The Obamacare rollout is a mess, the White House is desperate for signups to inject cash needed to prop up the system, but one of President Obama’s best PR weapons – First Lady Michelle Obama – is nowhere to be found.
Mrs. Obama is more popular than her husband and has been deployed by the White House frequently as one of his most most attractive and effective surrogates. She campaigned tirelessly last year for his reelection and has represented him on countless other matters too. And yet she is not being used to help salvage Obamacare.
In fact, Michelle has hardly been seen in public at all for a month, making no on-camera appearances since a round of events during September’s UN General Assembly session in New York City.
Today she will host a tea for the wife of the Pakistani prime minister, but the event is closed to the press. Reporters will also be barred when she greets the USO “Volunteer of the Year” Friday. And the White House will allow only a single print reporter to cover remarks she will make Friday afternoon to a Democratic National Committee event focused on women’s issues.
Other outings in recent days have been similarly below the radar, including a parent-teacher conference at her daughters’ school and three hours spent dining out with friends at a swank DC Italian restaurant, Bibiana.
Michelle has been on the Obamacare beat before, speaking just last July to the Hispanic group La Raza to urge members to help get people signed up.
But now that the process is underway, she’s exited the stage, leaving it to her husband and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make the pitch.
Here’s some video of President Obama going it on his own, imploring members of his political group, Organizing for Action, to “tell your friends, families, coworkers, classmates, neighbors and anyone else about what the Affordable Care Act can mean for them.”