'Laura Bush' Novelist Falls for Michelle

Candidate's 'believable' wife 'lives in the same world we do'
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2008 3:36 PM CDT
Valerie Jarrett, left,, senior adviser and close friend of Barack Obama, attends Friday's presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., with Michelle Obama.   (AP Photo/Chip Somodevilla, Pool)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The divide between the chattering classes and the average voter comes into sharp focus when spending time with Michelle Obama, novelist Curtis Sittenfeld writes for Time. Sittenfeld's recently released American Wife is about a character clearly based on Laura Bush, who "inspires my affection and sympathy," but Obama "is completely and totally believable as a person who lives in the same world we do."

Acknowledging but leaving aside thorny issues such as race and education, "I've encountered more people who, if anything, seem more infatuated by Michelle than by her husband," writes Sittenfeld. She goes on to quote "the most poignant comment I heard her make" on the campaign trail: "Sometimes I do feel as if people don't believe I exist. I'm probably the first person of my kind the nation has seen out there."