Last month, everyone was wondering if the First Lady, whose approval numbers are higher than Obama's at 66 percent, would take to the campaign trail for Democrats. That popularity has been the work of 18 months of carefully crafted messages and feel-good issues.

But going out on the trail, experts warned, would raise the specter of an '08-style Michelle Obama misstep like, "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm proud of my country." It was that gaffe from which she's been recovering for two years.

Now, she's the subject of another controversy, but not one of her own making. The new quote, bannered at Drudge today, comes from French First Lady Carla Bruni's book, "Carla and the Ambitious."

Miss Bruni divulges that Mrs Obama replied when asked about her position as the U.S. president’s wife: ‘Don’t ask! It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’

Details of the private conversation, which took place at the White House during an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy last March, emerged in Carla And The Ambitious, a book written in collaboration with Miss Bruni.

I'm giving Obama the benefit of the doubt on this one, as it seems like a very strange thing to say to another world leader's wife, and the dishing of the conversation makes me think the book is some sort of gossipy tell-all whose contents should be taken with a salt lick.

For those who aren't inclined to give Obama the benefit of the doubt, this will undoubtedly cement their feelings about her. But for those who are on the fence or feel positively about her, she'll probably get a boost from the blind-side attack from Bruni. Bruni is already distancing herself from the book, according to the French Embassy in the U.S. A spokesman for the embassy told Mark Knoller of CBS News:
"Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy distances herself completely from the contents of the book."

Since she wrote it, I'm not sure how she's able to do that, but nonetheless.

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