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. Linda Vogel

    I am so proud now to be an American. To have Michelle Obama represent the women of America makes me proud again. I know she will do a beautiful job! She most certainly is a role model for everyone.

    March 30, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. Kona

    Yes she can!! Go Madame First Lady, go!!!

    March 30, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  3. YBM

    Now she believes in this nation.........I wonder if she is still proud to be an American???

    Man, you sheeple really need to start listening and thinking for yourselves before its too late. There are going to be a whole lot of "I told ya so's", that is if the country still exists after obama gets done with it.

    March 30, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Mike

    Excellent - Michelle is showing herself to be great in fulfilling the role of creating hope, good will, and positive views of America in the world community. I am once again proud of the statement that our leaders are making on our behalf.

    March 30, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  5. Perusing-through

    LOOKING GOOD! I like the photo selected for this article. It is the one with Michelle wearing a slightly snug glittering silver gown, where her toned arms and shoulders are highlighted. The Obama’s are a very nice, good looking young Christian couple, both with Ivy League backgrounds and a lot of high profile accomplishments under their belts.

    March 30, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  6. joe smith

    wonderful, this countrys' first lady, will do us all proud. now, at home, how is it Mr. Obama didn't ask for the head of AFL-CIO, and chief of the United Auto Workers Union; after all, these people more than anyone, bankrupted these great companies, with their demands, causing the big three to raise prices to the point, that the only people who could afford an American car, was the auto worker. Mr. Obama needs to roll some heads at the union;

    March 30, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Linda in MS

    Wow! Michelle looks stunning in that dress.

    March 30, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Gary

    Good luck on your trip Mr. President.

    Please listen to the Europeans and stop borrowing and spending.

    We need to balance the budget.

    The US is only 5% of the population and 18% of the economy, we cannot single handedly spend our way out of a worldwide recession.

    Can we reverse that so-called stimulus bill? get rid of those $9 Billion in earmarks in the general budget? Can we freeze all entitlement programs?

    Let the market work itself out, we will get out of this recession without the need for much government spending.

    Please listen to the Europeans Mr. President, we are counting on you.

    March 30, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  9. Catherine

    She is a fantastic First Lady and she will do us proud over there. After the last 8 years, America's image needs a lift and Michelle and the President will help give us a boost. Thank you Michelle for all that you do for us.

    March 30, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. New Yorker

    The Czech prime minister hit the nail on the head.

    March 30, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    We understand the meaning of global economy but the U.S. can't take responsibility for other countries economic failures. We have given more to other countries than they have given us but yet they haven't stepped in to help our economy or repay their debts. If this is the disrespect we get in return, then it's time for us to look out for our own self interest.

    March 30, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. D Bush

    The First Lady can do nothing to "re-brand" America. She is not a policy maker or decision maker in the administration or congress. She might as well stay home and wear those ridiculous sleeveless dresses. But then again, how can she otherwise justify the cost of her trip abroad if they do not give the media a reason for her going.

    March 30, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Dan

    For the second time in her adult life she needs now to be proud of her country!

    March 30, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. Dee

    First Lady Ms. Obama, Thank U!

    March 30, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  15. Sally

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

    Amd she will do so with grace and charm; what a beautiful face to show the world.

    March 30, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  16. bk

    They are already protesting all the money Obama is spending. They don't like it and neither do we. He is going to bankrupt the country.

    March 30, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Dorian in NC

    A fresh new start for America.

    The lure of the long and difficult is deceptive, the great opportunity is where you are."
    -John Burroughs

    March 30, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Joe Fattal

    Oh boy!. President Obama might have some ways to get his point accross. She probably needs to keep a low profile since it is her first trip overseas.

    March 30, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. Kimberly in Arizona

    I am SO proud of her and of course the President. LOL...I feel so lucky to be in America right now with them representing us, the rest of the world will see that America is back on track, and that we learned from the mistakes of the last 8 years. What an amazing couple they are. We are truelly blessed beyond belief to have them as OUR leaders...

    March 30, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  20. sherey

    Really! If everyone worked together and reached out the way President Obama does many issues that countries have could be overcome. I admire Barack Obama...he never gives up!

    March 30, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  21. Brian

    I am soooo happy that we have a President and a First Lady that I will not be embaressed when they talk in front of others.

    March 30, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. go away mongers -Ventura CA

    Michelle Obama is intelligent, politically savy, and has the grace someone in her position needs. How great is this?
    'All right wing-nutz begin now 1..2....3

    March 30, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. mrs b

    Michelle Obama will be her charming, warm, impressive self. She has already been such a wonderful role model and has used her position to make important statements about the importance of community and education. I am sure she will be well received by our European neighbors.

    March 30, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Steve

    These articles are ridiculous. Rock star Obama? I wish he spent more time thinking through these policies than implementing them just to put something out there.
    I think they are a good looking couple, but I'd like a little more substance. Looks like the rest of the world is questioning his policies also.

    March 30, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. Bipartisan

    I must have done something to anger the almighty CNN moderators for they have not posted any of my comments in days. Oh well, if they post this one I just wanted to say I wish the prez well and hope he holds his own with the Europeans. Especially Medvedev.

    March 30, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
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