Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Black Political News: Guess Whose coming to Europe?

Already a crazy crew, the European paparazzi must be out of their minds with anticipation: Michelle Obama has arrived for a visit.

Buoyed by positive reviews at home, the first lady embarked with her husband on their first overseas trip, virtually certain to attract as much klieg-light attention as President Obama on a five-day visit to Europe. The couple arrived in London on Tuesday.

What will she do, whom will she meet, what will she wear? When she accompanies her husband to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, will she be — gasp! — sleeveless?

And speaking of the money shot, imagine the roar of firing camera shutters when tall, chic ex-lawyer Michelle meets tall, chic ex-model Carla — that is, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, first lady of France. Galaxies colliding indeed.

But don't expect Obama to branch out on her own, make policy statements or be provocative. Her role on this trip, says her press secretary, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, will conform to traditional first lady parameters. She will join her husband at his events, going solo only twice, and won't give interviews. She will listen raptly to his speeches, charm the locals at glittery dinners and visit first lady-type places (an opera house, cancer clinic, girls' school, hospital, a cathedral) with her counterparts in Britain, France, Germany and the Czech Republic.


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