First lady Michelle Obama in spotlight at reception

January 29, 2009

First lady Michelle Obama took a turn in the spotlight Thursday, hosting a reception for a woman whose treatment at Goodyear prompted Congress to change the law on pay discrimination. 
It was one of the highest-profile public events for the first lady since the inauguration last week. And it was on behalf of a woman — Lilly Ledbetter — who got to know the first couple well during the presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act into law in the East Room of the White House flanked by a small crowd of lawmakers, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
“This is what change looks like,” Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland joked to the audience as the lawmakers crowded around the document Obama was to sign.
The first lady later spoke about Ledbetter at a reception in the State Dining Room as guests sipped orange juice and cranberry juice and munched cherry orange scones, apple muffins and other pastries.
“She is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world,” Michelle Obama said. 
“She knew unfairness when she saw it and was willing to do something about it because it was the right thing to do, plain and simple.”
Ledbetter discovered after 19 years on the job at Goodyear Tire & Rubber that she was the lowest-paid supervisor at her plant despite having more experience than some male co-workers.
A jury found she was the victim of discrimination. But the Supreme Court reversed the decision two years ago, saying discrimination claims must be filed within 180 days of the first offense.
“I will never see a cent from my case,” Ledbetter said. “But with the passage (of the bill) and president’s signature today, I have an even richer reward. I know that my daughters and granddaughters and your daughters and your granddaughters will have a better deal.” 
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Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Michelle Obama greets guest); Reuters/Jim Bourg (Obama hands pen to Ledbetter after signing bill)


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can you see the class of us conservatives,not one negative or nasty remark.can you imagine the abuse if it was cindy mc cain we would have at least100 abusive comments.5 from eric h and 10 from all brings tears to my eyes,we are such loving people tc.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

No, actually in the spirit of fairness all political parties were respectful to Laura Bush. At least I don’t remember anyone criticizing her. In my opinion, I believe Laura Bush was the classiest and best first lady this nation has had in my lifetime. Perhaps Jackie Kennedy is her equal (not paying attention to political parties in this commentary).

I don’t remember Laura Bush every saying anything negative about the critics of her husband. She was and still is a model for all first ladies. How can anyone not like her. She is the best of the best.

I won’t say anything negative about Michelle Obama, even though I didn’t like some of the things she said during the campaign. But so far, as a first lady, she seems okay to me. I really haven’t followed what she has done up to this point. I am sure she has typical first lady projects she is interested in. I do hope she doesn’t act like Hillary Clinton did as first lady. Hillary wasn’t a good first lady as far as I am concerned. She was too political. But so far, so good regarding Michelle Obama.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive