CBS ‘Early Show’: Obamas ‘Have An Extra Je Ne Sais Quoi’

Barack Obama and Michelle Barack, CBS In the 8:00AM EST hour of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show correspondent Elizabeth Palmer gave a gushing report on Barack and Michelle Obama’s upcoming trip to Europe, particularly focusing on the popularity of the new First Lady: "In 1961 when Jacqueline Kennedy came to Europe, she enchanted even the crustiest of world leaders. And she's remained a tough act to follow for every First Lady since. But Michelle Obama looks more than equal to the task of impressing and delighting even the grandest of them...To be honest, most Europeans were going to like whoever replaced President Bush. But there's no doubt Michelle and her husband have an extra je ne sais quoi."

Palmer cited French journalist Agnes Poirier, who declared: "Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a very alluring and very sophisticated couple, and that plays well with the French. They like seeing, you know, sophistication at the helm of power." Palmer concluded her report by adding: "And this sophisticated lady hand in hand with power looks poised to do wonders for America's image abroad."

Following that fawning report, co-host Julie Chen spoke with Angela Buttolph, the fashion editor of the British women’s magazine ‘Grazia,’ and asked questions like: "Why is the UK so excited about Michelle Obama's visit? What do they love about her?...So what are the British hoping to see her wear? Some British designers or whatever she wears this woman can do no wrong?...How big of a fashion trend-setter is she over there? You know, she's been wearing a lot of sleeveless dresses here, Americans, you know, can't get enough of those. Is that happening over there in the UK, whatever she's wearing, people over there want to buy?"

In her final question to Buttolph, Chen wondered: "And in the final seconds, what about her personality, or do the Brits just want to see what she's wearing? Don't they love something about her as a mom? A wife? An ivy league-educated woman?" Buttolph replied: "I mean, she's the full package, isn't she? And that makes it even more appealing when she's wearing an amazing outfit, because you think it's not just the surface, they kind of, you know, absolutely can tell that she's incredibly cultured, intelligent, powerful woman as well. And to also be able to dress yourself in an incredibly stylish way is just wonderful."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

8:00AM TEASE:

JULIE CHEN: London calling. Britain goes bonkers for Michelle Obama as the First Lady gets set to meet the Queen.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think she's just a lovely person. And she seems to come over with a great personality.

8:06AM SEGMENT:

JULIE CHEN: Britain loves First Lady Michelle Obama. They cannot wait to see what she wears or what she says when she meets the Queen of England on her trip there this week. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer has more.

ELIZABETH PALMER: In 1961 when Jacqueline Kennedy came to Europe, she enchanted even the crustiest of world leaders. And she's remained a tough act to follow for every First Lady since. But Michelle Obama looks more than equal to the task of impressing and delighting even the grandest of them.

VICTORIA MATHER: I think that Michelle Obama is going to be just Prince Phillip's cup of tea. She's a feisty, intelligent, beautiful woman. What's there not to like?

PALMER: To be honest, most Europeans were going to like whoever replaced President Bush. But there's no doubt Michelle and her husband have an extra je ne sais quoi.

AGNES POIRIER: Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a very alluring and very sophisticated couple, and that plays well with the French. They like seeing, you know, sophistication at the helm of power.

PALMER: And this sophisticated lady hand in hand with power looks poised to do wonders for America's image abroad. Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News, London.

CHEN: Joining us from London, Angela Buttolph, who writes for the British women's magazine 'Grazia.' Good morning, Angela.

ANGELA BUTTOLPH: Hello.

CHEN: Why is the UK so excited about Michelle Obama's visit? What do they love about her?

BUTTOLPH: Well, we're very excited about her visit because we just want to see what she's wearing, to be honest.

CHEN: That's honest.

BUTTOLPH: She's such a stylish lady -- yeah. And she -- and the brilliant thing about Michelle Obama is that she loves fashion. You can absolutely tell that from all her outfits. She's not just, kind of, trying to look smart and trying to look appropriate for a First Lady, you can tell that she loves clothes.

CHEN: So what are the British hoping to see her wear? Some British designers or whatever she wears this woman can do no wrong?

BUTTOLPH: Well, I think we would be, like, completely enchanted if she wore some British designers. It would be great to see her in Alexander McQueen or perhaps a Burberry trench coat. As you can see, the weather here is not great for sleeveless dresses, which is always her signature style.

CHEN: How big of a fashion trend-setter is she over there? You know, she's been wearing a lot of sleeveless dresses here, Americans, you know, can't get enough of those. Is that happening over there in the UK, whatever she's wearing, people over there want to buy?

BUTTOLPH: I think it's more that she's kind of picking certain really key trends in fashion at the moment. And those are obviously being picked up on over here. One of the things she's known for is wearing really bright colors. And that's going to be a huge trend for spring. Yesterday I was wearing a yellow dress with a huge necklace. And I was thinking, this is such a Michelle Obama look. And what's great about her is she already has this very distinctive kind of style.

CHEN: And in the final seconds, what about her personality, or do the Brits just want to see what she's wearing? Don't they love something about her as a mom? A wife? An ivy league-educated woman?

BUTTOLPH: I mean, she's the full package, isn't she? And that makes it even more appealing when she's wearing an amazing outfit, because you think it's not just the surface, they kind of, you know, absolutely can tell that she's incredibly cultured, intelligent, powerful woman as well. And to also be able to dress yourself in an incredibly stylish way is just wonderful.

CHEN: Angela Buttolph, thank you.

BUTTOLPH: Thanks.

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