The following is an excerpt from JODI KANTOR | January 6, 2017 | Nytimes.com |
On Jan. 20, Michelle Obama will hand her home over to a man who rose to power in part by spreading lies about her husband and intends to pulverize much of his work. If presidential tradition and her own recent conduct are any guide, she will carry herself through inauguration morning with quiet calm and few hints of what she is really thinking. After Donald J. Trump recites the oath of office, a helicopter — no longer called Marine One, because the president will not be on board — will lift the Obamas into new lives.
Soon after, Michelle Obama will have a choice to make: Should she start — or rather, resume — speaking in public with her fuller voice?
When her husband became the 2008 Democratic nominee for president, Mrs. Obama edited herself. She had to, in the face of unceasing Republican attacks and then the challenge of being the first African-American first lady. Her statements were authentic but limited. She called herself the “mom in chief” and charmed late-night TV hosts in clips that exploded the next day on social media. Sometimes she spoke as much with her body as her voice, hula-hooping and hopscotching with children, turning some of her appearances into marathon hugging sessions. She became a specialist in light jokes, like in September, when she went on a shopping expedition with Ellen DeGeneres to CVS. “Wine in a box! How does this work?” she asked in mock wonder.
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