As the incoming First Family readies itself for the transition to life inside the world's biggest fishbowl, Michelle Obama has been on the receiving end of much advice, the latest of which came from attorney Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In a piece entitled "My Advice to Michelle Obama: Learn to Like the Back Seat," Blair said that adjusting to being married to a world leader will mean more than just a change in venue.
"You have to learn to take the back seat, not just in public, but in private," Blair wrote in The Times of London . "When your spouse is late to put the kids to bed, or for dinner, or your plans for the weekend are turned upside down again, you simply have to accept that he has something more important to do. . . It is something of an irony that in these days of pushing for equality, those of us married to our political leaders have to put their own ambitions on hold while their spouses are in office and keep their views to themselves." Blair noted that she, a mom of three, always had a career to which she could turn, unlike Obama who put her work aside in order to campaign for her husband.
The International Herald Tribune  recently ran a feature story about Obama's transition to First Lady, and, in mentioning Blair's comments, noted that whatever choices Obama makes regarding her work they will likely be scrutinized. (November 2008)