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Behind every successful man ...

(Credit: Politirazzi)

By LaShawnda Jones

Michelle Obama has inspired a nation of women. Before her husband even took his oath of office on Jan. 20, three books were published about her exclusively. Liza Mundy, staff writer for the Washington Post, penned "Michelle: A Biography," released in October 2008.

Barbara A. Seals Nevergold and Peggy Brooks-Bertram compiled and edited a collection of letters and poems addressed to Michelle in "Go, Tell Michelle," released in January 2009.

Also in January 2009, David Bergen Brophy published "Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady," which is targeted towards the 8- to 12-year-old demographic.

Liza Mundy wrote an extended piece complaining about the hardships of writing an informed biography of a campaign-protected Michelle Obama last summer. In contrast, "Go, Tell Michelle" is a collection of mini-biographies of the women who felt compelled to express their love and admiration for everything Michelle Obama represents to them.

The American public has always been taken with the position of first lady, an un-elected and unpaid public service post. Many first ladies have numerous biographies written about them and their contributions; an excellent source to learn their thoughts on that period of their lives.

Hillary Clinton once said of the position:

“The American people have made the role of the First Lady one of the most important jobs in the country. ... It is a tribute to American women that, coming from different social and economic backgrounds, from many different geographical regions, and with diverse educational preparation, each First Lady served our country so well. Each left her own mark, and each teaches us something special about our history.”

Michelle’s early outspokenness may have rubbed raw some players in major media outlets, however she spoke truth in a voice many women, minorities, disadvantaged and marginalized Americans identified with. She has always represented herself as a wife, mother, supporter and adviser. Another popular first lady, Nancy Reagan, defended her staunch support of her husband, “I think it’s an important, legitimate role for a First Lady to look after a President’s health and well being. And if that interferes with other plans, so be it. No first lady need to make apologies for looking out for her husband’s personal welfare. ... The First Lady is, first of all, a wife.”

Michelle Obama has stated numerous times that “policies supporting families aren't political issues. They're personal. They're the causes I carry with me every single day." As first lady, Mrs. Obama looks forward to continuing her work on the issues close to her heart — supporting military families, helping working women balance career and family, and encouraging national service. In the wise words of Martha Washington, “the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”

With such a disposition and focus, the strong woman standing behind President Barack Obama will be a blessing to America.

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