March 31st, 2009
06:01 AM ET
9 years ago

Mrs. Obama heads to Europe

 Michelle Obama embodies a new American brand -- diversity and accomplishment.

Michelle Obama embodies a new American brand - diversity and accomplishment.

(CNN) - What can the First Lady accomplish when she accompanies her husband on his first trip to Europe? She can play a role in the re-branding of America.

President Obama has star power. We saw it when he traveled to Europe during the campaign. So does the first lady - when Michelle Obama accompanies her husband overseas this week, it's likely to double the wattage.

"I believe in this nation. And I believe in my husband," the first lady said in a recent interview on ABC's "Good Morning America."

President Obama remains a figure of hope to the world. But he is not immune from criticism, and his policies have been under attack abroad as well as at home.

"He talks about a large stimulus campaign by Americans. All of these steps, their combination and their permanency, is a way to hell," said Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

Some foreign leaders are resentful because the financial crisis that threatens to undermine the world economy started in the United States.

"It was a crisis that was created and spread throughout the world due to the irresponsible behavior of white people, blue-eyed people, that thought they knew everything but are now showing they knew nothing," said Brazilian President Lula da Silva.

President Obama's mission is to re-brand the United States as a force for change and hope in the world, just as John F. Kennedy once did. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy was an important asset to JFK. Her charm and sophistication were a sensation overseas. Michelle Obama also embodies a new American brand - diversity and accomplishment.

While her schedule overseas has not been made public, CNN has learned that the first lady will venture out twice on her own. In London, Mrs. Obama will visit a school for underprivileged girls, many of them learning to speak English. She is likely to make a strong statement about women's rights, as she did recently when she brought together "Women of Courage" at the White House.

"The difference between a struggling family and a healthy one is often the presence of a strong woman or women at the center of that family," Mrs. Obama said.

The First Lady will also visit the Jewish quarter of Prague, which symbolizes the tragic history of a community that found success and influence in the United States.

An African-American First Lady will pay tribute to women and Jews. It's the new face of America.

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. cherry strawberry

    I love her and I'm sure she will make the USA pROUD AS WILL THE pRESIDENT.

    March 30, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. jean

    This will be great!!

    March 30, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    (sigh) She's gonna wow them. The new Princess Diana.

    March 30, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Lauren

    I think they are a very nice looking couple, and to Michelle Obama, "You Go Girl!"

    March 30, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. To RUSH and JINDAL: I do not want the levees in Louisiana or Florida to fail, just the policies of the Corp. of Engineers building them!

    If history is any indication, be careful President Obama, just like Jackie O had "higher wattage" than Jack Kennedy, so may Michelle!

    Good luck to you both!

    March 30, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  6. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Europeans Love the Obamas since the Obamas want to turn the USA into European Socialism/Welfare State.

    March 30, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Robin

    Jackie Kennedy, she is not.

    However, she does look nice in that picture.

    March 30, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. Simmy

    They will get more respect abroad than they do at home. Hope will emanate from both of them. Foreign leaders understand that the President didn't start the economic fire. It was already burning when he went in the House. God bless them, order their steps, and grant them safety......

    March 30, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  9. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Here we go again folks, as usual, we are only being
    given part of the story!

    I am quite sure that another side of the Czech
    message was that CZECHS said that Topolanek.....


    March 30, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Shirley in California

    Go First Lady! Whatever you do-give it 100%. I didn't expect miracles from President Obama when I voted for him and I don't expect miracles from anyone but just let the American people know you gave it your best shot. We need to fill uplifted now in these terrible times. I am proud of you and the Obama administration for sacrificing yourselves and your reputations/lives to clean up this mess. Whatever you profit-you deserve.

    The American people (with open minds) are with you ALL the way!

    On another note: re the redecorating. A part of me ejoys the fact you are using your own money but the other part of me is saddened-that ALL presidents are given this money because they campaigned and earned the right to use it. However, it seems this family is constantly giving up what is due them. They did not create this mess. Personally, I feel you earned the right to use these funds and any of the other perks given to the office of the presidency but I do understand what you are trying to do. It still seems unfair to me.

    March 30, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    I am very proud to have Mrs. Obama represent the USA in Europe. She is a wonderful example of what women in America can accomplish without being born rich.

    March 30, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  12. sherry

    The Obamas bring such grace and elegance to the White house.
    They will no doubt bring honor back to America that the last administration stole away.

    March 30, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Larry

    Give the man a break ...

    He's the greatest thing since toasted bread ...

    March 30, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Michael Ray Thompson

    Wow. So Obama and the Mrs. are headed to Europe? Maybe he can resurrect Communism? America, are you really that stupid?

    March 30, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  15. Hopeful Optimist

    I couldn't be prouder of my First Family.

    March 30, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Get Well Soon GOP

    She is looking better and better each week. Must be the fresh veggies she is growing in the garden. The European will lover her because she has some size. She is making GOP women look like a bag of bones.

    March 30, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. I Am The Great And Powerful Wizard Of Rush

    Ready for all the right wing critics who have never traveled outside their state, let alone, the USA.

    March 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. NoBama in 2012

    Let's hope she leaves her Mardi Gras get-up at home.

    March 30, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    The first lady will be a hit over in europe.

    March 30, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    No offense to Hillary or Laura Bush but this First Lady is the best in my life-time. For you Jackie fans I must admit that I was born the year JFK died so she may have been better but I missed it. From what I see from Michelle Obama even Barack's harshest critics must agree that the man has made at least one excellent decision in his life.

    March 30, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. kyra

    Ok, I love Michelle Obama, however, I hate that dress.

    March 30, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. tyree

    I cant express how proud i'll feel when I see our new President and his lovely first step out of Air Force One as representatives for all of us Americans. I guarantee... Even the most bitter Obama hater will have some sense of pride... Whether they admit it or not. President Obama will restore our credibility around the world. Watch and see the reception they get.

    March 30, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. KS Prop top

    Michelle O. is the most lovely, intelligent, graceful and genuine first lady we've had since Jackie O. Arguably since before that.

    She will represent the country well.

    March 30, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  24. CluelessGop

    The way he looks at her is just so darn romantic!

    March 30, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Simmy

    Foreign leaders, unlike many Americans, understand that President Obama didn't start the fire. It was already burning when he went into the House. They will be more respectful of him and the First Lady than many Americans are.

    I know that they will shine as always, and beam the hope that emanates from them, all over the world....God grant them safety....and order their steps.

    March 30, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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