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Michelle Obama Shines In US Poll Campaign Mired In Scandals

The US first lady has been candid about her preferences. She has spoken loud and clear about the causes that concern her

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The ongoing US presidential election campaign can be among the most unpleasant democratic exercises in recent history. If ever we needed to tell our future generations what democracy or campaigning is not about, then this has to be it. We have in Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump two candidates who have so many controversies surrounding them that voters have almost lost count of their scandals. But even this shrill, personal and expletive-ridden campaign has thrown up an unlikely victor: first lady Michelle Obama.

Be it her speech at Democratic National Convention, her recent stand on Trump tapes or her videos of mingling with voters or her carpool karaoke, she has been one personality that has trumped all. While for last eight years of Barack Obama's presidency, and campaigning years before that, she happily let the spotlight be on her husband, Michelle has well and truly emerged as her own over last few months.

Hillary will owe a lot to Michelle on becoming 45thpresident of the United States as all her star campaigners, including Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, seemed to be fading in front of Trump. But one lady who not only outshined all and swung the polls well and truly in Hillary’s favour has been Michelle.

Michelle is not just your average first lady. This Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate is a true role model, a fashion icon and vouches for various noble and social causes. While so far her role was limited to espousing causes and occasional jigs with underprivileged, the Domestic National Convention speech at Philadelphia catapulted her as a social personality to watch out for. Her speech against Trump tapes that were being defended as mere "locker room boys' talk' well and truly derailed Trump’s bid.

She has many firsts to her credit as the first lady. From donning the covers of leading fashion and lifestyle magazines to giving away an Oscar for best film to appearing on chat shows that almost never considered politician’s wives as guests. Michelle was purely seen as fashion icon during Obama’s first term as president and many of her social activities did not get as popular a coverage as her ball room dance moves with the president.

After Obama’s re-election as president, Michelle has been more vocal about pertinent social issues. Her support for education of girl child across the globe, her concern for war veterans, her push for organic eating and open support for LGBT rights made her a darling of a whole new constituency. From being written about merely for which designer she wore at a charity ball, Michelle was in the news for not covering her head in Saudi Arabia when she visited after the death of King Abdullah.

What really works in her favour is that she as a first lady does not have any baggage that Hillary seems to be bogged down by. Barack is not Bill and she is definitely not Hillary. Michelle has not been ambiguous about her preferences. She has spoken loud and clear about causes that personally concern her. She has been absolutely clear about her social, political and sartorial choices and has been unapologetic about it.

In a campaign where both the candidates have been bashing each other for being pretentious, Michelle has been refreshingly herself. Probably that explains why she has emerged as the true victor of this scandal-hit campaign. The nation loved her as first lady and already looks optimistically to her as the next president. Will Michelle take the bait is what time will tell. But first woman African American president who personifies "American Dream" is exactly the president not just the US but the world needs.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Amna Mirza

The author is an alumini of DPS Mathura Road, St.Stephens College (Bachelors Degree), Hindu College (Masters Degree), M.Phil & PhD from University of Delhi where she is currently Assistant Professor of Political Studies. An avid traveller, voracious reader, her academic initiatives took her to University of Duisburg Essen (Germany), University of Fribourg (Switzerland) amongst others. She is recipient of 'Godfray Philips Golden Ovary Award', St.Stephens College Centenary Medal for 'character combined with learning', amongst others. She has three books to her credit which were well received by academic and others alike.

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