the other obama (is a hot mess!)

08Mar08

The New Yorker can certainly project the snootiest tones in a put down piece and as a long time subscriber I know that. I was nevertheless shocked to come away with that impression after reading their profile of candidate Barack’s wife entitled, The Other Obama.

I have to say, I like her. But it’s not my perspective that I’m thinking about. I don’t want to say that Obama is over because of who is wife is and how she comes off in a magazine article. It also makes me seem so negative and an audacious hope crusher.

But just ask Theresa Heinz Kerry about the unforgiving scrutiny a presidential candidate’s wife can expect. Ask Hillary Clinton! You can’t get elected in this country with your wife out there saying the things that Michelle Obama is saying. She will be taken into account almost as much as the candidate.

Add her comments to his liberal credentials, his church, etc., and you have the ingredients for a toxic cocktail.

This is political cyanide coming from the mouth of a would be First Lady.

“Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents.”

Regarding the man who would be president’s views of marriage, she paraphrases her husband.

“He was, like”—she broke into a wishy-washy voice—“ ‘Marriage, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s really how you feel.’

That’ll pay the bills on Fox News for a month.

This is the nose in the air New Yorker style that signals a writer’s disapproval.

“The self-assurance that colors Obama’s assumption that her personal feelings are some bellwether of American achievement is also palpable in her forceful declarations that her husband is the only person who can solve the country’s problems.

There is a hectoring, buy-one-while-supplies-last quality to Obama’s frequent admonitions that Americans will have only one chance to elect her husband President. Someone who has spent a good portion of her life gaining purchase has suddenly been asked to sell something, and she seems to find it slightly beneath her.”

It’s the “good portion of her life gaining purchase” comment. The writer seems to me to be saying that Obama has successfully pulled herself up (gained purchase, traction) from some less-than background, made it to Princeton and Harvard, and yet isn’t sufficiently grateful to society or to the nation.

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