First lady vows active reelection role

First lady Michelle Obama vowed Friday to be an active partner in President Obama’s reelection campaign.

While for the time being the first lady is more focused on her pet initiatives — addressing childhood obesity and aiding military families — she said she’ll be ready to work for President Obama’s campaign when the time comes.

{mosads}”It truly is far away. And whenever it’s time to campaign, they’ll tap me on the shoulder, and I’ll be right there,” Obama said of the 2012 campaign on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “But until then, we’ve got some great initiatives.”

The first lady was a valuable asset for the president in the 2008 campaign and for Democrats in the 2010 midterms. Toward the end of last fall’s campaign, the White House deployed her to rallies and fundraisers in a number of states and districts, some of which weren’t as politically hospitable for the president.

The administration has seen her as a particularly valuable surrogate in reaching out to suburban female voters, a key swing demographic Obama needs to win reelection in 2012.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, and I’m rolling up my sleeves to get that work done,” Michelle Obama said. “And we’ll cross that other bridge when we get there.”

That other work includes the first lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, a comprehensive effort to reduce childhood obesity through encouraging healthier nutrition and more exercise for children.

The first lady has also partnered with Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president, to boost the well-being of military families. Michelle Obama traveled to Fort Jackson, S.C., on Thursday for a visit with troops that touched on both of those themes.

This post was updated at 9:15 a.m.

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