The Meaning of Michelle Obama

She's beaten back criticism and caricature to become the most watched First Lady in a generation. An intimate look at how Michelle Obama is changing the White House — and America — forever

Platon for Time

First Lady Michelle Obama

It was just two days after the Inauguration when an e-mail went around to Michelle Obama's staff, instructing everyone to be in the East Room of the White House at 3 that afternoon. The First Lady's advisers arrived to find the room filled with ushers and plumbers, electricians and maids and kitchen crew gathered in a huge circle, and Michelle in a T shirt and ponytail, very casual and very much in charge.

"This is my team that came with me from Chicago," Michelle said, pointing to her communications staff and policy people....

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