Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

On Day 52, First Lady Michelle Obama's first solo out of town trip


WASHINGTON -- And on Day 52 of the Obama administration, first lady Michelle Obama made her first solo out-of-town trip.

Mrs. Obama on Thursday morning made a day trip to North Carolina, where she met with military personnel and their families at Fort Bragg, later speaking in Fayetteville.

The soldiers greeted her with cheers and applause, according to a pool report. Later, she read from the Dr. Seuss classic The Cat in the Hat to a dozen preschoolers at a day-care center. She also visited with four toddlers making "thank you" cards for wounded soldiers.

For a travel debut, Mrs. Obama and her team picked safe, familiar territory. During the presidential campaign, she hosted a roundtable with military spouses in Fayetteville.

"I'm delighted to be back. This has been an exciting, fabulous day," she told a group at the Fort Bragg Community Center, her last stop. "Military family members have their own special courage and strength."

But the nation needs to do more to help them out, Mrs. Obama said.

"But as my husband, the President, said recently in his address at Camp Lejeune,
service doesn't end with the person wearing the uniform; the war doesn't end
when a soldier returns home. Military family members have their own special
courage and strength.

"I have met husbands and wives who keep the family on track while their wives and
husbands are deployed or on duty. I've met grandparents, and aunts and uncles,
sisters and brothers who take care of children while single moms and dads are
away. I've met moms and dads who both serve in uniform and leave their children
in the care of family when they're both deployed. I've met mothers and fathers
who have lost their beloved children to war.

"Our soldiers and their families have done their duty. They do it without
complaint. And we as a grateful nation must do ours and do everything in our
power to honor them by supporting them.

"The President recently announced plans to improve housing, to expand child care,
to raise military pay, to expand job training for spouses, to implement the
21st-century GI Bill, and expand counseling and support for families who are
dealing with the stress of deployment and war.

"These are the issues that soldiers and their families have discussed with me
over the last couple of years - and I heard about it again today. Military
families bear a very heavy burden and, again, they do it without complaint.

"But as a nation, we need to find ways to lighten their load."

Thursday's sessions built on her signature themes -- working with military families, women and children. On March 3, Mrs. Obama visited the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Center at Arlington National Cemetery, pegging the visit to Women's History Month.

Wednesday, Mrs. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made their first joint appearance at the State Department to mark International Women's Day. Later, Mrs. Obama was at the ceremony where President Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls.

Said Clinton,, "And I am especially delighted to thank one person in particular whose presence here means a great deal to all of us: our first lady, Michelle Obama. "Now I know a little bit about the role that -- Michelle Obama is filling now. And I have to say that in a very short time she has, through her grace and her wisdom, become an inspiration to women and girls, not only in the United States but around the world.''


It warms my heart that hil and mic are so "delighted" for each other. In a very short period of time she has definitely shown us NO WISDOM, NO GRACE, NO INSPIRATION. I realize she is popular because she is who she is with a certain group of people. Perhaps when she gets around a bit she will see there are over half the population who did not vote for her husband, and could care less about what she does.

I take strong offense to the comments of TJ. Considering the massive change in her life, Michelle Obama has been remarkable and impressive about her public statements, which suggest she will be a major help to her husband who will need it, considering what he has had to take on.

"over half the population who did not vote for her husband"? Where does TJ get his numbers. President Obama won the election by a landslide, with supporters far greater than the formal election. TJ must be talking about George Bush, who literally didn't win any of his elections, but was appointed.

I did not warm to Michele Obama until the middle of her husband's campaign when I saw her with military families. She is a serious person who does not wear her heart on her sleeve, but I then discovered she had a rather large heart and a brain to process what these people were telling her. It isn't always one gets a first lady that can stand on her own two feet and speak in her own unique voice -- we are lucky to have had Hillary, and , of course, Eleanor Roosevelt, but now we are lucky to have Michele Obama too.

I think that Michelle will go down in history as being one of the most important First Ladies of the United States. She is intelligent, vivacious, beautiful, and empathetic. I love watching the interaction between the Obamas as a family and a couple. I believe she is, and will be, an inspiration across a broad spectrum of the American people.


Maybe the First Lady will take a stand on Military Healthcare Fee Increases?

TJ says "she is popular because of who she is with a certain group of people." I wonder which group TJ means? Black, white Hispanic, across the racial divide picked Obama as the best man for the job. His wife Michelle has risen to the challenge admirably. I think TJ ought to realise that racial politics and the politics of race are a thing of the past. Change has come

Michelle Obama is a phenomenal woman! I'll go ahead and say what TJ was too afraid to-- The White Population didn't vote for PRESIDENT Barack Obama. No inspiration? Try this on for size... South Side Girl goes to Ivy League schools, earns law degree, becomes a successful attorney and later hospital executive in Chicago. What? That's not inspirational enough for you? How about if she'd gotten pregnant at 16 and lived off of government assistance? You'd be satisfied then, right? She doesn't fit the mold that YOU invisioned for her and women who look like her who are from her circumstances. She was raised by BOTH of her parents--unlikely to you, right? No grace? When was the last time you were harpooned so publicly for being yourself? You go to college, work hard, get married, start a family, enter public life and open your life for anyone and everyone to critique and you don't crack up! APPLAUSE!!! This woman is the personification of GRACE. Obviously you've never seen it before now and can't recognize it. That's your own ignorance. You've been schooled--so now you know better. And finally, no Wisdom. (Shaking my head...) Imagine for a moment the amount of wisdom one receives when she speaks on behalf of her husband, a man with great aspirations for this country, and on the behalf of military families, and working mothers, and government workers and at the end of the day--learns that someone wants to harm her and/or her husband--because of their race. Imagine how many times she was told that she couldn't do something because she is Black. Imagine how many times people criticized her for being herself. And yet, she still represents well for these causes. She smiles and hugs and greets people from all over this great country of ours and soon--the world. She's gotten enough wisdom and grace and inspiration in her little finger to offer you a clue. Instead of judging--take notes!

Michelle Obama is really impressive with her compassiaonate outlook on the needs not just of americans but of all walks of people across the world.

Michelle Obama is as arrogant and ridiculous as her husband. The WSJ shows the polls numbers for Barack are dropping. Surprise. That's because he can't lead, is a liar and a socialist. Michelle needs to shut her mouth and raise her daughters, no wait - her mother is doing that for her. So, now what should she do? Still shut her mouth.

I think many people still cannot understand how Mrs. Obama can be so cultured. I think individuals like TJ probably don't know any people of color like the President and Mrs. Obama who are smart and cultured.The Obamas also have a sense of the diversity in America. By the way, did you know Mrs. Obama plays the piano and also studied French? Read her new biography entitled Michele Obama. Well worth the read and would give TJ something to think about. This country is lucky to have Mrs. Obama as our first lady and I love it.

I find myself eagar to learn each day, how our President and First Lady are changing the mind set of a world that is so resistent to the very thing it needs. Each day I send my prayers of support to them and all of our leaders who would place themselves on the frontline.

When I listened to Mrs Obama speak out, about the mis-treatment of our men and women who volunteer, to place their lives in harms way that we might enjoy the freedom, to make a comment such as the one TJ made, I am honored to know that we as Americans who did vote for President Obama, have called forth from the universe a family who can and is making a difference.

To have our nation's First Lady, champion the causes of her country's sons and daughters as among her first acts is a testament to the caliber of fiber of a long,long bloodline of nobility. To be able to have them finally acknowledged and receive that which we should already have been giving a long time ago is fantastic. I am extremly proud of our First Lady for shining her light in this area.

In addition, I appreciate her asking all of us as community to find ways to demonstrate our generousity, we who have gone to sleep every night soundly, because of these brave men and women have stood in service for our country's values as well as, protection declaring, "not on my watch". These selfless and willing people are not only our family members, they are our friends, our neighbors and help make up our community, reach out and give a hand as Mrs Obama has asked.

I have the privilage to know and have met many women who are truly making a difference with their time that has been given them by their gift of Life. I am happy to count Mrs Obama as one with such integrity, steadfastness, and grace.

My mentor whom I respectfully call Grandmother Pa'Ris'Ha' a Cherokee Medicine Elder has taught us that "there is only the one Law Respect, and one race Human". "When the blood is on the ground who can say who the enemy is".

Mrs Obama in my Grandmothers tradition I say "Wado Aho" (Great Respect, and Appreciation), for all that you set out to do. "Life is a circle a circle is a cycle everything returns to where it began" Grandmother Pa'Ris'Ha'.

I would like Mrs. Obama to explain how requiring Veterans to pay for their War injuries with private insurance (that 85 to 90% do not have) is going to 'to lighten their load'?

Uhmm Ellis - 52.9% vs 45.7% (percentage of votes for Obama vs McCain)= a 7.2% margin - hardly what I would call a landslide. 69,456,897 (total who voted for Obama)is not even half of 208,323,00 (estimated eligible voter population) - it is only a third. So I guess that indeed more than 104,161,500 (half of the estimated eligible voter population) did not vote for Obama, not to mention that half of the population (150,000,000) would also be a TRUE statement. Since 69,456,897 is less than 104,161,500 and 150,000,000.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 13, 2009 8:21 AM.

First Lady Michelle Obama tells ABC News Robin Roberts what she does when she vegs out. was the previous entry in this blog.

President Obama official schedule and guidance, March 13, 2009. Lunches with Biden is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.