Public diplomacy matters, but it is no substitute for policy. As First Lady Michelle Obama prepares to travel to China, she should consider weaving some policy into what appears to be almost entirely a week-long public diplomacy push. With her mother and two daughters in tow, the first lady will be visiting educational institutions and historical sites and discussing education in the United States and China.
lle Obama has already made support of the 100,000 Strong Initiative, which aims to send more American students to China, a core part of her international agenda. "Studying in countries like China isn't only about your prospects in the global marketplace," she said in 2011. "It's also about whether you can come together, and work together with them to make our world stronger."
That's what happened to Michelle Obama when new photographic evidence emerged that proved — no paperwork needed, no investigative journalism, no shoe-leather reporting — that she has bangs. SHE HAS BANGS! If this were an old black-and-white movie, this would be the part where you'd suddenly see people madly running to telegraph machines and reporters hurrying to the phones to call their editors, and you'd hear "beeeeep-be-deep-deep-beetle-deep-deep" as the news began to spread.
Yet, it is this role that allowed her [Michelle Obama] to come to South Africa as the president’s proxy on the ‘soft power’ pilgrimage that was surely intended to bring her country closer to South Africa.
After nearly a week of public diplomacy and outreach in Africa, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and her family went on safari on Saturday and had an encounter with an elephant.
...coming at a difficult time for US and South African relations, the first lady’s trip to South Africa is a chance for the Obama White House to use a bit of what Washington analysts call “soft power,” or the power to persuade by focusing on shared positive aspirations and goals.
The Young African Women Leaders Forum, a two-day workshop and conference for women from across Africa, will take place in Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa, June 21–22. U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will address the conference and participate in some of its activities. The forum is designed to promote the role of women in all spheres of life in Africa.
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama is expected to arrive in South Africa on Monday to meet with women's groups, speak about the importance of education and youth leadership, as well as take in the sights. Yet many say there's another unstated aspect of the trip: soothing prickly ties between the U.S. and South Africa.