Michelle Obama won't play leading role in gun control debate, officials say

Don’t expect First Lady Michelle Obama to continue a high-profile role in the gun control debate.

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Administration officials with knowledge of the White House strategy tell The Hill the first lady will not be an active part of the debate going forward, at least in terms of gun policy.

Obama will instead be focused mostly on youth empowerment, as she has in recent years, continuing her mentoring programs and “Let’s Move!” her childhood obesity initiative.

In a rare move, the first lady entered the national discussion on gun control earlier this week when she delivered an emotional speech in her hometown of Chicago about the death of a teenager who performed at President Obama’s inauguration.

In the speech, the first lady fought back tears when she drew parallels between herself and the teen, Hadiya Pendleton.

“Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her,” Obama said, choking up. “But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and a family and the most blessed life I can imagine. And Hadiya, well we know that story.”

Pendleton died days after the inauguration after being shot.

During her husband’s first term, the first lady kept a safe distance from West Wing policy issues.