How about this: In America we elect the president; we do not elect the spouse [What's Wrong With American Society That Forces Michelle Obama to Tone Down? usnews.com]. It would be totally inappropriate for an unelected spouse of a president to be involved in policy making and policy decisions and potentially military decisions. The "two for one" spouted by the Clintons didn't go over so well did it? Michelle Obama is an influential woman simply by virtue of being first lady and the causes she chooses to take up. She, nor any other first lady, should be involved in policy.
Comment by Arlene of NJ
I think Michelle is making the right choice for her family. She has made the choice to support her husband and take care of her children. Her husband has one of the most difficult jobs in the world right now, and it would not make sense for both of them to be working. When Barack is finished serving his time as president, then she can continue to pursue her own career. Marriage is about sacrifice, and this is exactly what Michelle is doing. Anyways, she isn't the one who ran for president, so why would she make policy decisions?
Comment by Sandy of FL
First ladies should not have policy roles—at least not directly. Let her get elected or I would even agree to an appointment that required congressional approval and oversight. If she wants to directly influence policy let her sit in the chair and take the heat. Being married to the president does not automatically entitle her to anything more than ceremonial duties. We can accept a working spouse first lady—many marriages have both spouses working—but the key here is to earn it. Remember interviewing, being passed over, running through the gantlet to succeed? That's what we are asking for. I for one would be delighted to see a first lady that worked completely outside of government. Imagine her working a 9-5 job, brown bagging it like the rest of us. Now that would be truly inspiring—a real person with a real job juggling the real responsibilities all families have. She would have to sacrifice some ceremonial duties, but don't all marriages require some sacrifice and compromise?
Comment by Kevin Sweeney of NY
It's not over until the fat lady sings. Just you wait, and you will see an evolution. When the first lady feels secure in her role, she will become more of an influence in the political scene. Until then, she is testing the waters. Stay tuned.
Comment by Skye of FL
I think Michelle Obama is doing just fine. I think she does a lot of stuff outside her family, anyway. Furthermore, she developed a legal career on her own, independent of any man. That's pretty darn impressive and a very good example for any young woman wanting to advance herself or make a difference. Wouldn't you be concerned for your daughters and wouldn't you want to spend more time with them to make sure that they were adjusting well to their new life with their dad as perhaps one of the busiest people on Earth? The first lady can define her own role.
Comment by Joe C. of VA