Monday, February 09, 2009

First Lady Watch: Shock And Awe Edition

If there's anything I hate in political and policy discussions, it's faux shock at something completely obvious and not-shocking. To wit: I call shenanigans on anyone who really, truly believed Michelle Obama would be solely "mom in chief" and fill the Laura Bush, silent smiler role in her husband's life. This woman had a powerhouse career and formerly supervised her husband at work. So, um, yeah. I'm sure she adores her kids and takes their upbringing seriously. But lady can multi-task, right? Now that she is, let the "whaaa?" begin:

"She went to some lengths to say she was going to be first mom in chief," Myra Gutin, a scholar of first ladies at Rider University in New Jersey, said of Mrs. Obama. "I don't think we ever really imagined her edging toward public policy like this. It's not like she's making public policy. But it's a little less neutral than some of the other things she's talked about focusing on."
Shenanigans! We never imagined her edging toward public policy? Hell, I was counting on it.

Of course, not everyone thinks the sky falls when a first lady dares to speak about all that hard policy stuff.

Lastly, Jezebel describes Michelle Obama as displaying a classy, quick wit when reacting to a little girl's comment at a charter school. I see something still a bit troubling in the girl's statement:

And when a little girl at the charter school visited by the Obamas announced that she dreamed of becoming first lady, Mrs. Obama flashed her self-deprecating wit. "It doesn't pay much," she advised.
Yes, that's funny. And yes, there's a high probability the girl's aspirations were shaped by the guest speaker in the room at the moment, but why can't she dream of being president?

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