Washington: Michelle Obama wears blinders, of sorts. That helps her to see the real America.
As the first lady put it in an interview on Saturday, the people she`s met and the causes she`s taken up have put her in touch with a side of the country far removed from the tempest of attack politics and nasty commentary, which she tries her best to shut out.
"Most of America isn`t like that and they`re tired of that," she said. "You know, they want folks to get stuff done. The beauty of my job is that I get to see more of that America. And that feeds me."
Her remark in the 2008 campaign that she was "really proud" of her country for the first time fed doubts in some quarters about whether she stood for mainstream values, to the point that she felt compelled to declare "I love this country" at the Democratic convention and emphasise her ordinary nature. Those doubts about her appear to have subsided, she told host Mike Huckabee on Fox News, a network whose conservative commentators played no small part in raising questions about her patriotism in the campaign.
"I feel like the country has gotten to know me," she said. Polls suggest she is a more popular first lady than either Hillary Rodham Clinton or Laura Bush early in their husband`s administrations. Fully 71 percent expressed a favourable opinion of her in a Pew Research Centre survey in November, while just 16 percent had an unfavourable view.