First Lady Michelle Obama’s Tour of D.C. Begins

Published by Pamela Gentry on Monday, February 2, 2009 at 10:43 pm.

First Lady Michelle Obama visits the Department of Education. (AP)

By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst
Feb. 2, 2008 – The second full week of the Obama Administration began Day 13 with  First Lady Michelle Obama visiting the Department of Education. This was her first event outside of the White House and pegged as one of the first of several visits she’ll make to federal cabinet level agencies as part of her “get to know D.C. tour.”

“I’m going to spend the next several weeks or months, however long it takes, going from agency to agency, just to say hello, to learn, to listen, to take information back where possible.  But truthfully, my task here is to say thank you and roll up your sleeves, because we have a lot of work to do,” she said.

The First Lady spoke to a crowd of about 350 gathered at the Department of Education with Education Secretary, Arne Duncan at her side whom she praised for his hard work and commitment to education. 

 Obama also took this opportunity to tout the stimulus package now headed to the Senate.  She noted its passage would prevent teacher layoffs, increase Pell Grants and preserver early childhood programs. 

A product of public schools, Obama said, “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the public schools that nurtured me and helped me along.  And I am committed, as well as my husband, to ensuring that more kids like us and kids around this country, regardless of their race, their income, their status, their — the property values in their neighborhoods, get access to an outstanding education.”

Here remarks resembled a campaign stop.  Following her official remarks she posed for pictures and worked the rope line.

Do you think the public schools in the U.S. can improve over the next four years?

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