Michelle Will Join Health Debate

First lady's no Hillary, but she'll help president will soft sell
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2009 8:31 AM CDT
First lady Michelle Obama waves as she is surround by guests in her box during a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, Sept., 9, 2009 on Capitol Hill in Washington.    (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Michelle Obama will be joining the push to pass a health reform bill, but the first lady won't be entering into the booby-trapped terrain that Hillary Clinton braved 16 years ago. Instead, Obama will focus on what Politico calls "the soft, soccer-mom sell," focusing on nutrition, exercise, and preventive care. With her approval ratings in the mid-70s, she may be able to attract support from audiences who have tuned her husband out.

Tomorrow, the first lady will attend an event where women and families will discuss the health care system, and she'll give remarks that the White House says will "amplify the president's message." In many ways, of course, Obama is already an accidental health advocate—from her promotion of organic food to her now-legendary toned arms. "Now, we are eight months in, the kids are settled; it would seem to me that if she was going to undertake a project, then it’s time," one historian said.