Michelle Obama Wields Popularity For Democrats

Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama campaigning in Wisconsin for Sen. Russ Feingold.  Morry Gash/AP Photo hide caption

itoggle caption Morry Gash/AP Photo

Michelle Obama is out on the campaign trail this week hoping to energize enough Democratic voters to make a difference in the upcoming mid-term elections.

She was in Wisconsin and Illinois Wednesday and Thursday and is scheduled to hit Colorado, California, Washington State, Connecticut and New York before returning to the White House.

It's the first time she's been out on the stump since the 2008 campaign when her effort was singularly aimed at getting her husband elected.

This time, the first lady's goal is to try to reduce the Democratic Party's political losses enough to keep her husband's policy agenda from being completely derailed.

Judging from virtually all the credible polls at this point, that would appear to be a tall order.

But as one of the most popular people in the Obama Administration, or among national Democrats, she really didn't really have much of a choice.

Unlike President Obama, a lightning rod for much populist anger who is below 50 percent approval in a number of polls, her popularity is in the 60s.

Some observers have noted that the Obama White House finds itself in a situation very similar to that of its immediate predecessor, the Bush administration.

First Lady Laura Bush was also much more popular than her husband and thus able to make campaign appearances for fellow party members.

At an event for endangered Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin who has consistently trailed his Republican opponent Ron Johnson in recent weeks, the first lady underscored that she hasn't been in campaign mode for some time:

Now, to tell you the truth, this isn’t something I do very often.

In fact, I haven’t really done it since a little campaign you might remember a couple of years ago.

As a self-described Mom-in-Chief, my first priority has been making sure that my girls are happy and healthy and adjusting to their new life in the White House.

Like every parent I know, my children are the center of my world.  My hopes for their future are at the heart of every single thing I do.

According to news reports, the first lady has requested that her travel schedule be arranged to limit the time she's away from the White House and her daughters.

And she also won't be bashing Republicans. Instead, her goal is to remain above the partisan fray in order to maintain the broadest possible support for her initiatives, such as her campaign to reduce childhood obesity.

All in all, her current popularity stands in stark contrast to the 2008 campaign when she had to keep a low profile for a while after making an inartful comment on how voters' embrace of her husband's candidacy made her, for the first time as an adult, proud of America.

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