As the 46th first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama is caretaker of an unpaid position that nevertheless is one of the most powerful in the world.
How powerful? Put it this way: the most ardent scholars of presidential wives invariably underestimate their clout inside the White House.
Veteran journalist Carl M. Cannon discusses the usually overlooked power of being a presidential wife in Michele Obamaon Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Even in this rarified company Michelle Obama stands out for her closeness to the president. Moreover, she is the first African American first lady, symbolism that cannot be overstated in the black community.
She is also the first post-Title IX first lady, a woman who was the president's professional mentor before they went into politics, who kept her job during the 2008 campaign, who has a Harvard law degree, who hugged the Queen of England, and who has, in one biographer's phrase "shimmied, skipped, hop-scotched, hula-hooped, jumping-jacked, and
potato-sack raced her way through her tenure as first lady."
Cannon's presentation is the initial event in the First Ladies Series on presidential spouses made possible by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund Grants to the
Truman Library Institute and to the Kansas City Public Library. Co-sponsored by KCUR's Up to Date.
Cannon is the Washington editor of RealClearPolitics. A past recipient of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting and the Aldo Beckman Award, the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage, he has been executive editor of PoliticsDaily.com, DC bureau chief for Reader's Digest, and White House correspondent for both the Baltimore Sun and National Journal. He is the author of Boy Genius: Karl Rove, the Architect of George W. Bush's Remarkable Political Triumphs and The Pursuit of Happiness in Times of War (American Political Challenges).
Admission is free. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the event.RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.