Ms. Obama, in spite of her rather rocky introduction, has the skill set of a politician, as she amply demonstrated with her 2012 Democratic National Convention speech, in which she passionately recounted the story of her early marriage and her dad’s health struggles, making Ann Romney’s tuna-salad recollections look hopelessly drab and out of touch. Though Ms. Obama was hardly the first first lady to get an advanced degree or work outside the home—Laura Bush has a master’s and was a teacher and librarian, and Nancy Davis acted in films after her marriage to Ronald Reagan—she was the first one to have a higher-profile career than her husband for a time. While Barack was working on his memoir and commuting between Chicago and Springfield as a state senator, Michelle was climbing the ladder at the University of Chicago Hospitals system; even when he became a U.S. senator, she was the spouse bringing home the real bacon. It’s not surprising that with Illinois Senator Mark Kirk up for re-election in 2016, speculation has already emerged that Michelle will make a run at the seat. A recent poll had her trouncing the Republican 51 to 40 percent. Trouble is, the first lady may not be interested.
In her book The Obamas, Ms. Kantor reported that Michelle Obama strongly considered the idea of remaining in Chicago and letting Barry turn the White House into a bachelor pad in order to allow little Sasha and Malia to continue their school year in Chicago. “It’s hard to overstate how little she wanted to go into politics,” Ms. Kantor told The Observer, “and it wasn’t just because of the family reasons she sometimes cites. She had a real objection to the nature of politics. She thought it wasn’t the right way to create social change.”