At G-20 Summit, Wives Hog the Spotlight

So President Obama and all the European leaders are getting together to solve global terrorism, reverse the economic disaster, and "foster world unity." Not that we don't have the utmost faith that a bunch of men in suits can perform those miracles, but it's a relief to see that the international media has its priorities straight and is focusing on the real issues. Namely: How will the various First Ladies compare in the fashion stakes, is Michelle going to bare her famous arms, and how does one behave in front of the Queen of England?

Mrs. Obama took no chances when she visited Buckingham Palace a little while ago: She'd been briefed on the correct etiquette, such as the right kind of curtsy to deliver and how to address old Liz ("your Majesty"). As for physical interaction, she'd been told "you may not shake the Queen's hand, only touch it briefly." Any other personal contact is "frowned upon," as is any George Bush-style winking, and we'll assume Barack didn't dare use his preferred term of endearment—"sweetie"—but you never know!

One duty Michelle need not be nervous about: hanging out with Sarah Brown, wife of British Prime Minister Gordon. Sarah's the one who should be intimidated, says Reuters, which interpreted the sparkly J. Crew cardigan worn by our First Lady this morning as a kind gesture to prevent her famous biceps from attracting all the attention. Although—scandal!—were those Spanx-type underwear revealed by Michelle's tight skirt?

The real excitement, however, comes tonight when the women gather at a special dinner at 10 Downing Street, where they'll be joined by the likes of J.K. Rowling and Naomi Campbell. As God and nature intended, while the world's leaders argue about fiscal stimuli, their wives will talk about, oh, probably babies and knitting. And how relieved they are that Carla Bruni's not there to upstage them all.

President Obama, First Lady study protocols [NYDN]
Michelle sparkles as hostess Sarah plays it safe [Reuters]
The first ladies of fashion [DM]
Obama Wades Into Murky Waters of Diplomatic Protocol
[WSJ]