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April 13, 2010

Michelle Powers into Haiti


As the Administration’s key “hope agent,” Mrs. Obama — walking not with Mrs. Preval or Mrs. Biden, but with the Haitian President — conveys a weight and authority here that extends far beyond “the First Mom.” Further boosting the impact, this White House photo was taken on the presidential grounds where part of the palace — Haiti’s crippled White House — met the wrecking ball a few days ago.

It’s not just the first Obama visit to Haiti since the earthquake, but also a symbolic plug for the Preval and Haitian empowerment. (It’s also the first photo I’ve seen of the President in months — of the very few that have appeared in U.S. media, at all — and the first one I’ve ever seen of Preval smiling … the emotion only lending more weight, of course, to the personality of the First Lady.

(By the way, here’s the Reuters shot that was up top this afternoon showing Mrs. Obama with the situation well in hand.)

(Revised: 9:45 pm PST)

(photo: antha Appleton/White House. caption: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden tour earthquake damage in Port Au-Prince, Haiti, along with Haitian President Rene Preval, and Elisabeth Delatour Preval, the First Lady of Haiti, April 13, 2010. The damaged presidential palace is seen in the background. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)linked photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters.)

  • futurebird

    The president looks very happy for the visit. Mrs. Obama seems to be looking at something perhaps wreckage and she is distressed by it. An image you might not have seen in media, but that I saw on the way to work was in Harlem in the corner of 5th and 135th st. there are some old men who play chess (and teach young people chess) when the weather is nice under the pan African flag. Ever since the earthquake a Haitian flag has joined the pan African one. Haiti’s revolution has always been a symbol of freedom– dispute many obstacles they have come a long way. The earthquake seemed beyond unfair– But, perhaps it is a kind of rallying cry.
    I’ve emptied my pocketbook a few times and may do it a few more.

  • futurebird

    My comment went off on a tangent! My point was I *feel* like Mrs. Obama looks in this photo. Rubbing my hand and looking at the devastation. Haiti is our sister nation.

  • CF2K

    Brow furrowed with concern, fingers extended, hands wanting to do *something*–Mother to the rescue.

  • Vigilante Sozadee

    GR8 photo! But this is my favorite for the First Lady in Haiti!

  • Jason

    This could happen to DC someday; as a native to the area I hope it doesn’t happen. But I fear it could. The FLOTUS looks very Presidential especially next to the actual President who seems elated and despite all the devistation surrounding him, he should be. Sean Penn is great and all but he’s no Obama. Both the US and Haiti will benifit from a solid partnership – it’s the right thing to do.

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