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Michelle Obama aims for female voters with Pinterest debut

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama attends a book signing of her first book "American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America," at a book store in Washington June 12, 2012. Her first book tells of her experiences planting the first vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt and shares other stories of other community gardens across the country.


First Lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to social media.

Earlier this year she joined Twitter with her @michelleobama account, described as "a new way for you to connect with First Lady Michelle Obama and the president's campaign." So far, more than a million people have taken her up on the offer.

The account's latest tweet? "The First Lady just joined Pinterest..."

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Ms. Obama debuted on the social photo sharing site Wednesday morning by sharing a dozen of images in three categories: "Around the White House," "Great Memories," and "Father's Day."

There's a lovely picture of the White House vegetable garden ("The veggies taste even better when you grow them yourself"); Ms. Obama appearing to win in a tug of war against late night host Jimmy Fallon in the White House's Blue Room ("Jimmy was a gracious loser!") and Mr. Obama kissing his wife while holding his youngest daughter Malia on his lap ("We are dad's biggest fans, each and every day.").

The timing of Ms. Obama's move is no accident. Social media is yet again set to play a pivotal role in this election. And with women accounting for 82 per cent of active users on Pinterest the site is a powerful tool to reach the key demographic of female voters, which will be one of the deciding factors in November's election.

Ann Romney already seems to have figured this out. She has been on Pinterest since February, posting pictures of "Things I love" ("Mommas for Mitt") and recipes, including one for low-fat turkey burgers and another for spaghetti squash.

The Obama team, for it's part, is attempting to translate the first lady's immense popularity into political support for her husband. A Marist poll in April found that 65 per cent of registered voters had a positive view of Mrs. Obama. Twenty-three per cent had an unfavourable opinion.

Ms. Obama's Pinterest account is being managed by campaign staff with her guidance. The overall impression left by comparing the two first ladies pinboards? Ms. Obama would win in an arm wrestle, but Ms. Romney looks like she can bake pretty mean red, white and blue frosted cupcakes.

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About the Author

Sonia Verma writes about foreign affairs for The Globe and Mail. Based in Toronto, she has recently covered economic change in Latin America, revolution in Egypt, and elections in Haiti. Before joining The Globe in 2009, she was based in the Middle East, reporting from across the region for The Times of London and New York Newsday. More


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