Shes musing about becoming a grandmother and not ruling out plastic surgery as she turns 50 on Friday. But Michelle Obama can still shake a tail feather and plans to as she celebrates the milestone the next day at the White House.
The invite to Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert, obtained by a hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, which says guests have been told to wear comfortable shoes, practice their dance moves and eat before arriving.
The White House wouldnt divulge details, but it coyly tweeted a picture this week of the first lady and the president cutting the rug in the White House, along with the words Lets dance. Reporters at the White House on Thursday spotted boxes of champagne arriving.
Longtime pal Donna Brazile told the Tribune Obamas expecting to lace up her dance shoes. That woman can still shake a tail feather, she said of the first lady.
Obama offered a hint during a recent visit to the Childrens National Medical Center in Washington when a 12-year-old and fellow Capricorn, the first lady noted asked how she planned to celebrate.
Obama acknowledged that shed be turning 50 and fabulous. As for the party, Im not exactly sure yet what Im going to do, she said. But it might involve some dancing.
The White House has sought to swat down rumors fueled by a British tabloid that British crooner Adele and Obamas pal Beyonce whose husband, Jay Z, was to perform in Washington on the eve of Obamas birthday will sing at the private party.
The celebration isnt the first first lady birthday bash to raise eyebrows.
Mamie Eisenhowers 1956 birthday party at the White House was nationally televised on CBS just weeks after her husband announced his bid for re-election. That prompted squawking by Democrats, who viewed the show as a presidential campaign ad.
Hillary Clintons 50th birthday in 1997 was a multiday celebration, a bit of a blowout, wrote Carl Anthony, a historian for the National First Ladies Library. Nearly 500 people attended the private birthday party on the White Houses South Lawn, which was outfitted with a tent decorated with a motif to reflect each decade of her life, The Associated Press said at the time.
Obama has already started celebrating. She stayed in Hawaii after the rest of the family returned to Washington from winter break; reports said she spent time at Oprah Winfreys Maui home.
Etiquette experts told The Washington Post that the invitation to the party with its eat-first instruction is a bit unusual and breaks with protocol.
For Obama, who remains more popular than the president in polls but has often been a lightning rod for conservatives, the controversy that a presumably posh party has engendered is almost to be expected.
No matter what she does seems to be savaged, said Robert Watson, a professor at Floridas Lynn University who studies the presidency and first ladies.
Critics will have a field day, from questioning how much it will cost to watching A-list celebrities walk through the door.
But in her husbands last term and hitting the half-century mark, Obama is coming into her own as first lady, balancing a tricky public and private role, he said.
Its difficult to pull off, and I believe shes done a better job than just about any first lady before her, Watson said.