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Michelle Obama, First Lady wannabe

By Carey Roberts
web posted June 30, 2008

Does Michelle Obama remind you more of Teresa Heinz Kerry or former First Lady Hillary Clinton? Read on and decide for yourself.

As we recall, First Lady wannabe Teresa had a habit of shooting first and aiming second. Remember when she wondered out loud whether Laura Bush "ever had a real job"? And the time she cut off a reporter's questions with the rebuke, "Now shove it."?

Likewise, Mrs. O has a penchant for freely speaking her mind on almost any topic.

Michelle ObamaSpeaking to CBS reporter Steve Kroft, Michelle commented, "As a Black man, Barack can be shot just going to a gas station." (Note to would-be gunslingers: Next time you see a white woman at the gas station, try to hold your fire.)

A few months later, she appeared on Good Morning America and recounted one of her husband's most notable qualifications. "I've got a loud mouth," she freely admitted, but Barack "is very able to deal with a strong woman, which is one of the reasons why he can be president, because he can deal with me."

Then on to an interview with MSNBC's Janet Shamlian to discuss her role as a mother and political wife. But things got a little testy and Mrs. Obama decided to set the record straight: "The campaign is gonna have to adjust to a mommy being involved in it. Fortunately I know the boss."

Appearing on the Larry King show this past February, King asked whether Barack has ever changed his mind? "Absolutely. Hey, I change it every day," came her frosty response.

She then traveled to southern Ohio to scour up votes for the upcoming primary election. Paying a visit to the Zanesville Day Nursery, she found herself talking to a group of hardscrabble moms with runs in their stockings. Michelle decided to empathize with them by sharing the tidbit that her family is "spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements."

Michelle then lectured the puzzled women to never sell their soul to the capitalist devil: "Don't go into corporate America. You know, become teachers. Work for the community. Be social workers. Be a nurse."

(Advice to Michelle: Next time you want bang on the community service drum, you may want to pay a visit to your husband's website, which claims he is fighting for pay equity for women. If you're going to tell women to shun the corporate rat-race, fine, but don't whine because women earn less than men.)

And then in May Michelle reacted to a question about Bill Clinton's use of the word "fairytale" to describe her husband's position on the Iraq war. After a slight pause, she blurted, "I want to rip his eyes out!"

Hey there, that's one scary woman!

But other times Michelle takes after Hillary.

No, Mrs. O doesn't cotton to the word "feminist" like Hillary does. But she did tell the Washington Post, "if you laid out a feminist agenda, I would probably agree with a large portion of it."

Michelle Obama is a privileged graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School who earned a cushy $317,000 salary at the University of Chicago. But that doesn't stop her from talking the woman-as-perpetual-victim line.

In May 2007 Michelle traveled to South Carolina and bemoaned the fact that, "We have spent the last decade talking a good game about family values, but I haven't seen much evidence that we value women or family values."

Not valuing women? Please.

Stung by media caricatures as "America's Unhappiest Millionaire," Mrs. Obama staged a counter-offensive, appearing on The View last week. But if that was designed to soften her image, Mrs. O has got to find a new publicity manager.

That's because she kept lapsing into her sexism-behind-every-bush victimspeak.

"It's only when women like her take the hits and it's painful, it's hurtful, but she's taking them so that my girls, when they come along, won't have to feel it as badly," Mrs. Obama said of Hillary Clinton's recent campaign.

And then she deplored the fact that "People aren't used to strong women." It should be noted for the record that Mrs. Obama's closest bosom-buddies refer to her as The Taskmaster. Others would say she has a monumental chip on her shoulder.

Oh, and then the thing about Barack not taking out the garbage. One only wonders when was the last time Michelle cleaned out the gutters and changed the oil on the car.

So cast your vote: Is Michelle Obama an amusing but essentially harmless reincarnation of Teresa Kerry? Or does she herald the third term of a Hillary Rodham Clinton co-presidency? ESR

Carey Roberts is a Staff Writer for The New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.




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