WASHINGTON — Michelle Obama, wife of White House hopeful Barack Obama, sent out her first direct fund-raising letter earlier this month for his campaign, casting herself in the role of being the person in the life of the Illinois senator who cheerfully knocks him off his pedestal to remind him of his chores.
The May 4 three-page letter is a recast of the basic Michelle meets Barack story, from the law firm, to the first date, to “today we're married with a young family of our own.”
The letter is aimed at small dollar ($50 to $100) donors. It seems keyed to females — of Barack she lovingly writes, "this is a special man."
Michelle also plays into the role that she has been cast into: bringing the increasingly famous Obama, a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, down to earth.
There have been several variations of this in Obama interviews. The template is Obama calls her all excited about something that has happened in the Senate and Michelle glosses over that to ask him to perform some household task.
In the letter, it goes like this: Obama calls her inspired because the Senate passed a bill dealing with nuclear proliferation. She does not mention that is one of his major issues and maybe that is why he was so excited. She then writes, "To which I replied, 'That's nice, but we have ants in the kitchen, and you need to pick up some ant traps on the way home.’ "
The ant trap is the latest in the stories from Michelle about Obama's lapses on the home front. Last month, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd found those kind of remarks "emasculating" for a man running for president.
Asked about the Dowd column, Michelle Obama, 43, tells USA Today in a story in Friday's editions, “If you’re 23 and reading Maureen Dowd’s article, you could be crushed. If you’re 43, it’s sort of like OK, well, she obviously doesn’t know who I am, and she doesn’t understand,’’ she says. ‘‘I get way more affirmation, right? I was in a roomful of hugs today.’’
Earlier this week Michelle stumped in New Hampshire. Her next political day trip is May 19 to Columbia, S.C., where she will speak at the Brookland Baptist Church.