Four more years: What's on tap for Michelle?

(LIN) — Four more years.

Just as quickly as the past four years might have flown by for the Obama family, only four more years remain for first lady Michelle Obama as the “mom in chief” of the White House.

In the past four years, she has built a platform battling childhood obesity. Kickstarting the “Let’s Move” campaign, which educates and encourages children to make healthier decisions when it comes to food and exercise, she’s helped bring awareness to healthier options for families in hopes to curb obesity-related health problems for younger generations.

She has also spent a great deal of time focusing on military families. Now that many are coming home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the first lady may decide to pursue new issues.

When Malia and Sasha Obama came to live in the White House, they were 7 and 10 years old. In 2016, Obama’s girls will be 15 and 18, meaning they will be less dependent on their mom and more into pursuing their own roles as young adults.

With her children growing older and the work of another presidential campaign off the radar, Obama has options to pursue many different avenues.

Become a role model for teens
No matter where you stand politically, it’s tough to argue against the likeability of the Obamas. Michelle Obama  truly emerged as a graceful matriarch during the first term, and the next four years shouldn’t be any different. Looking ahead, she can ease into this role even more by stepping up and being the first mom for many young teens, offering advice and encouragement to the often-troubling times of being a young adult.

Pen a book
Although she’s already written American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, it’s not exactly a page-turning tell-all, or an interesting memoir to say the least. Hillary Clinton’s Living History tells her story of life from childhood through the sometimes-turbulent years in the White House.  Drama isn’t a prerequisite for a first lady book, though. Obama can pen a story about raising two young girls in the White House and offer a unique perspective of her time as first lady, and how her platform of family building has played into her role as “mom in chief."

Obama 2016?
She’s well-liked, an excellent speaker and has many influential relationships.  Obama has had historically higher approval ratings than her husband, and she also stunned many during her speech at the Democratic National Convention while expressing her husband’s ability to connect to middle-income families. Her ability to connect personally to constituents is something every person running for any office tries to do. She excels and doesn’t even make it look difficult.

Fashion consultant
After nearly every campaign event this year where the first couple appeared together, two stories emerged: What Barack had to say, and what Michelle was wearing. The first lady already has a fashion following, whether she’s intended to or not. It wouldn’t take much effort for her to grow a fashion consulting enterprise, in the form of a fashion line, retail or editorial.

Spend more time as wife-in-chief
If the grey on her husband’s head is only a fraction of how she’s felt after the past four years, the first lady may be ready to gear down and prepare for a life outside of the spotlight.

Regardless of what route she considers – and what outfits she decides to wear while doing so – many will follow her every move.  She’s bold and highly influential with little to lose – a trifecta for success where ever the path will lead.


Ladies First is a biweekly feature centered around the first lady of the United States. Jessica O. Swink is a contributing editor to onPolitix. Join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2014 LIN TV News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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