By Robin Givhan
Published: January 21
First lady Michelle Obama stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol during President Obama’s second-term swearing-in, holding the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s black leather Bible in her magenta-gloved hands. The smaller Lincoln Bible rested atop it. Michelle Obama said nothing during the hour-long inaugural ceremony. But in the sea of black topcoats and C-SPAN stodginess, she stood out — statuesque bearing, new bangs accentuating her cheekbones, and grooming attuned to both the history books and high-definition TV.
After rallying the country to fight childhood obesity, speaking about the value of mentoring and championing the contributions of military families, she was once again in the spot where she had stood four years ago: A silent symbol of an administration’s mood and manner, a template of patriotism, a standard-bearer for femininity.