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Explaining Mrs. Obama's Visits to Federal Agencies

By Ed O'Keefe

"Government is hard work," says White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, and that's one of the big reasons why First Lady Michelle Obama continues to visit Federal agencies, to thank employees for their public service.

In the video clip above, Rogers tells The Post's Lois Romano that Obama "is the First Lady. So, in a way, she is using that role to be a conduit for the American public to say, 'Thank you so much for all the work that you and your family are doing on behalf of the American people' as our as -- her husband is doing the work that he's doing. So, in many respects, I think it's a marvelous use of her time."

"She ran a billion-dollar utility company in Chicago and now is the most influential event planner on the planet," Romano writes in today's Post. The interview was conducted as part of The Post's new series, "The Obama Era: New Voices of Power." Read a full transcript of the interview here.

The First Lady made her sixth stop to the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday.

MS. ROMANO: So the trips to the agencies to go see the employees. tell me what's being accomplished there. You're on your sixth visit now?

MS. ROGERS: Well, I think a couple of things. I think government is hard work. You know, sometimes it can be thankless work, and I think it's important that she is welcomed and that she says, "On behalf of myself and my--we appreciate what you're doing. You know, we all want to work together. We know how important the work is that you're doing," and so some of her first visits are actually out to the groups that are supporting this nation and so all of the--she was a --her husband was elected on behalf of the American people. She is the First Lady. So, in a way, she is using that role to be a conduit for the American public to say, "Thank you so much for all the work that you and your family are doing on behalf of the American people as our as -- her husband is doing the work that he's doing. So, in many respects, I think it's a marvelous use of her time.

MS. ROMANO: And you talked about doing that with military families and military people in general.

MS. ROGERS: One of the things that Mrs. Obama is very keen on is military families. I mean, in many respects, they give so much to our country, that they should be saluted, just as we salute the militia that are going out across the nation to protect us, and so that is certainly, you know, a group that is very close to us. We did a concert during the inauguration where military children and families were really celebrated, and so I would expect that we would continue in that vein.

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 27, 2009; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments, Video Report  
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