CBS: Michelle Obama ‘Found Her Place in a Glamorous World’

Thalia Assuras, CBS During the 8:30AM EST half hour of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a fawning news brief on Michelle Obama’s first 50 days as First Lady: "In the seven weeks since the new President was inaugurated, the new glamorous First Lady has found her place in a glamorous world. Thalia Assuras has a look at Michelle Obama's successful new life." Assuras began her report: "Everyone wants an invitation to her parties. She's graced several magazine covers. Even Oprah is giving up a slice for the first time. She's the focus of fashionistas, those buff arms igniting commentary, and websites produce constant chatter."

Assuras went on to describe how Michellle Obama had surpassed other First Ladies: "Michelle Obama has created a stir like no other First Lady...Style watchers caution that all new First Ladies cause excitement, but Mrs. Obama is a celebrity who embodies a new generation...That thing, that polls show, produces more positives than recent First Ladies at the outset of past administrations."

Assuras spoke with Washington Post gossip columnist Amy Argetsinger, who exclaimed: "People are sort of reacting to her the way they would to a movie star...She's the youngest First Lady we've had in a while, but she's also got a charisma about her. She's got the height of a fashion model, she looks great in clothes. And, you know, there's kind of that Jackie O thing going on." Following Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal giving the Republican response to Barack Obama’s address to Congress last week, Argetsinger remarked about Jindal: "I found his [pyschotic killer Charles] Manson eyes disturbing."

Assuras also cited historian Myra Gutin, who observed: "Goodwill that Mrs. Obama is able to engender carries over to her husband and the administration in general." Assuras explained: "Some observers point out that Mrs. Obama delved quickly, but carefully, into public policy, with comments on some of the President's programs...Michelle Obama will need to keep treading cautiously, since Americans have signaled they'll continue tracking her every move."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

8:01AM TEASE:

JULIE CHEN: Also coming up this morning, those buff arms and all those magazine covers. We're going to take a look at First Lady Michelle Obama's first 50 days in the White House.

8:32AM SEGMENT:

RUSS MITCHELL: Today is the 50th day of the Obama administration. In the seven weeks since the new President was inaugurated, the new glamorous First Lady has found her place in a glamorous world. Thalia Assuras has a look at Michelle Obama's successful new life.

THALIA ASSURAS: Everyone wants an invitation to her parties. She's graced several magazine covers. Even Oprah is giving up a slice for the first time. She's the focus of fashionistas, those buff arms igniting commentary, and websites produce constant chatter.

STEVIE WONDER [SINGING]: Isn't she lovely.

ASSURAS: Michelle Obama has created a stir like no other First Lady.

AMY ARGETSINGER [STYLE COLUMNIST]: People are sort of reacting to her the way they would to a movie star.

ASSURAS: Style watchers caution that all new First Ladies cause excitement, but Mrs. Obama is a celebrity who embodies a new generation.

ARGETSINGER: She's the youngest First Lady we've had in a while, but she's also got a charisma about her. She's got the height of a fashion model, she looks great in clothes. And, you know, there's kind of that Jackie O thing going on.

ASSURAS: That thing, that polls show, produces more positives than recent First Ladies at the outset of past administrations.

[ON-SCREEN GRAPHIC: CBS/NEW YORK TIMES POLL, MICHELLE OBAMA 49%, LAURA BUSH 30%, HILLARY CLINTON 44%]

ASSURAS: Her pledge to be a mom first seems to have hit a chord.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Can I have some hugs?

ASSURAS: She's also winning fans by reaching out in unusual ways, to military families, often taken for granted federal employees, and the city of Washington. Now, fashion statements, parties, and community service are one thing. What can get dicey for a First Lady is getting involved in policy-making. Remember Hillary Clinton taking on health care reform?

MYRA GUTIN [HISTORIAN]: It's always dicey, because if a First Lady crosses the line, she might risk having her husband spend his political capital cleaning up after her.

ASSURAS: Some observers point out that Mrs. Obama delved quickly, but carefully, into public policy, with comments on some of the President's programs.

OBAMA: You will also help carry out the business of getting our economy moving again as well.

GUTIN: Goodwill that Mrs. Obama is able to engender carries over to her husband and the administration in general.

ASSURAS: Michelle Obama will need to keep treading cautiously, since Americans have signaled they'll continue tracking her every move. Thalia Assuras, CBS News, Washington.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC