Michelle Obama
Contributed by Eleanor Sherer
Chapter 16

Obama narrates the presidential announcement day at Springfield. Michelle states that she was not certain that people would arrive due to the harsh temperatures at that time of the year. However, although the turnout was enormous, Michelle states that "Barack's announcement day had inadvertently been scheduled for the same day as the State of the Black Union" and Tavis Smiley, the group’s leader was angry about it. Smiley viewed Barack's move as a disregard to the black community. In addition, "RollingStone published a piece on Barack…the radical roots of Barack Obama” (Obama 166). This was not only disappointing, but it could also have seriously affected Barack’s presidential campaign. It was at this time, that Michelle realized they “were literary now putting our family in front of the American people” (Obama 166).

She asserts that competing in a democratic race with Hilary Clinton was not easy. Many African Americans doubted whether Barack could win in predominantly white areas (Obama 168). It was apparent that Barack’s presidential win revolved around winning in Iowa and this meant that Michelle “would be going to Iowa almost weekly…making three or four campaign stops in a day” (Obama 168). As a surrogate for Barack and new to politics, Michelle admits that she was not sure what was important to voters. However, Michelle knew in her heart that she had over fifteen thousand reasons “to want Barack to win” (Obama 167).

During one of Malia's regular checkups with the family pediatrician, Michelle was informed that her BMI was creeping up and that could pose a health risk to her daughter. Michelle admits that the news came as a shock making her question her parenting skills (Obama 171). On the other hand, the campaign was exposing Michelle’s family, opening them up to criticism and scrutiny. Barack’s eventual win in Iowa however gave Michelle new faith. She now started believing that what her husband had been fighting for all those years was now possible.


In this chapter, the author takes the reader on a tour of her husband’s presidential campaign as well as her experience in balancing work responsibilities, supporting Barack’s presidential campaign and taking care of their children. From the beginning of the campaign, the author appears doubtful of her husband’s chances of actually winning the Presidency. She seems to admit, that like other African Americans who believed that certain positions like the Presidency were reserved for the white politicians, it was hard for Barack to win.

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