Michelle Obama Keeps It Real

Candidate's wife opts for candor, humor, even complaining—and Salon says it's working
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 9:31 AM CST
Michelle Obama Keeps It Real
Michelle Obama listens to her husband, Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speak to to local residents during an Independence Day celebration, Wednesday, July 4, 2007, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)   (Associated Press)

Michelle Obama may not be the only spouse on the campaign trail who's not cut in the mold of the cookie-baking first lady, but she’s a standout even in a field that features a tongue-pierced spouse, Salon's Rebecca Traister writes. Barack Obama's wife has taken to the trail not only with enough poise to inspire glowing Jackie O analogies, but also with enough candor to provoke Teresa Heinz Kerry comparisons.

Indeed, Michelle Obama says precisely those things that would make great tabloid slogans, and does enough “bitching and moaning” about campaigning to turn off any political aspirant. But her outspoken approach is working, converting Iowans—not exactly of similar background to a daughter of Chicago's South Side—to the belief that the Obamas are uniquely authentic and worthy of votes. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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