June 22nd, 2011
09:03 AM ET

Michelle Obama brings ‘Yes We Can’ to Africa

Echoing the now-famous phrase that came to define her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign, Michelle Obama urged young African women Wednesday to win the battles against hunger, AIDS, and poverty that have long run rampant in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Yes we can,” Mrs. Obama repeated four times to an excited crowd at the Young African Women Leaders Forum as she concluded her speech in Soweto, South Africa.

“I am here today because when it comes to the challenges we face, we simply don’t have time to sit back and wait,” Mrs. Obama said during the speech. “I’m here because I believe that each of you is ready, right here and right now, to start meeting these challenges.”

The address was delivered at a Catholic Church named “Regina Mundi,” Latin for “Queen of the World.” Graca Machel, the wife of former South Africa President Nelson Mandela, introduced Mrs. Obama as the “queen of our world.”

Mrs. Obama’s official state visit to Africa will also include stops in Gaborone and Botswana, and is aimed at promoting education, health and wellness in addition to leadership. The first lady has engaged in similar efforts during past trips to Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, India, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Mrs. Obama’s full remarks after the jump:

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you so much. It is such a pleasure and an honor to be here with all of you today.

I want to start by thanking Graca Machel for that just gracious, kind introduction. It is overwhelming. And I want to thank her for her lifetime of service as a champion for women and children. And from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for all of the kindness and generosity that you have shown my family for our visit here. Thank you so much. (Applause.)

I am also honored to share the stage with another remarkable leader, Baleka Mbete. (Applause.) She has played a vital role in advancing equality and promoting development here in South Africa. Thank you to the both of you for joining us here for sharing this moment with all of us.

I also want to thank the Archbishop of Johannesburg for honoring us today with his presence.

And of course, I want to recognize our guests of honor –- these 76 extraordinary young women leaders from here in South Africa and across the continent. (Applause.)

These are young women transforming their communities and their countries, and let me tell you I am so impressed by all of them. I am so proud of everything they have achieved.

And finally, I want to thank the leaders and the congregation of Regina Mundi for hosting us in this sacred space today. It has been more than three decades, but those bullet holes in the ceiling, this broken altar still stand as vivid reminders of the history that unfolded here.

And you all know the story –- how 35 years ago this month, a group of students planned a peaceful protest to express their outrage over a new law requiring them to take courses in Afrikaans. Thousands of them took to the streets, intending to march to Orlando Stadium.

But when security forces opened fire, some fled here to this church. The police followed, first with tear gas, and then with bullets.

And while no one was killed within this sanctuary, hundreds lost their lives that day, including a boy named Hector Pieterson, who was just 12 years old, and Hastings Ndlovu, who was just 15.

Many of the students hadn’t even known about the protest when they arrived at school that morning. But they agreed to take part, knowing full well the dangers involved, because they were determined to get an education worthy of their potential.

And as the Archbishop noted, that June day wasn’t the first, or the last, time that this church stood in the crosscurrents of history. It was referred to as “the parliament of Soweto.” When the congregation sang their hymns, activists would make plans, singing the locations and times of secret meetings. Church services, and even funerals, often became anti-Apartheid rallies. And as President Mandela once put it, “Regina Mundi became a world-wide symbol of the determination of our people to free themselves.”

It is a story that has unfolded across this country and across this continent, and also in my country - the story of young people 20 years ago, 50 years ago, who marched until their feet were raw, who endured beatings and bullets and decades behind bars, who risked, and sacrificed, everything they had for the freedom they deserved.

And it is because of them that we are able to gather here today. It is because of them that so many of these young women leaders can now pursue their dreams. It is because of them that I stand before you as First Lady of the United States of America. (Applause.) That is the legacy of the independence generation, the freedom generation. And all of you -– the young people of this continent -– you are the heirs of that blood, sweat, sacrifice, and love.

So the question today is, what will you make of that inheritance? What legacy will you leave for your children and your grandchildren? What generation will you be?

Now, I could ask these questions of young people in any country, on any continent. But there is a reason why I wanted to come here to South Africa to speak with all of you.

As my husband has said, Africa is a fundamental part of our interconnected world. And when it comes to the defining challenges of our times –- creating jobs in our global economy, promoting democracy and development, confronting climate change, extremism, poverty and disease - for all this, the world is looking to Africa as a vital partner.

That is why my husband’s administration is not simply focused on extending a helping hand to Africa, but focusing on partnering with Africans who will shape their future by combating corruption, and building strong democratic institutions, by growing new crops, caring for the sick. And more than ever before, we will be looking to all of you, our young people, to lead the way.

And I’m not just saying that to make you all feel good. (Laughter.) The fact is that in Africa, people under 25 make up 60 percent of the population. And here in South Africa, nearly two-thirds of citizens are under the age of 30. So over the next 20 years, the next 50 years, our future will be shaped by your leadership.

And I want to pause for a moment on that word -– leadership - because I know that so often, when we think about what that word means, what it means to be a leader, we think of presidents and prime ministers. We think of people who pass laws or command armies, run big businesses, people with fancy titles, big salaries.

And most young people don’t fit that image. And I know that often when you try to make your voices heard, sometimes people don’t always listen. I know there are those who discount your opinions, who tell you you’re not ready, who say that you should sit back and wait your turn.

But I am here today because when it comes to the challenges we face, we simply don’t have time to sit back and wait.

I’m here because I believe that each of you is ready, right here and right now, to start meeting these challenges.

And I am here because I know that true leadership -– leadership that lifts families, leadership that sustains communities and transforms nations –- that kind of leadership rarely starts in palaces or parliaments.

That kind of leadership is not limited only to those of a certain age or status. And that kind of leadership is not just about dramatic events that change the course of history in an instant.

Instead, true leadership often happens with the smallest acts, in the most unexpected places, by the most unlikely individuals.

I mean, think about what happened here in Soweto 35 years ago. Many of the students who led the uprising were younger than all of you. They carried signs made of cardboard boxes and canvass sacks. Yet together, they propelled this cause into the consciousness of the world. And we now celebrate National Youth Day and National Youth Month every year in their honor.

I mean, think about the giants of the struggle –- people like Albertina Sisulu, whose recent passing we all mourn. Orphaned as a teenager, she worked as a nurse to support her siblings. And when her husband, Walter Sisulu, became Secretary-General of the ANC, it was up to her to provide for their family. When he was imprisoned for 26 years, it was up to her to continue his work. And that she did. With a mother’s fierce love for this country, she threw herself into the struggle.

She led boycotts and sit-ins and marches, including the 1956 Women’s March, when thousands of women from across this country, converged on Pretoria to protest the pass laws. They were women of every color, many of them not much older than all of you. Some of them carried their babies on their backs. And for 30 minutes, they stood in complete silence, raising their voices only to sing freedom songs like Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica. Their motto was simple, but clear: “If you strike a woman, you strike a rock.” (Applause.)

Ma Sisulu, the students of Soweto, those women in Pretoria, they had little money, even less status, no fancy titles to speak of. But what they had was their vision for a free South Africa. What they had was an unshakeable belief that they were worthy of that freedom –- and they had the courage to act on that belief. Each of them chose to be a rock for justice. And with countless acts of daring and defiance, together, they transformed this nation.

Together they paved the way for free and fair elections, for a process of healing and reconciliation, and for the rise of South Africa as a political and economic leader on the world stage.

Now, I know that as your generation looks back on that struggle, and on the many liberation movements of the past century, you may think that all of the great moral struggles have already been won.

As you hear the stories of lions like Madiba and Sisulu and Luthuli, you may think that you can never measure up to such greatness.

But while today’s challenges might not always inspire the lofty rhetoric or the high drama of struggles past, the injustices at hand are no less glaring, the human suffering no less acute.

So make no mistake about it: There are still so many causes worth sacrificing for. There is still so much history yet to be made. You can be the generation that makes the discoveries and builds the industries that will transform our economies. You can be the generation that brings opportunity and prosperity to forgotten corners of the world and banishes hunger from this continent forever. You can be the generation that ends HIV/AIDS in our time - (applause) - the generation that fights not just the disease, but the stigma of the disease, the generation that teaches the world that HIV is fully preventable, and treatable, and should never be a source of shame. (Applause.)

You can be the generation that holds your leaders accountable for open, honest government at every level, government that stamps out corruption and protects the rights of every citizen to speak freely, to worship openly, to love whomever they choose.

You can be the generation to ensure that women are no longer second-class citizens, that girls take their rightful places in our schools. (Applause.)

You can be the generation that stands up and says that violence against women in any form, in any place - (applause) - including the home –- especially the home –- that isn’t just a women’s rights violation. It’s a human rights violation. And it has no place in any society.

You see, that is the history that your generation can make.

Now, I have to be honest. Your efforts might not always draw the world’s attention, except for today. (Laughter.) You may not find yourself leading passionate protests that fill stadiums and shut down city streets. And the change you seek may come slowly, little by little, measured not by sweeping changes in the law, but by daily improvements in people’s lives.

But I can tell you from my own experience –- and from my husband’s experience -– that this work is no less meaningful, no less inspiring, and no less urgent than what you read about in the history books.

You see, it wasn’t that long ago that my husband and I were young, believe it or not - (laugher) - just starting out our careers. After he graduated from university, Barack got a job as a community organizer in the struggling neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago. A lot of people there were out of work and barely getting by. Children had few opportunities and little hope for their future. And trust me, no one thought that this skinny kid with the funny name - (laughter) - could make much of a difference.

But Barack started talking to people. He urged them to start working on the change they wanted to see. Soon, slowly, folks started coming together to fight for job training programs and better schools and safer housing for their families.

Slowly, the neighborhoods started to turn around. Little by little, people started feeling hopeful again. And that made Barack feel hopeful.

And I had a similar experience in my own career. Like my husband, I came from a modest background. My parents saved and sacrificed everything they had so that I could get an education. And when I graduated, got a job at a big, fancy law firm - nice salary, big office. My friends were impressed. My family was proud. By all accounts, I was living the dream.

But I knew something was missing. I knew I didn’t want to be way up in some tall building all alone in an office writing memos. I wanted to be down on the ground working with kids, helping families put food on the table and a roof over their heads.

So I left that job for a new job training young people like yourselves for careers in public service. I was making a lot less money. My office wasn’t so nice. (Laughter.) But every day, I got to watch those young people gain skills and build confidence. And then I saw them go on to mentor and inspire other young people. And that made me feel inspired. It still does.

See, my husband and I, we didn’t change any laws, we didn’t win any awards, get our pictures in the paper. But we were making a difference in people’s lives. We were part of something greater than ourselves. And we knew that in our own small way, we were helping to build a better world. And that is precisely what so many young people are doing every day across this continent.

These 76 young women are outstanding examples. Take Gqibelo Dandala from here in South Africa. She left a lucrative career in investment banking to found the Future of the African Daughter Project, an organization that lifts up young women in rural and township areas. Of her work, she says: “…we are building a legacy which will outlive and outgrow us…”

And then there’s Robyn Kriel. She’s a young reporter from Zimbabwe who has written about corruption and human rights abuses in her country. She was beaten by police; her home raided, her mother imprisoned. But she still hasn’t lost her passion for reporting, because, as she put it, the people of Zimbabwe “want their stories to be told.”

And then there’s Grace Nanyonga, who joins us today from Uganda. Hey, Grace! (Applause.) You go, girl. (Laughter.) Orphaned at the age of 13, she started cooking and selling fish during her school vacations to support her six siblings. Determined to get an education, she founded her own company, and she made enough money to put herself through university. And she’s now started an organization that trains local women to work at her company so that they can support their own families. (Applause.) Of her achievements, she says, simply - these are her words - “I made it against all odds” and “I want to be an example for girls in my country and beyond.”

Now, Grace could have been content to make lots of money, and just provide for her own family. Gqibelo could have climbed the corporate ladder, and never looked back. Where is she? Please stand. Grace got to stand. (Laughter.) Come on, where is she? Is she out there? (Applause.) And no one would’ve blamed Robyn - where’s Robyn? (Applause.) No one would have blamed Robyn if after all she’d been through she decided to quit reporting and pursue an easier career. But these young women - and these are just examples of stories that go on and on - these young women could not be content with their own comfort and success when they knew that other people were struggling.

You see, that’s how people of conscience view the world. It’s the belief, as my husband often says, that if any child goes hungry, that matters to me, even if she’s not my child. (Applause.) If any family is devastated by disease, then I cannot be content with my own good health. If anyone is persecuted because of how they look, or what they believe, then that diminishes my freedom and threatens my rights as well.

And in the end, that sense of interconnectedness, that depth of compassion, that determination to act in the face of impossible odds, those are the qualities of mind and heart that I hope will define your generation.

I hope that all of you will reject the false comfort that others’ suffering is not your concern, or if you can’t solve all the world’s problems, then you shouldn’t even try.

Instead, as one of our great American presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, liked to say, I hope that you will commit yourselves to doing “what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are,” because in the end, that is what makes you a lion. Not fortune, not fame, not your pictures in history books, but the refusal to remain a bystander when others are suffering, and that commitment to serve however you can, where you are.

Now it will not be easy. You women know that already. You will have failures and setbacks and critics and plenty of moments of frustration and doubt. But if you ever start to lose heart, I brought you all here today because I want you to think of each other.

Think about Grace, supporting her family all by herself. And think about Robyn, who endured that beating so she could tell other people’s stories. Think about Ma Sisulu, raising her kids alone, surviving banishment, exile, and prison. When reflecting on her journey, Ma Sisulu once said, with her signature humility, she said, “All these years, I never had a comfortable life.”

So you may not always have a comfortable life. And you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems all at once. But don’t ever underestimate the impact you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.

It’s what happens when folks start asking questions - a father asks, “Why should my son go to school, but not my daughter?” Or a mother asks, “Why should I pay a bribe to start a business to support my family?” Or a student stands up and declares, “Yes, I have HIV, and here’s how I’m treating it, and here’s how we can stop it from spreading.”

See, and then soon, they inspire others to start asking questions. They inspire others to start stepping forward.

And those are the “ripples of hope” that a young U.S. senator named Robert Kennedy spoke of when he came here to South Africa 45 years ago this month. In his words, he said, the “numberless diverse acts of courage and belief which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

And that is how a church can become a parliament. That is how a hymn can be a call to action.

That is how a group of young people with nothing more than some handmade signs and a belief in their own God-given potential can galvanize a nation.

And that’s how young people around the world can inspire each other, and draw strength from each other.

I’m thinking today of the young activists who gathered at the American Library here in Soweto to read the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King for their inspiration.

And I’m thinking of how Dr. King drew inspiration from Chief Luthuli and the young people here in South Africa.

And I’m thinking about how young South Africans singing the American civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome” in the streets of Cape Town and Durban.

And I’m thinking of how Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica echoed through university campuses in the U.S., as students -– including my husband –- planned boycotts to support students here in South Africa.

And I’m thinking of this church and how those stained windows depicting the struggle were donated by the people of Poland, and how the peace pole in the park outside was donated by people from Japan, and how every week, visitors from every corner of the globe come here to bear witness and draw inspiration from your history.

And finally, I’m thinking of the history of my own country. I mean, America won its independence more than two centuries ago. It has been nearly 50 years since the victories of our own civil rights movement. Yet we still struggle every day to perfect our union and live up to our ideals. And every day, it is our young people who are leading the way. They are the ones enlisting in our military. They’re the ones teaching in struggling schools, volunteering countless hours in countless ways in communities.

And in this past presidential election, they were engaged in our democracy like never before. They studied the issues, followed the campaign, knocked on doors in the freezing snow and the blazing sun, urging people to vote. They waited in line for hours to cast their ballots.

And I have seen that same passion, that same determination to serve in young people I have met all across the world, from India to El Salvador, from Mexico to the United Kingdom to here in South Africa.

So today, I want you to know that as you work to lift up your families, your communities, your countries and your world, know that you are never alone. You are never alone.

As Bobby Kennedy said here in South Africa all those years ago: “…you are joined with fellow young people in every land, they struggling with their problems and you with yours, but all joined in a common purpose…determined to build a better future.”

And if anyone of you ever doubts that you can build that future, if anyone ever tells you that you shouldn’t or you can’t, then I want you to say with one voice –- the voice of a generation –- you tell them, “Yes, we can.” (Applause.) What do you say? Yes, we can. (Applause.) What do you say? Yes, we can!

AUDIENCE: Yes, we can!

MRS. OBAMA: What do you say?

AUDIENCE: Yes, we can!

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you all so much. God bless you. (Applause.)


Topics: Michelle Obama

soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. rsprings

    YES WE CAN...spend taxpayer money. While i understand the plight of young women around the world she did not have to go to Africa, she has plenty of young AMERICAN she can help.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • steven

      Agreed!!!!!! She travels and spends our tax money without a care....except for her own comfort. A vacation Disguised as business. Somebody needs to cut her purse strings and use it to help needy Americans.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
      • ingrid

        ALL first ladies travel. That is part of their job. They function as good will ambassadors.

        June 22, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
      • prettypenny

        mr. and mrs obama had money way before he became president. they where both lawyers!! &&im sure once he has served his country to the best of his ability! They still will be taking trips. You should focus more on the good they doing and Give them the credit and respect, they deserved and earned.

        September 21, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Nobama

      Just a summer vacation paid for by all us taxpayers. Speech and other visits just a way to justify. What role did her kids, mother, and nieces (who are on this trip) play in solving Africa's problems??? NONE!

      June 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Dave Wise

      We need to focus on making ourselves a stronger nation and a more liberated nation. That does NOT mean a more socialist nation, nor does it mean sacrificing our future for the benefit of those that do NOT appreciate us. Yes I am talking about the middle east and Africa

      June 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Welsh, Irish, English

      Laura Bush went to Africa in 2006 while her husband got us into an illegal war and ignored the signs of economic collapse that came 2 years later. Yes, she took her daughter with her.
      Also, she vacationed in Denali National Park with her girlfriends at one time during the Bush years, and was accompanied by Secret Service and a US helicopter.
      First ladies have a role to play in giving a positive image of the US. Both Bush and Obama were entitled to these trips.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Vanilla Gorilla

      Excuse me – but does anyone know who is paying for this trip to Africa? Taking the kids and sticking the American taxpayer with the tab seems to be a special talent – Michelle Obama has mastered the concept of OPM -Other Peoples Money. Someone please explain to the rest of the class why this trip is necessary.
      Apparently she is still not proud to be an American ...............unless someone else is picking up the tab.
      What is wrong with helping Americans Michelle?

      June 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Austin Jackson SLCC

      You guys do realize that this was all done in the attempt to help global poverty dont you? Obviously you do not realize that over 2 billion people in this world are living off of $1 a day, and the majority of that is in the women in africa. If we want to be able to help our SMALL economic problems then it all starts with attacking the issue that is at largest. In the year 2000 189 countries got togeter as part of the UN and endorsed the Millenium Declaration, a commitment to work together to build a more prosperous and equitable world. Goal number 1 in this declaration was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

      September 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  2. w l jones

    Our president and first Lady is open up a whole contnient for our businessmen all they have to do now move in an go. Just think what a few years and good people can do in promoting peace and good will around the world.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • mjts993

      huh? are you serious?

      June 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Joan

    Laura Bush took her two daughters to Africa when Bush was president and I don't remember the Democrats criticizing that trip. Then of course, the Republican right is against anything that the Obama's do and couldn't care less that she is trying to make life better for millions of young women around the world. Mrs. Obama is a classy, intelligent role model for all women and represents the United States well very wherever she goes. What does the Bible say about helping those less fortunate than yourself, about not bearing false witness against your brothers and sisters, about treating others as you would like to be treated, etc. etc. etc.? There seems to be too many Sunday morning Christians on the right who don't walk the talk from Monday to Saturday. Hypocrites!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Mindlayr

      Thank you for such a well spoken comment. I don't think any of these close minded people will get it but I'm glad you posted.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • liyah

      I have to say that for the first time in American history of first Ladies, Michelle is the only one who has to constantly disclose that she pays for her kids travelling. And bare in mind they dont pay for nannies because Mrs Obama's mom lives with them. When was the last time people required so much disclosure from the first family. Seriously most of you should be ashamed by your treatment of the first family. But thats what happens when you are blinded by bigotry you cannot even see your own hypocracy

      June 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • BillyBob117

      Even the President of SA refused to meet with the FGOTUS--first gardener of the united states--and sent his minister of prisions to take his place-–she needs to be asked why she was forced to surrender her law license---

      June 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Austin Jackson SLCC

      Agreed with Joan.

      September 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  4. Bartolomeu Capita

    The much-admired and best-loved US First Lady, in this instance Mrs. Obama, proves to be President Obama's tranquil strength! I cannot help loving US First Family and, of course, the United States of America !!!

    June 22, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  5. ingrid

    Michelle Obama is an inspiration to many women of the world. She is intelligent, kind and we should all be proud that she is our first lady. For those of you who are saying such ugly comments on here, shame on you. She is our first lady. Stand by your first family!!! You might not like Obama's policies but you have NO reason to say such ugly comments about her and her kids. Wow. I am shocked by the ugliness of this site.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  6. Angel

    It will be interesting to see if any on the right acknowledge the positive in this address.

    What I heard was a First Lady exhorting another part of the world to embrace and advance DEMOCRACY.

    I have no doubt that if Laura Bush, Hiliary Clinton, Barbara Bush or Nancy Reagan gave the same pro-Democracy message [expecially on the continent of Africa] they would have been lauded as Angels of Liberty.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  7. steven

    yep, those staying with obama about the same thats living off the tax payers dollar. Worried more about themselves and their freebees than the country.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Not really. many of us Obama supportesr are productive, professional, job creating business owners and tax payers. But continue to convinvce yourself that everyone who doesn't share your microcephalic world view is somehow a welfare queen living off of you. I'll bet the reality is you are an underachiever.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • ingrid

      Steven–what a horrible, ill-informed thing to say. I support Obama and have been happy with the majority of what he has done.

      February 8, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  8. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Oh REALLY!..I know you didn't go there! @rsprings! You grudgeful-hearted loons have NEVER appreciated nor wanted any 'help' nor encouragement from Michelle Obama, anyway! You have diminished, disgraced, demeaned, destroyed and negatively re-worded, re-defined, re-structured every ONE of the attempts the FIRST LADY has offered in the way of 'helping' and encouraging Americas young! Many of even blasted publicly;...she can't tell us what to do...what to eat...what to read...how to set goals..school studies...

    June 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • WTF

      Yeah Yeah Whatever – The WH needs to be vacated and fumigated real soon.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
      • Jam in GA

        You're an IDIOT!!!!!

        February 8, 2012 at 8:29 am |
      • ingrid

        I agree with the other writer. You are being really ugly.

        February 8, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Vumba

      Isn't that funny, after all the other First Ladies said the same things this is the one you want to listen to why? Say it, Yes You Can, because she is...

      June 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  9. ingrid

    Dear Maggie–what has "yes we can" brought us? Hmm. Maybe kept our economy from falling off the cliff. Maybe rid us of Osama bin Laden? Maybe saved the car industry? Maybe brought us health care that all can have? Drawn down our forces in Iraq and now Afghanistan? Yes we can and we can do more....

    June 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • mj

      What Country do you live in? Sounds great! Surely not the United States! Poll out today shows the majority of Americans are in worse financial hardship than before Obama took office. What Health Care? Must be enjoying Medicaid. My Insurance went up so high I had to cancel. Pay my own Medical Costs. There are no jobs, home values are at an all-time low, Insurance Premiums are soaring, we have a massive debt, failed stimulus plan ....

      June 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Dellhiman

      These are all lies. The economy is falling off the cliff. Obama did not save the auto industry. The company he hellped still has to pay back millions of money. Your views Ingrid are all from the liberal media who report whatever they want without checking the facts. Unfortunately you believe everything you hear or read from them. How unfortunate for you. How unfortunate for the USA that we have people like you wanting to keep a President like Obama in office without really knowing who he is or what he is about.

      As for Michelle and her trip with her children. Sure other president's wives have taken trips with her children. But Michelle already has a reputation for holidaying in many places on the taxpayers expense. Anyone who was ashamed of AMerica before her husband got elected has no place in representing our nation.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Al

      Dear ingrid–what has "yes we can" brought us? Hmm. Maybe tripled the Bush debt. Maybe saved the car industry, which continues its cycle of inefficiency and bureaucracy? Maybe brought us MANDATED health care, which also threatens to more than double the current deficit long-term? Maybe broke promises to remove our men and women out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe started three new conflicts without seeking congress approval? Yes we can... throw a barrel of oil on a campfire.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • Mindlayr

      Well said ingrid. It's so easy to blame all this on the current president and conveniently forget that Bush put us in this position and Obama is doing all he can to fix the problems.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Dave Wise

      Ingrid, please put down the crack pipe and Obama flavored Kool-aid. The US is far worse off than when the democrats took over Congress and doubly so since Obunghole was sworn in.

      Moderate that you fascist scum bags.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Vumba

      Folks don't you see what is going on here. There are a couple of black females protecting their queen and a couple of liberal white females trying to be part of the team! They are trying to counter everything being written negatively about the first lady. The President himself doesn't have that many people writing in for him. You go girls try to change our thoughts and comments – priceless. I know there are some males as well but they're enuchs so they don't count.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Narina

      Hard to believe that some of the people here are portraying themselves as educated adults. "Saving" the auto industry by making the taxpayers pay for Detroit's stupidity, incompetence or bad judgement is hardly "saving" them! I know I didn't sign up for it, and then to have to hear the govt claim that Chrysler has paid everything back, except the paltry billions of dollars they won't be paying back, is insulting in the extreme. But I guess people like you think it's fine. Hope your children understand why they will never accumulate wealth in their lifetime. Health care? Nancy Pelosi apparently explained it extremely well, and all the educated, well read and erudite leaders read and signed off what is going to be known as one of the largest criminal acts perpetrated on us in the history of this country! Let's just all hold hands, and do what President Nobel Peace Prize winner said we should do: replace our national anthem and sing "I'd Like to teach the world to sing"! While we wait for the shovel-ready jobs to roll in. Or maybe sit around and drink beer to make up for our big mouth. Good luck!

      June 22, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  10. Shannon

    She looks nice.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  11. Al-suq Akweer

    Where are all the hate mongers? Isn't this the perfect set up for them?

    Back to Africa...come'on, let your true racist hatred shine through.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Sorry to disappoint

      Most of the negative comments are being censored by CNN's moderators.

      June 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  12. JZ

    LOL I stopped reading when they said she was introduced as the "Queen of our world". BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Well, to be fair, I guess if you consider the family's take on how to spend money, they do compare a bit to the Queen of England.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  13. James

    I hope the obama's can pick up the statment "No we didn't" when they leave office!

    June 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
  14. SK

    Error in article – "Mrs. Obama’s official state visit to Africa will also include stops in Gaborone and Botswana"

    Gaborone is IN Botswana. Might want to correct that.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  15. jen

    Good job FLOTUS, May the good Lord continue to bless you and your family!

    June 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  16. Don't sugar coat it

    ... and that's just for starters.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You all now have the gall to complain about her trying to encourage the young ladies of South Africa, a place that can use some love and encouragement; a place that will accept the offering of good will; wants to learn the truths of the words, examples, and experiences of Mrs Obama and the people she honorably talked about, in her good will speech! Personally, I'm glad to see her go back 'home' to help to extend and admonish them the idea, 'YES WE CAN'! Because we can! There, MANDELA proved we could!

    June 22, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • jim

      Yeah, Mandela has done a great job with South Africa! It has the second highest murder rate of all the world's countries!

      June 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  18. FedUp

    So , I am asuming that "Yes we can" will be Obama's continuing slogan. Too bad that is all it is!

    June 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  19. Take that Mr. Moderator

    Glorious.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  20. Ishkabibble

    Plus there is no oil there, so who cares.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  21. Keeping it real

    NVa Native... I wish she would stay in Africa.. She hasn't done anything as a first lady except take expensive trips on tax payers money.
    I hope this love affiar with a black as president is over. Just like real life. A failure.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  22. You got it right

    Yes it does. That's why you see many more pros than cons in the comments.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  23. Howard

    Michelle Obama sat right next to Barack, in Jeremiah Wright's anti-American, racist church, for TWENTY YEARS !!! ... Now, just because this insincere opportunist, and hypocrite, had the dumb luck to occupy the White House, you blindly devoted kool aid drinkers, demand that the rest of us foolishly admire her, and her empty suit husband, as you do. Michelle is merely gorging herself at the public trough, while telling the rest of us to tighten our belts.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  24. Jessica

    Hahaha I second that. Criticize another person's physical appearance. And for the record, I think Michelle Obama is a beautiful woman, inside and out.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  25. joey

    All this bitching about spending tax payers money for trips. Did you people complain with Laura Bush took trips? How about Nancy Reagan, or any other first lady.

    That's what first ladies do, travel and do humanitarian acts.

    Man this comment thread is full of whiny whiny people

    June 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  26. Guest Creep

    Yes we can what? Send money from the US to yet another country and ignore those at home?
    While the Michelle is busy telling us all to tighten our purse strings, she takes her daughters and mother to Africa at the expense of the US taxpayers. Nice.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  27. Patrick O'Riley

    Yeah! take that sh*t to Africa and ruin their economy. While you spend the he*l out of American taxpayer money while you vacation with the kids, cousins, friends, aids around the world. Then talk about Leadership you two face w/o a clue.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • don ghama

      I am not surprised reading all the hate comments here. I have always believed that 50% of Americans have mental issues and extremely racist. It is the most ignorant country in the world. They just don’t want know anything outside the 4 walls of the USA. Open your eyes and broaden your horizon. It is not ALL ABOUT AMERICA you know.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  28. Deep North

    Lot of hate here! What First Lady hasn't? Don't show your naivety, Clinton's and Chelsea....Bushes and his 2 daughters........Why all of a sudden is this a problem.........?

    June 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  29. billhensen

    Do you have any ideal of the COST to send her to Africa?? I am sure it is several million dollars, remember, she doesnt fly coach and the entourage and security costs are immense! If she is paying out of her own pocket, well, good for her. If I paid for this I want my money spent in AMERICA, NOT AFRICA!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
    • Phedra

      If Mrs. Obama wants to help people to overcome their poverty and get an education and such, she should be here in AMERICA down in the ghettos trying to help the people who live in THIS country. I resent my tax dollars being spend for her to run around in Africa when we have so many right here that are very much in need. It cost $180,000 just to get Airforce One off the ground. That money could be much better spend helping our own people. Yes We Can... destroy the USA!

      June 24, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  30. liyah

    Honestly people suffer from personality disorders. You complain when she goes around talking about issues in American telling her that she should stay out of our kids Business and then when she goes elsewhere were they have no problems with hearing the messafe you come back and complain that she doesnt do it for american kids. Please just do basic research and you will find that The first Lady is constantly visiting schools and speaking to kids about various issues. And I am sure she would go out often visiting if it wasnt for the fact that people are constantly compalining about costs when she has to go to states that are futher away from Washington.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  31. Rockdock

    Honestly, The Obamas need to concentrate on the American people and stop trying to win over other countries. It won't change anything about the way those people view us. Stop wasting our tax dollars on frivilous vacations and get down to business IN AMERICA.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  32. Atlas Shruggs

    I give Michelle her props where they are due. I do like her battle on obesity for our kids (long over due) and even appreciate what she is trying to do in SA. However, she should be going to inner cities here trying to promote young girls to think and live independently. And the part that really burns my A%% is seeeing their daughters draped in African flags al the while knowing that they so dislike the USA. I mean Obama wouldn't even where our flag on his lapel. Heritage is great, but I don't run around wearing the Irish flag. I may be of Irish descent, but I am 100% American, and still proud of it.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  33. Patriot of the Flag

    Mrs. Obama should stay in africa and help build it up to glory. Yes she can!

    June 22, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  34. tyceson joules davis

    we're still waiting for "yes we can" and "change" in America, when will we be getting ours?

    June 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  35. Al

    Yep, apparently that is the only thing both Obama's are great at – speeches and spreading hope. Maybe one day spreading hope will actually fix problems.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  36. Liz Carter in Georgia

    NVa Native; you were so right! Here they are! All out here once again, in their demonic force of legends, to berate and dismiss one more of MICHELLEs' agendas! From what I see, it's a genuine jesture of GOOD WILL and restoration of the good and for the good of humanity in the world. Something that ought to be recieved or percieved by ALL as a wonderful thing! These lunatics will never be satified with anything the OBAMAS do politically, even if it's for their own good, socially, spiritually nor personally!

    June 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  37. David

    Empty words. No action.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  38. Al

    You must have missed they memo...the Obama's have already spread hope to those areas. They have fixed the auto industry, housing industry, financial industry, healthcare industry, U.S. infrastructure problems, and the economy is all better now There are no problems felt in the U.S. and the people in the greatest need right now are those in South Africa..

    June 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  39. Scott

    She had to take it to Africa because nobody is buying it in America after the Obama's have wrecked our economy and destroyed our quality of life.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ryan In The D

      Scott! Bush apparently wrecked our economy and our way of life. Not the Obama's... Take that Klan hoodie off and show some respect. Clown.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  40. Sean

    @Maggie
    Funny how that ”American smut” doesn’t seem to harm women here. Some of our top political and corporate offices are held by women. They also have equal rights and complete access to education. That’s more than we can say for most of Africa.

    Here is a clue… stop blaming others for your own problems and take some responsibility.

    @Mj
    I agree completely.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  41. Mindlayr

    I'm proud of my president and his wife. Some of you are so full of hate that you can't see any good in them. I pity you. Can't you see that just because you have a different point of view doesn't mean that you have to attack anything they do? Don't you see the honest efforts put forward without the coloring it with your bitterness? Please take a moment and reflect on how your words effect others. Stick with the facts and try to be understanding, express your opinion without denigrating some one else thoughts.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Ron Paul

      Give me one example of how Obama has "Changed" our country for the better? Now we have the worst recession in 50 years, troop levels in afghanistan are now Triple what they were before Obama took office. Our National debt is now 14 trillion, up nearly double from the Bush era. States are crumbling and selling off whatever they can to keep schools open, while Obama spends 40 billion a day bombing some far away country. What are you so proud of? That your elect has done nothing but harm our country and our financial stability since he took office, lied about everything he campaigned about. Being the first Black president is nothing to remain keeping your pride for. Open your eyes and turn off Fox news.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • Al-suq Akweer

        The first thing he did of significance was sign into Law a Bill that prevents Bankstas from foreclosing on a property and kicking out renters. You may remember that the bankstas were having the Sheriff show up & put people out on the street that had been good tenents, paying the rent etc. w/out any notice.

        Obama stopped that cold!

        He caught Osama bin Ladin, pretty big deal if you ask a sentient being. Too bad the GOP ruined the moment not for him but for all Americans.

        There's two little items, what did your Gawd do for the US eh?

        Invade a nation (Irak in case you forgot) w/out any evidence of crimes, killed 1 million Iraqis & displaced (means made homeless for you southern trailer trash types) & crashed the world economy.

        Grow up, it's not about which candidate you back & winning at any cost. It's about US not THEM!

        June 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  42. Oprah's Mooseknuckle

    Do nothing about unemployment – YES WE CAN!!!
    Pander to labor unions – YES WE CAN!!!
    Force unwanted heathcare policies on the American public then make selective exceptions for friends of the Democratic party – YES WE CAN!!!
    Talk a big game but cower when Wall Street and Big Oil come calling – YES WE CAN!!!
    Continue Bush-era policies regaridng prisoner detention at Gitmo after vowing to end the practices – YES WE CAN!!!
    Continue all Bush-era military actions after vowing to bring troops home – YES WE CAN!!!
    Engage in more war (oops, kinetic miliatry actions) – YES WE CAN!!!
    Fail to curb government spending – YES WE CAN!!!
    Defend entitlements we can't afford- YES WE CAN!!!
    Seek to borrow more we cannot repay – YES WE CAN!!!
    Fail to pass a budget when you have control of both houses of Congress – YES WE CAN!!!
    Prevent drilling and let oil creep up to $4 per gallon – YES WE CAN!!!
    Keep p*ssing away government resources on worthless energy subsidies to placate the green party base – YES WE CAN!!!
    Blame your own ineptitutde on the guy that has been out of office for over two years – YES WE CAN!!!

    Vote Huntsman in 2012 – YES WE SHOULD!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  43. Chuck

    Great....so Yes we can equals screw up the USA....one country messed up with the stupid catch phrase isn't enough? So now the plan is.....The Obama's wrecked one country so lets take our pony show on the road and either make a 3rd world country good....to validate our messed up country and get re-elected....or if it fails...what damage can their really be. Maybe just like Bill Clinton the first lady really is running the show....and just as crappy as the Clinton's I might add.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
  44. jim

    Can we get your husband out of office in 2012? Yes we can!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  45. jim

    Can we take the family on a free vacation? Yes we can!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  46. Justin

    @ Ron Paul....Well out of all the crap you just stated I can agree with one thing.........TURN OFF FOX NEWS!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  47. don ghama

    @ Emperorobama & Ron Paul: I am pretty sure you both live in a different America. How dare you compare the Bush era to obama's? You guys must surely be on CRACK. Search your heart, drop the hate and speak the truth before the GOD of lightening strike you down.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  48. Marry

    Woha, a GOP- teaparty meeting here at CNN? Have not read so many really ugly comments in a long time! What ignorant and mean people there are spewing their hate and racism in the U.S. Oh, I get it, they are the “REAL AMERICANS”.

    Thank you President Obama, Thank you Mrs. Obama for all the terrific work you do. You are wonderful!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  49. Vumba

    This is just a reaction to a group of people that over the 70's, 80's, and 90's got perferential treatment over others. It is only human nature to dislike a group that gets more than another group (Affirmative Action), especially if your a protected minority group. THe other issue is no matter how many freebies one group gets it is never enough. When you can't tell a group to "shut up" over their inconsideration without being called a "racist" then resentment builds. People have finally learned that the more you do for this group the more they want without working for it. Ask the Mexicans, Asians, and other groups that have worked so hard to make a difference in the fabric of the United States. That my friend is why there is so much resentment to one group of people. Does OJ come to mind? Just wondering. Thank you liberal whites, the experiment failed and we paid the price.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  50. sammcnerney

    "Mrs. Obama’s official state visit to Africa will also include stops in Gaborone and Botswana"

    Dear CNN.com, Gaborone is in Botswana. Thats like saying Mrs. Obama's official state visit to North America will also include stops in Washington DC and the United States.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  51. David S.

    So how much did this little junket cost the taxpayers? Whats another few hundred thousand dollars of debt on top of Obama’s $14 trillion. She isn’t an elected figure, has no authority, all she is is the wife of a lame duck President. Why are we wasting money on this? I think the Obamas are trying to cash in on as many perks as they can on the taxpayer dime before they get booted out in 2012. The ultimate welfare family living large on the taxpayer dime.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  52. Henry Miller

    The phrase "Yes We Can!" needs to be retired. The bitter reality is that, under the Obama administration, the only results have been "Yes we can ruin the American economy!" "Yes we can keep millions of Americans unemployed!" "Yes we can screw up American health care!"

    "Young African women" are in for as complete a disaster as Barack Obama has brought to the US if they take any advice at all from Michelle Obama.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Mindlayr

      Don't you see that no one could have done the things your are blaming on the president? Do you understand that changing things takes time and is never simple especially when so many will contradict anything you do or say? Do you not understand that your bitterness is coloring your view of the world? Stop hating and try to contribute to civil discourse with thoughtful comments. I hope you can understand more and judge less.

      June 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Vanilla Gorilla

      It appears that you know a different Obama then the rest of the world. Hope your chart reads DNR.

      June 22, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  53. sylvia

    Michelle repeating what Barak said during the last election "Yes we can" – now we all know what that slogan has done for the economy of the USA don,t we ?

    June 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  54. Ron Paul

    Yes thats exactly what it means, its because you said the word "H3mp" CNN doesnt care if you call the president a crack addict or a meth slob, but speak about "H3mp" the good plant that could save America and the ATF will drop from helicopter into your living room, followed by a truck load of US Military registered firearms and 3 overloaded vans full of mexican drug lords. LOL

    June 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  55. JeriD

    Not many First Ladies can embody the modern independent woman, cultural diversity, and living example of the American Dream. Michelle Obama does all of these. That is hard to beat even for our best global ambassadors. How many others alive today can represent these things to the world? Lets face it, Michelle Obama is doing a heck of a job for the image of the USA. We need someone like this who can reach out to more than just privileged few in today's world.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  56. Vumba

    The statistic you should ask yourself about is how can 14% of the population commit 50% of the crime! You will never get answer to that one. Some how, some way, it's whitey's fault, incredible. Over 70% of black girls give birth out of wedlock in the U.S. Why is she over there talking to the Africans when she should be in the ghettos, pick a city, and talking to girls here.

    June 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  57. Not All Docs Play Golf

    The man taught Constitutional Law as an expert on the Constitution. Where to you under-educated people get the idea that you know more about the Constitution than President Obama does? And "destroy foreign relations?" What alternative universe do you live in? The man has had to do global relationship dmamge repair after the Bush/Cheney years.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  58. Pete H

    Obama & Co. claim they can't afford to pay military retirees what they were promised in exchange for their 20+ years of service, but has no problem spending billions to keep the active duty folks in harm's way in places we have no business being in, and with no reason given for their being there.

    Obama & Co. says that there's not enough money to fund Social Security or Medicare, but still thinks it's OK for illegal immigrant children to DREAM on the U.S. citizen's supposedly nonexistent dime. Meanwhile, the citizen is told he makes too much money for his own LEGAL kids to qualify for college aid, even though much of that money is shelled out in taxes.

    Qbama & Co. feel that everyone should have affordable healthcare, but that only a portion of the population should have to pay for it.

    Did you ever see such a globetrotting presidential family? It’s GOT to cost a bundle to shuttle them and their entourage around. And to what end? Obama can't get his own house in order, but thinks he can tell everyone else how to run theirs.

    Obama & Co. is constantly telling everyone to “bite the bullet.” Funny; I see NO lead stains on their teeth…

    This isn't bitterness, folks. This isn't hate. This is just the plain TRUTH!

    Wake up, America, while there still IS an America! You are being sold out! YES WE CAN… end this baloney in 2012!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  59. anna

    So many people with so much to say about Michelle Obama, so show how much you care when the elections come around next year!!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  60. petemg

    Let us see there was Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Eleanor Roosevelt. Oh my we have had many a great First Lady. you can tell with Michele who wears the pants in the family and America.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  61. Gloria

    and are you "going back" to your European homeland?? Guess not! Just for the record, First Ladies have always made these kind of Official trips, from Jackie Kennedy who visited 16 foreign countries, Laura Bush, who visited Egypt, Jordan and Israel, Nancy Reagan who visited "several foreign nations to visit prevention programs". The Obama haters will always find anything to criticize. If she stayed at home, she'd be criticized for that!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  62. emperorobama

    Actually comrade, we don't have any money to spend here in the U.S. either. But I'm working on that, I have a cash for clunkers 2 program in the works right now. Gonna fix that suck azz economy right up for ya!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  63. Narina

    So where was the outrage toward the vitriol against Sarah Palin? Or do save that just for the Democrats? No need to attempt to reply, it's a rhetorical question.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  64. camille David

    Michelle Obama is one of the most genuine , natural and brilliant human being I have ever seen..shame on all who thinks otherwise, HATS OFF TO YOU MICHELLE OBAMA!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  65. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Do your knowledge base a favor...read something about the colonial era and its aftermath.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  66. The Doctor

    This is not about Obama but Africa like all those countries are reproducing like cockroaches and somehow along the way the USA gets stuck with the tab. Maybe they should start teaching birth control and respobsibility in Africa first.

    I prefer to spend that money helping vets living under bridges and creating jobs in america instead of worrying about women and children in Afghan or Africa.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  67. Aces

    stejo is correct, it was strategy not luck, he was also correct not to comment on the rest of Howard's post as it is accurate.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  68. ingrid

    really? I am glad to see that the experts on African exports is here. As Africa is made up many countries, your comment does not even make sense but just to remind you of some goods that come from African countries: oil, wine, diamonds(though obviously there are some issues here); manufactured goods, agriculture.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  69. what about us

    Um, Mrs. Obama...What about the AMERICAN kids? While your husband and company are shipping billions of dollars monthly over seas, they turn to their other mouth and say we need to cut funding...for AMERICAN EDUCATION.

    Please, charity starts and home and I think it's about time the AMERICAN GOVERNMENT took care of EVERY AMERICAN first!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  70. Mindlayr

    I think that it is impossible for rich people or even people who are moderately well off to understand how demeaning it is to have to ask for help. They don't understand what it means to parents to be unable to afford medical insurance because they have to pay rent. They don't understand the humiliation of being unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel. So much of what we are told is racism is actually classism. The lower classes are seen as lazy and entitled and therefore undeserving of support when in fact given the opportunity most people would rather take care of themselves.
    Having said that I believe that it is in all of our best interest as Americans and citizens of the world that the most influential country in the world have a representative that is going to influence the people of the world favorably. Our leaders have always traveled the world for public relations and for them to stop now would be inappropriate.

    June 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  71. Jeff

    Careful, Africa, she may bring some left over Hope and Change....

    June 22, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  72. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Mindlayer; thankyou for trying! However, I'm sorry to have to say in this day and time that this evil, demonic hate and poisonous rhetoric and lie spewing is rooted in white supremast racism! They begrudge and hate the very idea of an intelligent, well-educated, well-read, well-spoken, well-dressed, well-connected, African American man, or woman who's confident, decisive, full of thoughtful wisdom and compassion. They've blast them as 'arrogant elitists', rather than thoughtfully, intelligently confident!

    June 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  73. ingrid

    Jim–

    I do not mean to take all my hostility that has built up while reading all these ugly postings, but you unfortunately have earned my anger. You do not belong here. Not Michelle Obama. I am proud of her as a first lady. She is an asset. She is smart, caring and is a wonderful first lady. All you and your other negative posters have done on this site is be ugly. Plain and simple. I will note that one or two of you at least articulated real concerns about the administration. BUt that said, most of you just posted hateful, racist and pointless comments on here. I am sick of this. ENOUGH.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  74. ingrid

    Well said Jessica!!! There are a bunch of ugly people here so full of hate that I think that they need to go get help/medication. MC is on a good will tour. GOOD WILL people. ALL first ladies do this. It is important for our international foreign policy to have the first lady travel. That is part of her job.

    June 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
  75. ingrid

    Economist were predicting before Obama's took office that unemployment would be around 14% at least....

    June 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
  76. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Ahlong; that was not a comment. It was not just an opinion! It was Gods' beautiful truth! It was very well clearly worded. I gave the same message a couple of times before many months ago, but laughed and shotdown the very idea that I even put GOD in it, as they questioned my spirituality. Keep up the good work. You are right. Prayer does changes things. To those who do want to claim CHRISTIANITY, you ought to know that the BIBLE tells us to PRAY for those who are in authority over you! Thanks.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:27 am |
  77. gigiMau

    OBAMA, OBAMA, yes we can, yes we did and YES WE SHALL in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!yaaaaaaaaah

    June 24, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  78. coloneldewe

    Then why isn't she touring America to promote "education, health and wellness" at the taxpayer's expense?

    June 25, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  79. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Mumbaya, You must have just got here. Or are you being paid to post? I won't even try to answer your ridiculous question.

    June 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  80. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @coloneldewe; She did that! She tried to tour America promoting 'health education and wellness'! You haters all complained and gave her your behinds to kiss! 'She's not going to tell us'! 'We're going to eat what we want and exercize when we get ready'! 'She don't tell us how and what to teach our children; and what books to read'! There were all sorts of anti-Michelle Obama snides thrown back at her, denouncing her efforts! You don't remember that? BTW, every other First Lady traveled on taxpayers expense.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm |