On Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, I will be voting for the first time and to be honest, the person I want to vote for isn’t on the ballot. If I was to walk into the booth and the ballot included Michelle Obama, I would choose her over her husband, or Mitt Romney any day.
Now, if you know me, you know that I have some feminist tendencies. You might think the bonds of sisterhood are making me want her as our country’s leader, but that’s not true at all. Michelle Obama is an incredible woman, first lady, and a substantial part of this country’s backbone.
Ever since Dolly Madison saved White House antiques with the British bearing down on Washington, first ladies have played an important role. Other influential first ladies include Elanor Roosevelt, who took a leading role on civil rights, and Edith Wilson, who took control of the White House when her husband suffered a stroke.
Even with these examples, many people often don’t realize the important role that the First Lady plays while her husband is in office. She has an image and it is an unspoken rule that she has to follow it. However, when Michelle Obama goes to schools to read or helps a disaster relief fund, she never appears to be maintaining an image; it seems that she is being herself.
Michelle Obama is dedicated to her kids first and foremost and you can tell from their interactions with each other. She is smart and easy to relate to; she shops at Target even though she has the money to shop at any designer store she wants to. Her down to earth attitude not only helps her husband, but also makes her an example that people want to follow. At least I know I do.
All first ladies choose a cause or causes to support. Michelle Obama has chosen obesity and eating healthy as hers. She has made huge amounts of progress with the programs she developed and the way she has embodied the practices she preaches.
Since Michelle Obama has started supporting the organic food movement, she has made changes to her family’s life to show that anyone can do it. She and 23 fifth graders helped plant a 1,100 square foot garden (the first White House Garden since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden during WWII) at the White House full of fruits and vegetables that the kitchens use to make organic meals for all of their guests and the Obamas themselves.
She also developed an organization called Let’s Move, a program that helps fight obesity in kids by making the food at schools healthier and trying to encourage kids to exercise. Let’s Move has made significant progress in changing the diets of schools around the country, including adding over 6, 000 salad bars to schools across the country.
The causes and actions of our country’s First Lady may seem irrelevant to the EMU campus; however, it is the opposite. Not only have the President and First Lady been adamant about lowering college tuitions and increasing the amount the Pell Grant gives out, but Michelle also has an interest in sustainability, something that EMU is passionate about. The garden she developed at the White House is similar to the gardens that EMU has around its campus. Both the White House and EMU are working toward self-sustenance.
The First Lady has significant influence on the President, so you should know about the First lady and understand the causes that she supports. The President and the First Lady are a team, especially when it comes to Michelle and Barack. When voting, you should know about all the variables that affect this team.
This November when it comes time to vote, whether you vote for Obama or not, you have to admit his wife is pretty awesome.
Devon Fore, News Editor