were really outsiders to presidential politics.”

Kantor quickly concedes that her approach has a precedent – “No Ordinary Time,” by Doris Kearns Goodwin, which attempts to examine Franklin Delano Roosevelt through his relationship with his wife Eleanor.

Except that Kantor’s book resonates with tensions any family might recognize. Here’s a post-election something from Kantor you may not have known:

mobama1

Only a handful of friends and aides knew that Michelle was considering: staying behind in Chicago with her daughters for the rest of the school year while the new president moved to Washington alone.

As if the presidency was a promotion to vice president of sales for a modest corporation that would land them in Omaha.

“One of the admirable things about the Obama is that they’ve never pretended their marriage was perfect,” Kantor said. “Half of Chicago knew that Michelle Obama had disapproved of her husband’s political pursuits. Instead of trying to cover it up, they spoke very frankly about their marriage.”

Like when Barack Obama lost his 2000 campaign against former Black Panther and incumbent Chicago congressman Bobby Rush. The defeat rocked the Obama marriage for two to three years, Kantor writes.

In 2008, her skepticism – mixed with a healthy dose of naiveté — had hardly disappeared, and she made headlines with this extemporaneous comment:

“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

“She said all sorts of things that political wives aren’t supposed to say,” Kantor said. She noted that married men are self-centered. She punctured the worship that fans foisted on her husband.

And, God forbid, she bumped fists in public with the man who married her for the family stability she offered.

Kantor said the Michelle Obama you’re likely to see Tuesday night is one that has accepted her role and the process. “She really follows the script,. She sounds more like traditional first lady than she did a few years. She takes very few political risks.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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52 comments Add your comment

M.E.

September 3rd, 2012
9:48 pm

When I’ve seen her lately, she has obviously been comfortable standing up for who she is as a mother, a wife, and a woman. And comfortable encouraging other women to do the same.

cc

September 3rd, 2012
9:52 pm

““She really follows the script,. She sounds more like traditional first lady than she did a few years. She takes very few political risks.”

This is a particularly stressful time for her and she doubtless will need another vacation after the DNC; Mexico, Spain, Africa or perhaps her new permanent home in Hawaii? No, not Hawaii, because she will be there permanently as of January, 2013.

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
9:59 pm

We will definitely hear more than Giggles and a Rick Perry like moment of ” I LOVE You Women, yayyyyy!”

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double

September 3rd, 2012
10:04 pm

Where she lives.No matter who wins the election.She will be remembered in all our history forever.

double

September 3rd, 2012
10:12 pm

I would go to Charlotte if I thought,just possibly I could touch the Hem of her Garment.

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PatDowns

September 3rd, 2012
10:52 pm

Sorry, Jim, unlike yourself, I just can’t get all tingly over Michelle or our exPres to be.

zeke

September 3rd, 2012
11:06 pm

I only hope that the majority of voters show some sign of intelligence in November and SENDS THESE ANTI USA SOCIALIST BACK TO DESTROY WHAT IS LEFT OF CHICAGO!!! Between the Daleys,R Emanuel, the racist minorities, the community organizers and unions, THERE IS NOT MUCH LEFT ANYWAY!

[...] HQ on sidelines of Charlotte conventionFox NewsNew York Times (blog) -Chicago Tribune -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 7,898 news articles » Share and [...]

Bernie

September 3rd, 2012
11:40 pm

zeke @11:06 pm – The next ship to Mars will be loading January 2013. You can join Mitt,Ann, and the boys. Seats are still available. Dogs are not permitted. do you need
a ride to NASA in Florida?

Edmund Ruffin

September 4th, 2012
7:19 am

Agree with Zeke. And what is the point of this story anyway? I’m not a liberal therefore I haven’t decided if I am going to vote for Romney, but the Romneys would return some class to the White House.

eddy

September 4th, 2012
8:08 am

and so Mooch will follow the script in her speech. We have already seen her true feelings so no amount of scripting will change her….leopard and spots analogy here. Let the charade begin. Her true feelings would only further bury Obama. Come January, she can express them openly as she is ensconced in the bucolic, pastoral setting that we know as Chicago. Occasional sounds of an AK47 and numerous pistol rounds going off. Karma is best served cold!!!!

ExRepublican

September 4th, 2012
8:13 am

1st Lady Michelle is beautiful and I am so proud of her sticking by military family.
Michelle do alot for our country.

4 more years Obama/Biden 2012

Pig Slop

September 4th, 2012
8:14 am

On the NYT bestsellers list this week are two books in the top five that reveal the true Obamas. The tide is turning.

2.THE AMATEUR, by Edward Klein
5.OBAMA’S AMERICA, by Dinesh D’Souza

red herring

September 4th, 2012
8:24 am

michelle should stick to what her family eats and stop trying to be the food police. she has been ok as a first lady but her families excessive vacations and her attitude about “for the first time in my life I am proud of my country”—jeez that says it all. The real problem with her being first lady is it requires her husband to be president and he has failed miserably. The Dems and their media are trying desperately to spin it otherwise. Jimmy Carter reincarnated.

GaBlue

September 4th, 2012
8:36 am

red herring,

So, I’m sure you are consistent and expressed that Barbara and Laura Bush should stick to what their family reads instead of trying to be the literacy police, right? Clearly you are the poster child for “a mind is a terrible thing.”

Call It Like It Is

September 4th, 2012
8:44 am

“I would go to Charlotte if I thought,just possibly I could touch the Hem of her Garment.”

Please tell this was a joke.

estell

September 4th, 2012
8:52 am

michelle takes more expensive taxpayer paid vacations than hillary—no big deal–it’s not her money

TiredOfIt

September 4th, 2012
8:58 am

I will take Michelle over Queen Ann and her entitlement mentality of “It’s our turn” any day.

GaBlue

September 4th, 2012
8:59 am

It’s sad how some of the haters feel that Mrs. Obama is not everything THEY want or need in a First Lady. Sounds like they have an inflated sense of entitlement! You know, you can’t spend your life expecting the government to fulfill all your fantasies for you! Get your own wife. Share your requirements and expectations with her. Give her a reason to stay with you. Take some personal responsibility.

Bernie

September 4th, 2012
9:03 am

Edmund Ruffin @ 7:19 am – That trip to Mars with the Romney’s have front seats available for you too. Just think of All the room you will have when you arrive. No more Obama’s Yayyyy! just Mitt all the time…:)

HoppedUpOnClarity

September 4th, 2012
9:06 am

No amount of vitriol from small minded people can change the fact that Michelle Obama is arguably one of the more accomplished and dynamic First Ladies of our time. No amount of ignorance can change the fact that this woman’s platform has been well utilized. You don’t “fake” support for military families by promoting and putting programs in place to support them, or taking up the cause of nutrition and exercise. Someone said it best. It was perfectly okay for Laura Bush and literacy, but not okay for Michelle Obama and health and nutrition?? Of course, they just don’t care to be reminded that she is in fact FLOTUS. The image is just too painful, wonder why? FURTHERMORE, look at the physical appearance of she, her husband and their children. Now, cover your eyes, suppress your heaving and go into each bedroom of YOUR homes and behold YOUR wife, children, husband. I see you wobbling through the grocery stores and on the school grounds, the churches and malls. Take of look in the mirror at your own miserable life before you go attacking someone else who you are merely envious or downright jealous of. How about get a life?

American

September 4th, 2012
9:27 am

Okay I wasn’t going to react however the ignorance of some of you just screams 1800’s! Can you do the math? Let’s try this again if it took 8 years to destroy the economy then it will take even longer to bring it back = it can’t be completed in 4 years with a idiot congress & house. Get the picture. I know these are remarks from the south you make what they say up north about the south true. Slow, narrow minded and stupid, WOW! What America have you been living in? BTW about the food well we know where the fatty’s live in the SOUTH! There is nothing wrong with Chicago it is as American as the GOP. That’s right you know the people responsible for holding up the jobs bill and complain that there are no jobs. PEACE

Newt is nuts

September 4th, 2012
9:50 am

Praise the Lord. Jim Galloway has posted ten political insider columns without mentioning Newt Gingrich.

gm

September 4th, 2012
9:54 am

Do you think Mrs. Obama will stand in front of hard working Americans and say how hard it was to raise her family with a nannie? or say she has no idea how much money in her blind trust it could be millions.
I think she can stand in front of people and say her husband really support women rights with his record;;””””””

eddy

September 4th, 2012
9:56 am

American…..”nothing wrong with Chicago”. Oh really, 308 murders so far and counting for this year. Highest in US. Afghanistan is not this high. Methinks that there is plenty wrong in Chicago but then again seen through the Democrat prism nothing to see here folks, move along. Rahm’s in charge.

cc

September 4th, 2012
10:01 am

American @ 9:27 am:

You ‘talk the talk’. Why don’t you ‘walk the walk’ and move (return) to Chicago? I’m sure you’d be happier. I know we would . . .

cc

September 4th, 2012
10:08 am

gm @ 9:54 am:

Moochelle is very busy this week planning one of the last vacations she will be able to take on the taxpayer’s dime. Has she invited you along on any of her vacations? She has taken a veritable multitude of people with her in the past and I only wondered if she had included you? Probably not since you are just one of the mindless followers of the Pied Piper of socialism. They only want your vote . . . and then they want you to just go away . . .

Rafe Hollister

September 4th, 2012
10:16 am

The headline to this column appears to have been taken from a Ron White comedy routine.

Maybe Michelle will tell us why she lost her license to practice law, since we are going to get all personal here.

GaBlue

September 4th, 2012
10:17 am

cc @ 10:08,

Does it keep you awake at night, knowing that not all your fellow Americans are as eaten up with hate and disgust as you are? Bless your heart. I hope your miserable world gets better soon, so you can contribute something positive to a discussion once in awhile. Have a great day!

Rafe Hollister

September 4th, 2012
10:21 am

American

Bobby Cox left the Braves as a fairly depleted team in need of new blood and time to develop. So, you are saying we should give Fredi Gonzalez eight years to straighten them out. I don’t think so, he will probably be gone this year, if they continue to under perform, as the US economy continues to do.

They BOTH suck

September 4th, 2012
10:26 am

Rafe

Are you a liar on every blog or just someone unable to think for yourself so the best you can do is regurgitate right wing hyperbole, lies and rhetoric?

Don’t want to call you stupid, but damn…….

It will hurt for a little while since you are not used to working it, but try using your brain even if you have to start out slow

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/the-obamas-law-licenses/

Q: Did Barack and Michelle Obama “surrender” their law licenses to avoid ethics charges?

A: No. A court official confirms that no public disciplinary proceeding has ever been brought against either of them, contrary to a false Internet rumor. By voluntarily inactivating their licenses, they avoid a requirement to take continuing education classes and pay hundreds of dollars in annual fees. Both could practice law again if they chose to do so.

double

September 4th, 2012
10:28 am

Romney to mars.Reckon he wood allow Newt and some of his (students)followers to hitch a ride and be dropped of on the moon?

double

September 4th, 2012
10:35 am

td

September 4th, 2012
10:36 am

What in the world is wrong with some of the Dems on this board? Ms. Obama seems like a pretty good mother that has found a cause to work as first lady that is fine but she is NOT a freaking GOD to be worshiped like some of you are doing. What a sick world we live in when a President and a first lady are worshiped like they are Gods.

Road Scholar

September 4th, 2012
10:37 am

gm: Do you think Mrs. Romney will stand in front of hard working Americans and say how hard it was to raise her family with 3 nannies?

There I fixed it for you!

Oh, and for those who can not get over Mrs Obama having vacations for her and her children, try it! You’ll like it! That is if you have a wife and kids who will talk to you! Oh and getting drunk and attending a NASCAR race is NOT a vacation!

Actually GaBlue said it best!

They BOTH suck

September 4th, 2012
10:43 am

td

Which post meets your tripe at 10:36?

You are going to win the hyperbole and bs award for the day and it is not even 11:00 o’clock.

What’s Dicky Morris saying about the election? He give you any knew scoop

Bernie

September 4th, 2012
10:57 am

cc@10:08 am – Surely mrs. Obama would give a Salute to our Troops and their families. Whereas, The Romney’s only SALUTED themselves time and time again last week. ALL without a THOUGHT, CONCERN or Care about OUR TROOPS and their Families sacrifices.

Do You know why that happened? They DO NOT KNOW of any AMERICAN FAMILY “personally” who has a family member in the military or have sacrificed for this Great NATION. The Omission was not INTENTIONAL. They just are UNABLE to RELATE to such a situation. “Little People” like US are not in their world for them to see or be aware of and that is why nothing was said.

Sounds like Values that Republicans can believe IN to me. Only thinking of Themselves!

cc

September 4th, 2012
10:58 am

GaBlue @ 10:17 am:

“Does it keep you awake at night”
I sleep very well, but thank you for being concerned!

“not all your fellow Americans are as eaten up with hate and disgust as you are”
There is no ‘hate’ but an awful lot of ‘disgust’.

“I hope your miserable world gets better soon”
It will . . . right after the election of President Romney in November. Of course, it will take decades to undo the damage that has been done. I am certain you will be happy with President Romney, too!

double

September 4th, 2012
10:59 am

Wife of the Messiah—If you use a label–then don’t come whining when it backfires.

td

September 4th, 2012
11:12 am

Newt was correct: “Food stamp President”

Food-Stamp Use Climbs to Record, Reviving Campaign Issue
By Alan Bjerga – Sep 4, 2012 10:34 AM ET

Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million in June, the government said, as Democrats prepare to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-04/food-stamp-use-climbed-to-record-46-7-million-in-june-u-s-says.html

20/20

September 4th, 2012
11:14 am

OK, galloway: What is the line that was crossed? Does everything have to be pro-Obama?

20/20

September 4th, 2012
11:18 am

Mea Culpa! Actually had the wrong blog and wrong city!

Julia

September 4th, 2012
11:36 am

so Michelle is strong & smart, AND she sure didn’t get any education via Daddy’s money, she did it on her own merits. She is a wonderful role model for young African American girls especially, who often are not shown anything more than the Rapper lifestyle as a way to success.

I suppose for many the “you people” arrogance is Lady Ann is preferable. or the overly medicated glassy stare of poor Laura Bush. Anything so long as ‘those people” are not residing in the WHITE HOUSE, eh?

Bernie

September 4th, 2012
11:39 am

td @11:12 am – As stated before Newt’s cruel attempt to elicit laughter and racist support of the many UNINFORMED WHITE & BLACK AMERICANS of this country of just who are the REAL FACES of the FoodStamp Program. The Real faces of this program across this great nation of OURS.

Surprisingly and ASTOUNDING is A WHITE FEMALE with at least 2.5 kids or more!
Her registered listed name is more like Dawn,Chrissy,Beck, Carol, Susan, Cathy, Kathy, Barbara, Ethel,Gertrude, Betty and BarbaraANN.

Her children list names more like, TOM,Charlie,Tad,Trig,Brian, Jimbob, Bobby,john,Mitt, Newt, Paul, Mitch,Rick and scotty and karen,kris,cheryl,casey, christian, suzy, belinda,and Linda.

Names one would not ordinarily relate to Faces of the Foodstamp Program. yet they are….. MILLIONS of them. every month of the year and has been since its inception.

They are there because of MEN like you who have failed,refused,unable, unaware,
deny responsibility and care for their Mothers and the children.

But being the STUPID and UNINFORMED Americans that NEWT knew you were and ARE! He knew YOU ALL would take it as a slight to BE made against the millions of so called BLACK BUMS taking government handouts.

But the JoKE is really on YOUR STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE of the the TRUTH and FACTS.

Do not believe my words here. Go and check out the FACTS! You will find the same Names and stats on ALL of the States MEDICAID ROLLS!

she is typically Blond with Blue and Brown eyes, healthy and in most cases working in a low paying JOB without Insurance. this is the True face of WELFARE in America.

I can just see the mouths drop in shock and with eyebrows raised! Imagine THAT!