While the president dove right into the serious business of the G20 economic summit, the first lady was becoming the toast of the town, cosying up with the Queen of England, sitting for tea, visiting an inner city all-girls school, and touring a cancer ward.
“She’s a real breath of fresh air,” CBS anchor Katie Couric was quoted as saying by phone on Thursday from London. Meredith Vieira from NBC’s “Today” show gushed that “Everybody in Europe is enthralled with her.”
Both women, no doubt, were echoing the sentiments of many who said Mrs. Obama had acquired a powerful presence in London.
During her visit to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School which enrolls about 1,000 girls ages 11-17, the students were in awe.
“The amazement and adoration on the face of the girls and the authentic way Obama reacted to them was just wonderful thing to watch,” London’s Daily Mirror reported.
The paper also noted that about 300 students and residents had shrieked, “We love you!” as the first lady arrived at the school in Islington, North London.
Greeted by 100 students, Mrs. Obama applauded enthusiastically after they regaled her with a string of stirring performances, and in a show of the informal style that has endeared her to millions around the world, she high-fived one of the solo singers and hugged students, according to the Daily Mirror.
“Wow! I can’t follow that. Thank you for that warm welcome. My husband is going to be very jealous of my afternoon because I am spending it with all of you,” Obama said. “When I look at a performance like this, it reminds me that there are diamonds like this all over the world.”
Mrs. Obama’s visit with the Queen went just as well.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Obama who reportedly cannot be seen wearing the same outfit in public more than once, has been the talk of the fashion world for her simplistic yet sophisticated choices.
And, while her propensity for selecting items from J. Crew has endeared Obama to money-conscious shoppers, high-end stylists say her choices from up and coming clothing designers have given a whole new meaning to buying off the rack.
In the process, Obama keeps gaining in popularity.
According to recent polls, the first lady’s approval rating in this country has more than doubled since last summer. At that time she had a 32 percent favorable rating compared to the current high rating of 76 percent.