Unlike Laura Bush, who steered clear of discussing legislation, the First Lady recently pitched her husband's economic stimulus package to employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She also gave a speech at the Education Department last week, where she had to correct herself when she used the word "we" when talking about educational investments the president is planning. "I shouldn't say 'we,' but the administration 'we,'" she said.
Some seem shocked that the First Lady is actually talking about, you know, what her husband does for a living:
"She went to some lengths to say she was going to be first mom in chief," Myra Gutin, a scholar of first ladies at Rider University in New Jersey, said of Mrs. Obama. "I don't think we ever really imagined her edging toward public policy like this. It's not like she's making public policy. But it's a little less neutral than some of the other things she's talked about focusing on."
But others are more accepting:
"It seems like a combination of responsibilities that fit very naturally with who she is," said Ms. Greenberger, who attended the signing of the pay-equity law at the White House. "You don't have a sense that being a mom and being human and being able to understand everybody's daily struggles has to come at the expense of her intelligence, her expertise and her understanding of the issues."
But leave it to the Harvard-educated woman herself to have a sense of humor about the situation:
And when a little girl at the charter school visited by the Obamas announced that she dreamed of becoming first lady, Mrs. Obama flashed her self-deprecating wit. "It doesn't pay much," she advised.