Amid the victory celebrations for her husband, Michele Obama seemed very much at home in the limelight, a crucial asset for her new status. At 45 she is the youngest First Lady since Jackie Kennedy. So, how will she differ from her predecessors? Observers say it will take a little time to see how she makes the role her own.
Officially, she rejects the idea of having any political ambitions of her own, saying she is a mother first, and a First Lady second. Her main task, she says, is to help her daughters Malia, ten and Sasha, seven, adapt to their new lives.
But analysts say this high flying lawyer-turned-executive will relish her new responsibilities. She has already signalled her intention to promote the cause working mothers.
“We have a lot of work to do in the workplace in making work possible for mothers,” she said. “And we are not doing what we need to do right now.”
The new First Lady is also expected to support families the military. A response, perhaps, to attacks by conservatives over a perceived lack of patriotism.
Raised by a single mother in modest surroudings, Michele Obama earned a degree from Harvard before launching a successful legal career. And she is not without political experience having worked in the Chicago mayor’s office. The new president says he has often turned to her for political advice. Now that that that advice has helped him reach the top she is likely to remain one of his closest counsellors.