Michelle Obama as traditional as her predecessors, says academician

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Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): Michelle Obama, the first African-American first lady, may look like one set to usher an era of change but she is as traditional as her predecessors, says an American academic.

Kathy Smith, Professor of Political Science at Wake Forest University, said: "Michelle Obama offers continuity to the past with her traditional interpretation of the first lady role."

Smith, the author of a chapter on Rosalynn Carter in the book "American First Ladies" and co-author of two books on the American presidency, says Mrs Obama is often compared to JFK's wife Jackie Kennedy. According to her, this is largely because of Mrs Obama's positive international image and her influence on style in the US itself.

Moreover, Jackie Kennedy did not ever take a controversial political stand and neither has Michelle Obama, Smith points out.

Smith believes Mrs Obama is quite similar to her Republican predecessor Laura Bush than Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter, the wives of the most recent Democrat presidents.

Smith says that Obama's traditional point of view is clearly reflected on her website, where she first calls herself a mum. Smith, who studies first ladies, also explains that Mrs Obama has not taken up any open political role and has garnered praise from both sides for being a unifying person, which should not be a way to categorise first ladies.

Smith adds that although the first lady has no constitutional power, she should be a public communicator, who serves as a representative of the president. (ANI)

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