First lady will hit campaign trail, but won't hit Republicans

The White House is ready to deploy first lady Michelle Obama on the midterm campaign trail, but expect her to leave the partisan knocks to other surrogates.

The Chicago Tribune's Peter Nicholas has some details on White House plans to use the first lady to stump for Democratic candidates this fall. 

Her campaign schedule won't be a heavy one, the White House said Monday. She makes public appearances about three days a week, and any campaigning she does for the midterm election will be within that time frame, a White House official said in an interview.

The first lady's itinerary won't be set until Labor Day, when the White House political team determines travel plans for the president and vice president, the official said. The idea is to deploy all three in ways that avoid overlap.

Michelle Obama will deliver a campaign speech that is largely upbeat. She won't castigate individual Republicans, said the White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

The first lady is no doubt in demand on the campaign trail as several Democrats facing tough races this fall have publicly expressed a desire to have her campaign with them.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Michelle Obama is more popular than her husband and Democratic leaders in Congress.

A full 50 percent of the poll's respondents viewed Michelle Obama favorably. Just 19 percent viewed her unfavorably, while 31 percent had no opinion.

In contrast, President Obama's negatives stand at 41, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's at 45 percent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's at 31 percent.