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According to the White House, she and her staff are in the midst of strategizing how the next four years might differ, or might not, from her first term as FLOTUS, generally hailed as a rousing success with her clever blending of conventional and unconventional.
She says she misses that freedom. "Going to Target for me is like Balenciaga City Bag Uk
Michelle Obama goes through the "Evolution of Mom Dancing" with host Jimmy Fallon during a Night appearance in February.(Photo: Lloyd Bishop, NBC, via AP)
a dream, you know?" she told Robin Roberts in a recent Good Morning America interview. "That one time I went, you noticed it created a stir. I'm gonna do it again, doggone it. Next four years, I'm going out. I'm breaking out. I'm gonna disguise Bo. I'm gonna put on a coat. I'm gonna take a walk, and my agents won't know a thing. Don't tell 'em!"
Granted, she did not attend Saturday night's Gridiron Dinner with the president and the Washington press corps. But no less than Saturday Night Live is joking about her ubiquity, teasing in a recent skit that the sequester budget cuts would force her to make "four television appearances a week, down from her usual 75."
or make an unknown fashion designer like Jason Wu a global star.
Obama has done all the traditional, popular first lady things adopted causes, hosted the grand, good and glittery at the White House, raised millions for her husband. But she has gone, repeatedly, where no first lady has gone before, especially on social media, which largely didn't exist for her predecessors, and on TV, which did.
She's already danced on TV with Jimmy Fallon. She's dropped in at the Oscars, worked out on the White House lawn, sparkled at state dinners, become a fashion trendsetter. She's even gotten Americans to think more about what they eat. What's next for first lady Michelle Obama?
Since 2009, her East Wing has undergone typical staff upheavals: She is on her third chief of staff, her second press secretary, her second communications director and her third social secretary (who is, for the first time, a man).
"She's been a tremendous success. I don't know of any who had more success with a White House initiative," says Myra Gutin, a dean of first lady historians and professor of communication at Rider University in New Jersey.
From her new bangs and bob hairstyle to her dance moves to her couture gowns, people can't stop talking about her and she kind of can't be avoided. She's a master of Twitter, a star of TV talk shows, a crowd pleaser wherever she goes.
Obama, Bottega Veneta Crocodile Leather Briefcase who just turned 49, is fully aware of the intensity of attention to everything she does. "My bangs set off a national conversation," Obama told reporters on a recent trip, after she had joked that the bangs were her "midlife crisis." "We've got a lot of talking going on. Everybody's kitchen table conversation is now accessible to everybody else. It's absolutely not surprising."
"I can't think of too much to criticize," says Anita McBride, former chief of staff to Laura Bush and now director of first lady studies at American University in Washington. "Is she pushing the envelope? Not for her. I think she's clearly found her footing."
First lady Michelle Obama champions one of her key causes fighting childhood obesity Friday at a summit held in Washington by the Partnership for a Healthier America. She is the group honorary chairwoman.(Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)
But is she overexposed? Are we going to see even more of her on our screens in the next four years?
Meanwhile, she's tweeting, and even does Twitter Q She hangs out on Google Hangout, has about 9.5 million "likes" on her Facebook page, and live streams with first pooch Bo, greeting surprised tourists or reading stories to kids at the White House. The video of her wacky "Evolution of Mom Dancing" with Fallon has more than 14.5 million views on YouTube. She tells funny stories when she goes on Jay Leno's or David Letterman's late night chat show.
Love her or hate her, you can't avoid her as her husband starts his second term.
It's not as if Obama had a lot of training. "She isn't just breaking the mold; she's shattering the good china. The Madonna of first ladies, she is emerging as an iconoclastic, self reinventing woman who clearly doesn't mind shaking the firmament."
This sort of thing is irresistible, say Obama trackers. "In real life America, this woman is genuinely admired and, in an odd way, genuinely liked, even if people don't know her she's not just a remote figure from afar," says Elizabeth Mehren, a former journalist who is now a journalism professor at Boston University. "There is a likability factor the sense that if you sat down and had coffee with her, you'd like her."
She has embraced media in ways her predecessors did not. At the same time, she maintains a loyal, non leaking, highly controlled operation that is at least as non transparent as the White House press corps says the West Wing is. (Except no one is complaining about it.)
Story HighlightsMichelle Obama was first term success but what about the next?Some say she is overexposed, appearing everywhere from TV talk shows to the OscarsIt clear she continue to support military families and the fight against childhood obesity
But she adapted to the undefined job of first lady like a pro, say those who have watched her. Polls show she's become one of the most popular, admired women in the Balenciaga Giant 12 Gold City Black
world, able to persuade kids to eat their vegetables Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Nappa
Once, Obama went to Target, to the shock of fellow shoppers.
Michelle Obama comes on strong
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