Michelle Obama to Play Major Campaign Role

Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, will be playing a much larger role in his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Many Americans got their first real glimpse of Michelle in her appearance with Barack last month on 60 minutes. (That's right, the interview where she said that he had to quit smoking)

But on Friday night in New York, Michelle took part on stage at a fundraiser for Barack at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Endorsing the qualities of her husband, Michelle said that Barack "...is really exactly who he says he is. You know, there's no hidden agenda to this guy. He is decent, he is sincere, he is authentic, he isn't manufactured."

Obama spoke after Michelle, saying that "I hate following my wife."

So was this appearance the start of something bigger for Michelle? The answer is undoubtedly, yes.

With other candidate's spouses already on the campaign trail, most prominently the husband of Hillary Clinton, Michelle's role will be stepped up over the coming year.

She has changed her job at the University of Chicago to part time, and the campaign has hired former Joe Lieberman staffer Melissa Winter to assist Michelle.

So what kind of effect can we expect from campaign appearances from Michelle Obama? Well, if her appearance on 60 minutes and the speech on Friday night are anything to go by, she can only be a major boost to the Obama 08 campaign.

But perhaps in the most ringing endorsement of her, on Friday night it was suggested that she should be the one running for President. Barack responded, "She's too smart to run. It's true my wife is smarter and better looking. She's a little meaner than I am."