As Michelle Obama prepares to leave the White House, she’s been talking publicly about how eager she is to return to normal life. “I want to open my front door without discussing it with anyone — and just walk,” she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview last year.

She has also said she wants to sit in a yard, stroll through a big-box store and open a window in her house, all things she has not been able to do for eight years.

Yet a team is already laying the groundwork for what’s likely to be a somewhat busier post-White House schedule for a popular first lady who has signaled her eagerness to continue her advocacy work of recent years — and has proved to be a compelling voice in American politics.

After a long break, Obama plans to get to work with a small staff that will move into office space in Washington. The group will be led by Melissa Winter, the first lady’s longtime deputy chief of staff. A veteran Capitol Hill aide, Winter was the first lady’s first hire during her husband’s 2007 campaign.

“Mel has been by my side from Day One. There is truly no one I trust more completely to make order out of chaos and take an idea from inception to execution,” Obama said in an email. “For the past decade, she has been one of my most trusted advisors and dearest friends.”

The shadow of the commander in chief by its nature makes a first lady’s work smaller. But the post-presidency has been a chance for some former first ladies to find new missions, and Obama’s next moves will largely be hers to decide.

“Right now it is an empty plate,” Winter said. “I really think the most important thing is to give her time to breathe and get acclimated to being a private citizen again, knowing that she doesn’t have to tell people where she’s going to go, and we don’t have to put out an advisory if she’s going to go walk around a museum.”

After that, “we have space, [and] an idea of the size of the staff” Mrs. Obama will need, Winter said. “Because she’s not the president, we don’t feel the same sense of urgency” to be up and running as soon as the administration ends.

Laura Bush described her first few weeks at home after her husband’s presidency ended as a relief. “I would get in bed at night and think, ‘Oh, now what do I have to do tomorrow?’ And then I would take this deep breath and think — ‘I don’t have to do anything tomorrow,’ ” she told The Washington Post in 2014.


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Photo published for Michelle Obama Rocks Daisy Duke Shorts, Leggings As Island Vacay Comes To End

Michelle Obama has been seen like you’ve never seen her before — rocking a pair of Daisy Duke shorts. The former first lady and swaggy-cool ex-President Barack Obama have been on vacation since leaving the White House. Michelle in short, shorts and Mr. O with a hat turned to the back, appeared in beach snaps and the internet lost its mind.

Barack and Michelle Obama are wrapping up an 11-day vacation in the Virgin Islands. The former first couple has been on holiday as guests of Sir Richard Branson on his private island, according to a Daily Mail report.

Michelle became a de facto walking fashion barometer and set the bar high in terms of fashion choices. Seeing former first lady Obama in Daisy Dukes instead of an Isabel Toledo, Jason Wu, or Mario Pinto dress is different, but delightful, according to fan responses.

Photo published for PICS: Back to reality! The Obamas take off in private jet from islands

PICS: Back to reality! The Obamas take off in private jet from islands

The Obamas have jetted out of paradise after ten days in the Virgin Islands – with no children and no work obligations, seen in photos obtained exclusively by

While on Branson’s eco-resort island of Moskito, Michelle and Barack were seen having lunch with the billionaire Virgin Group founder and his daughter, Holly. They made a beeline there from Palms Springs, California, a day or so after handing the keys to President Donald J. Trump.

In one image, Michelle, Daisy Dukes and all, wears a straw hat and split-toe sandals with a bikini top and dark shades. President Obama, with his hat to the back, wore a Nike shirt, matching shorts, and flip-flops. The former president looked like a hipster who was at one with nature.

In another image, the Obamas posed for selfies with islanders. Reportedly, the famous couple only had a few members of their entourage along during their vacation, including Secret Service agents. The island staff was allowed, but only after undergoing security checks and leaving their phones behind.

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