Michelle Obama's Image Turnaround Paves Way For Policy

What a difference 2 years make: In the early days of the Presidential campaign, Michelle Obama was criticized for many reasons and accused of not being "proud" of her country. Today, as one senior Democratic official tells Politico:

"She's a hot commodity. Her numbers are better than the president's and she's a strong surrogate. People like her. If I were the White House, I'd send her out even more."

We may, indeed, see more of her: As if the self-professed "mom-in-chief" weren't already incredibly busy, Politico reports that for the first time since she moved into the White House, senior West Wing officials have begun briefing the First Lady on her top policy priorities, to prepare her to campaign for Democratic candidates in the fall.

In addition to her political duties, Ms. Obama continues to make an impact in the fashion world: She's still wearing dresses by designers who are not widely known, earning them publicity and a business boost. For the for the first White House State Dinner, Ms. Obama wore a gold gown by Naeem Kham, who gushes to The Daily Beast: "I will never forget that moment for as long as I live. Your first lady wearing your dress." Last week, Michelle Obama wore a goregous red gown by Prabal Gurung, a designer who is in only in 23 stores. He's now heard from 50 others.

What's truly fascinating is that this is really just the beginning. As the FLOTUS told the crowd of 500 Democratic activists at the DNC's Women's Leadership Forum Conference last week:

"Even with all the challenges that we've faced over the past year or so, and all the obstacles that we've had to overcome, we have achieved all of this — and more — in just the first 15 months… So if this is what we can do in 15 months — did I say 15 months? — just imagine what we can achieve in the next 15 months. Just imagine what we can do in the next few years."

She was highlighing her husband's achievements (as her own childhood obesity initative) but she could have been talking about her own rise to glory. Says an anonymous Democratic operative: 'She's pretty popular… people want her out there."

Michelle Gears Up For Campaign Role [Politico]
The Secrets of Dressing Michelle [The Daily Beast]
Two Sides Of Michelle Obama: Savvy Campaigner And Down-Home Everywoman [WaPo]
Can Michelle Obama Make You a Star? [NY Times]
Related: First Lady Echoes King's Call To Face Hardship [MSNBC]