Washington – The wife of democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama asserted that her husband is still in position to capture the primary and extolled his successes against the Clinton 'dynasty' in an interview with a U.K. paper.
“Nothing is inevitable,” said Michelle Obama, vowing that her husband was a “uniter” who could beat Clinton to the party nomination, in a Sunday Times article.
Asked if she thought Clinton was a polarizing figure, she replied: “That is definitely one of the challenges she faces. You can see it in the surveys.”
She said that her husband had the magic to defeat the Clintons’ machine even though he was behind in the polls.
“People know Hillary and Bill, so their first instinct is to say: well, I’ve heard of these people,” she said. “But the more people see Barack, the more they like him. His favorable ratings are higher and, to top it off, he has brought in more money than any other candidate from a broader base of support.”
Drawing an explicit contrast with Clinton, she said: “The ‘inevitable’ candidate has not raised the most money and doesn’t have the biggest base of donors . . . So where’s the ‘inevitability’?”
She implicitly likened the rival campaign to a familiar but faded outfit at a time when America needed a fresh approach. “There is a choice we can make. It is a little scary because change is scary. Americans are creatures of habit,” she said.
“Sometimes we wear the same suit even if it’s got holes in it. We need a new suit, not just a new tie or new pants.”
Michelle Obama, 43, is an attractive and eloquent advocate for her 46-year-old husband. At 5ft 11in she has the looks of a model, but she is also emerging as a feisty campaigner.
She made it plain that they had no intention of letting Clinton walk over them. “A lot of times we’ve had leadership that has played on the divisions in this country, but the core values that unite us are real.” She thinks the key to victory lies in early primary states, where voters are seeing her husband close up. Obama, she claimed, was “neck and neck with one of the toughest political dynasties that we’ve seen in my lifetime”.
She added proudly: “The Clintons were supposed to be able to out-organize us. They haven’t . . . We’re building a grassroots movement of people and have an organization that is unmatched in the early states.”
Michelle Obama will be the star guest at a $100-a-head “Obama for America” fundraiser in London tomorrow – a sign that her husband’s team is creatively targeting every possible source of revenue, including affluent Americans abroad. “We talked about whether I could go to the theatre or maybe shop, but it will just be one day in and out,” she said.