Michelle Obama has joined the social media photo-sharing website Pinterest. On Wednesday morning she pinned 12 images on the service, grouped in three categories: “Around the White House,” “Great Memories,” and “Father’s Day.” Or rather, she pinned eight of the images, and the Obama reelection campaign put up the rest. The Obama 2012 staff is going to run the site with Mrs. Obama’s input. Her personal pins will be signed with her initials, “mo.”

But what’s really behind all this is the effort by Obama’s reelection team to leverage the first lady’s popularity as much as possible as early as possible in the 2012 race. It’s a multipronged strategy: social media, her new book about the White House gardening and healthy eating, and traditional media appearances pegged to the book’s publication.