What Sort Of First Lady Will Michelle Be?

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks to supporters during a rally at Macalester College in St Paul, Minn., Monday Oct. 13, 2008.

There's no training or job description for one of the most high-profile jobs in the nation.

Michelle Obama learned about life in the public eye on the campaign trail, and now that she'll be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the spotlight will be even brighter, and at times, even harsher, CBS News anchor Katie Couric reports.

"Michelle Obama has to prove that she can both be a professional woman, true to herself as a educated woman, but also that she can represent her nation, her government., her entire country to the rest of the world," said Melissa Harris-Lacewell of Princeton University.

Michelle Obama knows she will be under an intense level of scrutiny for what she wears - and what she says. But what America will be seeing is someone who is comfortable in her own skin, as she told Couric earlier this year.

"I want to be as 'me' as I can be so that people, you know if they vote for Barack, they know exactly who their First Lady will be, all the good and bad. So pretty much what people see is what they get," she said.

A 44-year-old lawyer with an Ivy League pedigree - Princeton and Harvard Law - a fierce advocate for her husband, in many ways, Michelle Obama will be a traditional first lady, whose primary duties will be wife and mother of 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha.

"When people ask me how I'm doing, I say I'm only doing as good as my most sad child," she said in Akron, Ohio.

"One thing that I think Michelle Obama really knows deeply and intuitively is that like all working mothers in this country, she's a mother first," said Carol Evans, publisher of Working Women.

"We want her to be the mom-in-chief, but we also want her to do something important while she's there," Evans said.

"Have you thought about what cause you would really like to adopt and pursue and push into the forefront?" Couric asked Michelle Obama in an interview.

"There are a lot of things that I care about. I mean, I ran a national service program, so I care very deeply about national service. I am a mother and a professional and a wife. And I know the struggles of trying to balance work, life, family," she said.

During the campaign, she made it a point to meet with military families - an issue she is expected to focus on during her husband's first term.

She will continue to be one of her husband's top advisers, and the woman with the Secret Service code name "Renaissance" will have one more massive responsibility.

"She's a role model I would say, to my children and to myself," said supporter and mother Nikki Fowler.

An example to the world, as the first African-American woman ever become first lady.

"After these many hundreds of years, she carries the weight of our grandmas and our aunties, she carries our weight, and of course the weight of our daughters," said Harris-Lacewell.

"I think that every First Lady in the history of this nation has brought something uniquely different and has moved that role in a fundamentally different direction," Michelle Obama said.

And everyone is waiting for Michelle Obama to put her unique imprint on this position of spoken - and unspoken - power.