Thursday, 26 March 2009

Guest post: Unleash Her

Many thanks to katy for this!

Who has been responsible for the construction of First Lady Michelle Obama?
"I come to this with a lot of interesting talents, but I think it would be unfair of me to say today what I would do in a couple of years. I need to be prepared to do what the country needs me to do at the time. Whether that’s baking cookies or serving as a wonderful hostess, that’s my job. I have to be prepared to do what’s necessary. And we won’t know what that’s going to be until we get there. I willbe staunchly invested. It is a joint project.” - Michelle Obama
The column Lexington in the latest Economist suggests that the US isn't ready for a First Lady who is both domestic and worth listening to on substantive policy issues. And so...
The White House has been doing its best to turn the first lady into a celebrity mother-cum-clothes-horse. Her White House website describes her “first and foremost” as “Malia and Sasha’s mom” before adding that, “before she was a mother”, she was “Fraser and Marian Robinson’s daughter”. The White House has even engaged in debates with the pressabout whether Mrs Obama ought to go bare-armed to formal events.
And whose fault is it? Hillary Clinton's of course!
But there is a danger that the White House is overreacting to Mrs Clinton’s failures back in 1993-94, and a worry that all this fluff is both demeaning to Mrs Obama and disappointing for some of her husband’s most passionate supporters, particularly professional women. Mrs Obama did not campaign as a traditional first lady, staring at her husband with dewy-eyed admiration and limiting her comments to bland
pleasantries. She criss-crossed the country giving her own speeches. And powerful speeches they were too: intelligent, substantive and well-delivered.
Read the entire Economist column here and Michelle Obama's White House profile over here.

1 comment:

A Nonny Moose said...

I would LOVE to hear more of Michelle's opinions. All the publicity photos I see of her these days are in soup kitchens, or talking attentively with teenage girls. While that's admirable in itself, I got the impression she was going to be a totally Fierce (argh I used that word!) first lady. Scare the world and us feminists will love you for it!