April 1, 2009
Posted: 08:35 AM ET
by Tina Brown, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of thedailybeast.com – Tina was on LKL last night talking about the Obama's trip and here are her thoughts!
The excitement British women feel about the arrival of Michelle Obama in London for the G-20 summit is spiked with awe. She’s so big-time. So self-confident. So devoid of rainy, British diffidence. In a country where most political wives and female members of Parliament are the stylistic equivalent of a tufted ottoman, Michelle’s kind of striding self-assurance, glamour, and broad demographic appeal feels thrillingly 21st-century. The fact that she's African American adds an inspirational magic.
It was smart of France’s ravishing first lady, Carla Bruni, to let her husband go to the conference without her. The second Madame Sarkozy was a big wow when she visited London last March, but she’s a shrewd enough PR hand to know she would suffer in comparison to the first and only Mrs. Obama. Carla is old news next to Michelle. Sure, she’s more beautiful in the cover-girl sense—looking good is her profession, after all—but an Italian heiress who strums the guitar and made a predatory move on France’s reigning little Napoleon isn’t the best poster girl for the scariest economic downturn since the 1930s.
The Brits went off Carla almost as soon as she was back in Paris. That fake-demure little Dior suit she wore to lunch with Queen Elizabeth seemed in retrospect like the kind of get-up a reformed hooker might wear to meet her latest CEO for lunch at the Savoy.
One of the many appeal points of Michelle to the Brits is that her casual elegance feels as if it came out of her own closet on her own salary. The clean lines of Mrs. Obama’s jewel-colored shift dresses, skinny cardigans, and ballet flats have that effortless air that always gets high marks in dress-down Britain, where “she’s trying too hard” is the ultimate putdown.
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