Of the Iowa State Fair’s corn dogs and candied apples, obligingly gushed over by hopeful First Ladies every four years: “Stuff on a stick.” Here’s Obama, talking to me in her motorcade halfway between Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and Green Bay about Obama Girl, the young woman who professed her crush on Obama’s husband all over the Internet: “That was a little weird, because, you know . And one day Sasha comes home and she’s, like, ‘Daddy has a girlfriend.
“She’s fundamentally honest—goes out there, speaks her mind, jokes.
If I’d only met her fifteen years ago, I bet we would be best friends.’ ” “Can Michelle Obama Be First Lady No Matter What?
” pleaded the headline for a post on Wonkette, the political blog, about a gathering of candidates’ wives.
Obama seems like an iconoclast precisely because she’s normal (the norm for a candidate’s wife having been defined, in the past, as nonworking, white, and pious about the democratic process).
Obama is also cool in the other sense of the word; her tastes, references, and vocabulary—“freaky,” “24/7,” “got my back,” “American Idol,” Judge Mathis—if not exactly edgy, are recognizable, which, for a political spouse, makes them seem radical. I just assumed, you know, there’s no way anybody’s gonna hear about that.