29 APRIL 2009

On April 28 President Barack Obama marks his 100th day in office. As the US leader's policies and achievements to date come under scrutiny, many people will also be looking at the contribution made by America's self-declared "mom-in-chief", his wife Michelle.

A highly intelligent former lawyer, the First Lady has also been hailed as a style icon, a dedicated mother, and an impressive asset to her husband. Since moving into the White House she's helped create a grounded, family-oriented environment within which her husband's attributes as husband, dad and family man can be clearly seen.

She's also been there at his side as he's made good on political campaign promises, from helping plant trees to mark the doubling of the government's support of volunteering programmes to planting organic vegetables in the White House garden in line with the couple's hands-on, no frills aproach.

She's brought a fresh approach to the First Lady role in other areas, too. There is a warmth and public empathy between her and her husband which has rarely been witnessed between other presidential couples. And the Chicago-born 45-year-old brought a similar affectionate style to the couple's audience with the Queen, at one point putting her arm around the monarch.

Official trips to meet with royalty and European statesmen never distract Michelle from her number one priority, however, her family. She juggles ballet lessons and playdates for the pair's two girls, Malia and Sasha, keeps Barack on top of his chores, and takes the arrival of new pet Bo, a Portuguese water dog, all in her very capable stride.

Photo: Rex
President Barack Obama and Michelle - pictured on inauguration day - marked 100 days in the White House on April 28
Photo: Rex
In line with the hands-on approach she has brought to her role as First Lady, Michelle gets down on her hands and knees to plant organic vegetables in the White House garden
Photo: Rex
Michelle's firm belief in the importance of maintaining a work-life balance as First Lady and "mom-in-chief" is applied to all areas of the family's life
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