So why, oh why, did Harper's Bazaar go through with this Tyra–as–Michelle Obama business? We're not sure. This is purely speculation, but what if it's because the real Michelle Obama turned down the cover because she doesn't want to come off as too high-fashion or out of touch with The People? Hey, it happened with Vogue and Hillary Clinton. That could explain why someone at the mag may have thought, Wait! We can just have Tyra Banks pose as Michelle Obama and it will be ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME! Hey, no reason to go empty-handed when Tyra Banks can give you something. To wit: In this video from the shoot, a Harper's Bazaar editor says, "We're so interested in politics and we wanted to have our own take on it…" And if you can't have the actual politician's wife, why not have a model dressed like her? Just a theory.
On another note: In the video, Tyra repeats her White Castle reference toward the end. With the male model on her arm, she says to the camera, "Michelle and Barack Obama? Y'all might be going to the White House — I'm going to White Castle because I'm starving. And I'm bringing my superfine male model Roman here who stood in for Barack. But you know what? Roman, you're fine, but Michelle's man is finer than you."
Oh yes she did.