After a quick unannounced stop in Haiti yesterday with Vice President Biden’s wife Jill, First Lady Michelle Obama is in Mexico today and tomorrow on her first solo trip overseas. Pop the hood for details
Heavy emphasis on the young should be expected on this trip. Last night the First Lady was welcomed by US ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual and dozens of schoolchildren. Today’s agenda includes meetings with the wife of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Margarita Zavala; visits to Mexico’s Museum of Anthropology and History and an elementary school financed by a US foundation. The First Lady is also scheduled to deliver an address to students at the Ibero-American University before meeting Mexican female leaders and dining with Mexico’s President and First Lady. Tomorrow, Mrs. O is set to meet with community youth leaders and US embassy employees in Mexico City before leaving on Thursday afternoon. This morning First Lady Michelle spoke about her international aims:
“My international agenda as first lady is going to focus on speaking to young people because I believe, and so does the president, that in order for this world to meet the challenges that we’ll face it’s going to need this coming generation to know that they are prepared and they are ready to take on this challenge,” Mrs. Obama said aboard the plane on her way to Mexico. “We have to tap into that talent wherever it lives.”
Speaking in a video message that the White House distributed Wednesday morning, Mrs. Obama continued: “My message to the young people is that success and possibility doesn’t know a race, a background, a gender, a socioeconomic class. We are going to need the energy and the passion of every single young person. We are going to have to develop those schools and have those young people believing in their own potential.”
Guiding Mrs. Obama on Wednesday was her Mexican counterpart, Margarita Zavala, whom she has met on a number of occasions. “We have much in common,” Mrs. Obama, 46, said of Ms. Zavala, 42, who is also a former lawyer, a mother of young children and a presidential spouse who has made the welfare of young people her signature issue.
Mrs. Obama arrived here from Haiti, where an unannounced stop in the earthquake-damaged capital, Port-au-Prince, included a visit to a converted school bus used to provide therapy for traumatized children who had lost their homes.
Gotta give it up to Michelle for making Haiti her first international stop without the Prez! We kinda wish she’d made it an extended stay like she’s doing with Mexico but we were kinda thinking since it’s her first trip and since they’re in no shape to roll out the red carpet she can get a pass this time. Stopping in Haiti first is a great gesture, but with the Mexican border so close and all our immigration and drug trafficking woes, maybe Michelle is doing the right thing by making a longer motivational stay there? What do you think?