Michelle Obama is now the most televised first lady in history
A new study has found that first lady Michelle Obama is the most televised first lady in history, with 44 television appearances under her belt in nearly four years — and more surely to come. Mrs. Obama has beaten out other former first ladies such as Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, who each made less than 20 TV appearances during their first terms in the role.
Obama has used guest spots on shows like Disney’s iCarly and taken on talk shows including Late Night with David Letterman to promote her Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity. She has also promoted her Joining Forces campaign that supports military families through going on various programs.
Experts see her use of these platforms as extremely politically savvy.
Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, said of the first lady’s television ubiquity, ”’What she’s doing is political. She’s getting her face out there because it’s an election year.”
Yet, first lady Michelle Obama has carefully crafted her image to shy away from being perceived as a political player. Aides from her camp stress that, while Michelle is well-received on shows like Sesame Street, her aims are service-oriented only.
“There is no silver bullet to solve the problem of childhood obesity — we need everyone from parents to teachers to business and faith leaders to join together to make our country healthier,” Obama’s press secretary Hannah August told Fox News. “We also need to make sure that families have the tools they need to be healthy, and TV programs that are popular with kids and parents are a great way to talk about how we can all work together to help our children lead healthier lives.”
Promoting healthy children and supporting our troops are two goals worthy of Michelle Obama flexing her media muscle — even at the risk of seeming political while helping others through her popularity.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb