She's the woman behind Senator Barack Obama, a candidate for the 2008 Democratic Party nomination for president. Michelle Obama talks with Gayle about her husband's leadership potential, life on the campaign trail and balancing family and work.
Michelle says the response from Barack supporters across the country has not only been encouraging—it's been downright energizing. Despite the image often portrayed by the media of an apathetic populace, Michelle says citizens are actively engaged at a grassroots level. "Folks are just trying to live a decent life—they really don't want the noise, they don't want the partisanship," she says. "They are really trying to latch on to some hope, and that's what I see out there."
For voters seeking real change, Michelle says Barack is the ideal candidate. "He's a brilliant man who is not only smart and insightful and can take in quantities of information and dissect it, peel it down and break it down for people to understand—he's decent, honest, trustworthy," she says. "This is what we've said we wanted."
Although campaigning can be grueling, Michelle says she is managing to balance it all with the help and support of staff members, friends and family. She says the team also shares the same priorities, including family, fun and keeping things interesting. "This isn't about burning people out," she says. "You can do an excellent job, you can change the world and you can still be a mother." Personally, Michelle says she's also put her own high-powered career on hold to focus her efforts on the campaign and her family.
Whenever possible, Michelle says the couple's two daughters also join in on the campaign activities. "We want them to come on the campaign trail because it helps them understand what this is all about, and it's a privilege for them to travel the country and see parts of it and meet people," she says.
Published on June 28, 2007