Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 15

In this chapter, the author accounts her life as a mother and a working professional. Obama found working at the hospital to be fulfilling, since she had an opportunity to bring amount real changes such as setting up an Office of Business Diversity, whose purpose was to encourage people to interact with their neighboring communities. To improve the long-term health of residents who had limited access to health care, Michelle and her team started a new initiative. The plan entailed recruiting and training patient advocates who would help local people to “set up follow-up appointments at community health centers” as well as educating them on where they could access affordable and decent regular care (Obama 153). Despite her fulfilling job, the author states that she had to scale down on some projects to spend time with her family.

At home, Michelle was adjusting to Barack’s demanding political career to a point that she accepted his absences and stopped complained. Barack decided to run for the Senate again, this time with a high conviction of winning. Michelle agreed to support Barack in the Senate bid under the condition that, if Barack "lost, he'd move on from politics altogether and find a different sort of job. Really and for real, this would be the end” (Obama 155). Nonetheless, the author states that Barack's speech at the Democratic National Convention in the year 2004 marked the beginning of a new life, not only for Barack, but also for his entire nuclear family. Barack projected hope and called for society to strive for optimism over cynicism. Media stories were flooded with Barack’s hyperbolic speech, with some people declaring that they had just seen the first black president (Obama 157). Barack was ultimately elected to the United States Senate, with an incredibly diverse pool of voters, black and white, rich and poor and both men and women as well as urban, rural and suburban residents. Occasionally, Barack would commute from Chicago to his Senate office in Washington. Although this meant that Michele would probably relocate the family to Washington, she states, "none of this had been my choice in the first place" (Obama 159). Although Michelle could care less about politics, she did not want to hinder her husband from attaining his broader vision. Resulting from her love and faith “in what he [Barack] could do,” Michelle supported her husband’s presidential bid (Obama 163).


In this chapter, the author seems to be emphasizing the fact that Barack was destined for greatness. Although she knew from the time she met Barack that he was a visionary man whose focus was to transform the world, Michelle admits that neither did she love politics, nor had she prepared herself for the public attention that came with being a politician’s wife. Michelle and Barack had a family, and family to Michelle meant giving stability to their children. Unlike Barack, who had grown up without his family, Michelle had been brought up in a family where everybody was there for each other. Therefore, the author seems to admit that she hated politics since it inhibited her husband from spending quality time with both her and their children. Nonetheless, the author states that for Barack to pursue his vision, Michelle knew she had a responsibility as a mother and a wife to support her husband and, thus, had to reluctantly step into public life.

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