Michelle Obama's journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House has been avidly documented, but Carol Felsenthal of Chicago magazine highlights the consistency of her role, driven by a burning desire to do good, but also to achieve security for her family. She resisted her husband's political ambitions for years, Felsenathal notes, but when he set his sights on the Oval Office, "she realized that she needed to get on board," a close friend says.
From the Robinson family's one-bedroom apartment to Princeton to Harvard Law and back to Chicago, Michelle exhibited what her husband calls her “strong perfectionist streak” and a devotion to family, friends, and public service. After a couple of high-profile miscues, she proved an invaluable asset on the campaign trail. "Barack relied on her for the Everyman/Everywoman view," says another friend—and it paid off in the end.