PLEDGE NOW
Reading Michelle Obama
First lady Michelle Obama arrives to take part in the groundbreaking of the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House with students from Washington's Bancroft Elementary, Friday, March 20, 2009, at the White House in Washington. (AP)

First lady Michelle Obama arrives to take part in the groundbreaking of the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House with students from Washington's Bancroft Elementary, Friday, March 20, 2009, at the White House in Washington. (AP)

Presidents lead. But First Spouses — First Ladies, in our history — matter, too. The set a tone. Project an image. Personify values. And come with their own ideas.

First Lady Michelle Obama has lived in the White House for 63 days now. She is like — and unlike — every First Lady before her. At her husband’s side. Making the White House a home. Sitting for her portrait – sleeveless, like Jackie Kennedy and Mamie Eisenhower.

And digging in, as an African-American, in the spotlight, to what she calls one of “the best jobs in the world.”

This hour, On Point: We’re reading Michelle Obama in the White House.

You can join the conversation. How’s she doing? What are you watching — her fashion statements? Her policy statements? And how do the new First Lady’s image, character, personality, ideas, attitudes matter to the country? To you?

Guests:

From Washington, we’re joined by Liza Mundy, staff writer for The Washington Post Magazine and author of “Michelle: A Biography.”

Joining us from New York is Margo Jefferson. A longtime cultural critic for The New York Times, she’s a professor of writing at the New School and Columbia University, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1995, and author of “On Michael Jackson.” A few of her thoughts on Michelle Obama appeared in last week’s issue of New York magazine in a collection of essays, “Regarding Michelle Obama.”

Also from New York is David Samuels, contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine and a contributor to The Atlantic and The New Yorker.  He also wrote an essay on Michelle Obama for last week’s issue of New York. He’s the author of “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “The Runner: A True Account of the Amazing Lies and Fantastical Adventures of the Ivy League Impostor James Hogue.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 5, 2016
Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters, Monday, May 2, 2016, in Detroit. Detroit Public Schools transition manager Steven Rhodes says 45,628 of approximately 46,000 students were forced to miss classes Monday as 1,562 teachers called in sick. The mass sick-out has forced the district to close 94 of its 97 schools. Detroit's schools are expected to be out of cash starting July 1. The state earlier gave the district $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep it open through June 30 as the Legislature considers a $720 million restructuring plan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Fixing Michigan- from Flint’s water crisis to failing schools in Detroit. Are state takeovers the answers or the problem?

May 5, 2016
BEING CHARLIE Common and Nick Robinson Photo by Fred Hayes (PALADIN Release)

Director and actor Rob Reiner and his son, Nick, get personal in their new film “Being Charlie,” which takes on his son’s drug addiction.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

 
May 4, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is joined by his wife Melania, right, and daughter Ivanka, left, as he arrives for a primary night news conference, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Results from the 2016 Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment