Michelle Obama and the Power of America's First Lady

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White House historians say first ladies are windows into America's cultural and social ideas, and while it's subtle, they have enormous power. Mamie Eisenhower gave parties and kept her mouth shut. Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan embodied high fashion. Hillary Clinton was a liberated woman who botched healthcare reform.  Laura Bush advocated literacy in a much quieter way. As the first African-American spouse in the White House, Michelle Obama's unique. But her style and persona make her novel in other ways. Beneath her remarkable round of activities, is there a message? What about the bare arms and the vegetable garden?


Carl Sferrazza Anthony - Historian, First Ladies' Library, Nia-Malika Henderson - Washington Post, Barbara Seals Nevergold - Co-founder, University of Buffalo's Uncrowned Queens Institute, Peggy Brooks-Bertram - Co-founder, University of Buffalo's Uncrowned Queens Institute, Roger Doiron - Founder and Director, Kitchen Gardeners International

Warren Olney

Frances Anderton, Sonya Geis