Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Michelle Obama - New to campaigning but no longer a novice

Published: October 28, 2008
Once thought unpredictable, Michelle Obama is now seen by advisers as an effective advocate for her husband.

AKRON, Ohio — On a visit to her husband’s campaign office here the other day, Michelle Obama was handed a phone and a script of talking points and made calls to a few undecided voters. Mrs. Obama mixed policy on taxes and health care with chitchat about Ohio, laughter about her life in politics and tidbits about her family.

After a couple of calls, she realized that she had not been following the typewritten notes. “I didn’t look at the script,” she said, speaking more to herself than to the volunteers on the phones next to her.

But no matter. While some of Senator Barack Obama’s advisers once viewed Mrs. Obama as an unpredictable force who sometimes spoke her mind a little too much, she is now regarded within the campaign as a disciplined and effective advocate for her husband. She has also, advisers believe, gone a long way toward addressing her greatest unstated challenge: making more voters comfortable with the idea of a black first lady.

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