White House officials are warning that First Lady Michelle Obama is launching into a new “sustained level” of political engagement this year, signaling a shift from her less public profile during the beginning of her husband’s first term in the White House.
As Barack’s second term has gotten fairly underway, the White House claims that the President will be using his wife in more ways than ever and we should expect to see her acting as a solo political act far more than we have in the past.
The Hill notes we have already seen Michelle add her voice to the issue of the kidnapped Nigerian girls with the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls. Last week the First Lady also jumped into the fray to oppose Republicans who are trying to turn back her unpopular school lunch requirements by holding a conference call to rally supporters of the rules.
The White House won’t say that Michelle will start attempting to meet with lawmakers on issues, but one senior White House official told the media, “You’ll see a sustained level of engagement.” On her school nutrition policies the official said, “She’ll continue to bring this message to where the parents and kids are.”
Further, the White House has scheduled a “discussion” with national educators to keep the pressure on schools to adopt her nutrition rules. During the event Michelle will “stress the importance of students, parents, school officials, community leaders, and health advocates” to “protect and advance” her nutrition ideas.
Besides her upcoming plans, over the last year Obama has already participated in a more political manner then she did during the first few years of Obama’s presidency. Last December, for instance, she attended a women’s leadership conference to push women’s healthcare, and in February she stood next to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce the administration’s new food standards.
“In the coming months,” The Hill reports, “Obama is expected to hold roundtables, attend fundraising events and campaign alongside Democrats in the upcoming election. While the details of her schedule are still being ironed out, senior administration officials say she is expected to campaign as much as she did in the 2010 midterms.”
However, the First Lady may have her hands full with her goal to continue forcing her ideology on schools. Her school lunch rules have proven so unpopular that even the federal government has started to back down from enforcing them.
In January the USDA announced it would loosen the requirements that have so many school systems complaining. The rules are so unpopular many schools are simply quitting Michelle’s programs.
Last year Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative fell to its lowest approval rating ever. Only 18 percent of those polled by Rasmussen thought that the federal government should have any say at all in what local schools feed kids.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.