Michelle Obama will leave behind an incredible legacy as First Lady of the United States on food, nutrition, childhood obesity, and school lunches. Let's Move made an impact on trying to get kids to spend less time on screens and more time playing.
The First Lady used television well in a natural manner to spread the message. iCarly fit in well to attracting young people to hear the message. The Biggest Loser was a natural fit with people trying to lose weight. Let's not forget the many talk show appearances from Ellen to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
You might think that her natural grace and flair comes easy. Some of us still can't shake the image of Nancy Reagan on Diff'rent Strokes talking about drug abuse. And Nancy Reagan used to be an actress.
Like Batman, Michelle Obama had her list of enemies: Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Chicago Tribune, Basil Marceaux, James Sensenbrenner, those against federal school lunch programs. Instead of being constructive, they were destructive. Obama played it cool every time, even when the other side won significant victories. As she noted during the 2016 election campaign, "when they go low, we go high."
The White House organic garden started out as a powerful symbol but also proved beneficial to people in the capital city with bountiful produce.
Regardless of who the next president of the United States was going to be, Michelle Obama's legacy needs to be applauded. Michelle Obama, private citizen, will still have a platform after January 20 and we hope she takes advantage of that opportunity. The Obamas are staying in Washington until Sasha graduates from high school. The organic garden isn't too far away from their new home, if the new tenants will let her.
Her enemies, who fought hard and mostly without facts, will work to destroy anything Obama accomplished in her 8 years in that role. But they can't take away her legacy, the idea that someone with power wanted people to eat better and exercise more. Obama talked about "vegetable feasts," not "federal food nannies." Her positivity can't be shattered.
Since there will be significant changes in the government, keeping the legacy of Michelle Obama alive requires the help of the people. We have touted the need for government to help where it can. But the American people need to help out that legacy. Fight for school lunch reform. Encourage people to grow gardens. Focus on new food labels with an emphasis on added sugars.
The fear is that her legacy reads more like an obituary. Let's not make this an obituary.
Here are a few stories we have written over the years about Michelle Obama. The articles are in reverse chronological order so you can go back to the beginning.
Temptation of the Week: Resist the non-existent message that government wants to tell you what to eat
photo credit: iCarly/Nickleodeon