Michelle Obama Ups Her Re-election Role

The upcoming election is expected to be even more difficult President Obama, so the campaign will be relying on one of its biggest assets: The First Lady. While the President's poll numbers are down thanks to the weak economy and his failure to ride into Washington on a unicorn and usher in a new era of bipartisanship, Michelle Obama is still popular. Now campaign strategists are looking to her to bring in donations and make voters remember why they were once so enthusiastic about Barack Obama.

The Associated Press reports that since May, the First Lady has been deployed to host more than a dozen fundraisers across the country, and she's also regularly sending out campaign emails. Today she's squeezing in three events in Maine and Rhode Island withing six hours, as it's the last day of the reporting period for quarterly campaign fundaising. White House officials says her schedule will become even more hectic in the next few months.

Part of what makes Obama so valuable is her position as First Lady. She can focus mainly on campaigning, and can travel more easily than her husband. While President Obama has done some fundraising, he's been forced to cancel events when a politcal crisis arises. Plus, unlike during the first campaign, Michelle is now an experienced speaker. Though Republican pundits still pounce on her for the most absurd reasons, from going sleeveless to trying to make kids eat healthier food, she's unlikely to give them fuel like she did with the "proud of my country for the first time" gaffe.

Another major factor is that Michelle Obama is more popular than the President in some groups that could be key to his reelection, like seniors, whites, and people in the West and Midwest. A recent poll found 47% of women have a "very favorable" opinion of her, compared to 31% of men, thus she's done several fundraising events with mostly-female audiences. Though somehow the woman who wore J.Crew to 10 Downing Street came to be branded a "modern-day Marie Antoinette" and criticized for vacationing in Spain and wearing borrowed diamonds, many people who haven't downed the Fox News Kool-Aid still see her as down-to-earth and relatable. As the campaign heats up, don't be surprised to see the White House leak more details about her love of watching rich housewives bicker and penchant for shopping at Target.

First Lady A Not-So-Secret 2012 Campaign Weapon [MSNBC]

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