Tales from the Trail

What does Michelle Obama think of Sarah Palin? We may never find out…

February 10, 2010

It’s pretty clear what defeated Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin thinks of President Barack Obama, but did you ever wonder what first lady Michelle Obama thinks of Palin?

Don’t count on finding out anytime soon.

OBAMA/Asked for her “read” on Palin during a round of television interviews Tuesday, Obama was frustratingly diplomatic.

“You know, I don’t have a read,” she told CNN’s “Larry King Live” program. “I mean I try not to make or set opinions about people that I haven’t had any … substantive interaction with.”

And she wasn’t inclined to say whether she was irked by Palin’s criticisms of her husband.

“Democracy is about critique, and the president is not immune to criticism,” Obama said, adding that she thought her husband was “doing a phenomenal job” given where the country was when he took office.

The first lady also declined to bite when asked if Palin was becoming a phenomenon.

“I think it’s wonderful to have strong female voices out there, but I don’t know her,” she said.

Obama’s remarks came as she made a round of interviews following the launch of her campaign to reduce childhood obesity.

While reluctant to talk about Palin, she had no qualms talking about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her husband’s rival for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

The relationship between Clinton and her husband, which had been tense during the campaign, is great, the first lady said.

“Hillary Clinton is an amazing secretary of state. I mean she would have been an amazing president,” Obama said. “She’s proven to be a tremendous asset in so many ways.”

“They share the same views in terms of international policy and approach,” Obama said, “and we’re seeing the outcome of that on the international stage. I think … we can say pretty clearly that … the view of this nation around the world has changed.”

“Things aren’t perfect. We’re still a nation fighting two wars,” she added. “But when we travel around the country, the excitement and the possibility are palpable. And I think that’s because of the president, but I think it’s also because of our secretary of state.”

For more Reuters political news, click here.

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (First lady Michelle Obama at event launching campaign against childhood obesity)

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