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Michelle Obama, First Lady

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Michelle Obama, First Lady

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images. Michelle and Barack Obama at the Iowa State Fair on August 16, 2007.

In summer 2007, Michelle Obama and their two young daughters traveled with Barack to Democratic battleground states. Michelle also campaigned separately from her husband, impressing crowds with her common-sense charm, strong support of family and smart articulation of the issues.

Organized, energetic and independent, Michelle Obama carried two Blackberries on the campaign trail, one for work and one for the campaign. Michelle was initially reluctant for her husband to enter the race. In 2008, she was an enthusiastic and supportive partner in her husband's drive for the White House.

During the school year, Michelle Obama is a parttime presence on the campaign trail, as she regards parenting as her first priority. Reported the Los Angeles Times in 2007, "... she limits political travel to two days a week, and doesn't stay overnight unless the girls come along."

Since 1996, Michelle, an experienced attorney, has worked in various capacities for University of Chicago. She was promoted to Vice President, Community & External Affairs of University of Chicago Hospitals in 2005 but reduced her work hours to focus on her husband's campaign.

In May 2006, Essence magazine listed Michelle as one of "25 of the World's Most Inspiring Women."

Quote about the 2008 Campaign
"We have spent the last decade talking a good game about family values, but I haven't seen much evidence that we value women or family values.

"All of our emotional and financial resources... as a country have been totally put into the war. We haven't talked about domestic issues in about 10 years... There are no serious conversations about health care or education, or child care, or minimum wage. I mean, these are the basic issues that eat away at the family structure. So you can't just tell, you know, a family of four to suck it up and make it work."

Source: ABC News interview with Robin Roberts on May 22, 2007

Personal Data
Marriage: to Barack Obama on October 18, 1992. (See Barack and Michelle Obama Marriage Profile.)

Children: Malia (b. 1999) and Sasha (b. 2001)

Education: B.A. in sociology, minor in African-American studies, 1985, Princeton University. J.D. in 1988, Harvard University Law School.

Birth: January 17, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois to working class parents Marian and Fraser Robinson. Brother Craig Robinson is the men's basketball coach at Oregon State University.

Also see Profile of Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, 2008 Presidential Candidate.

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