Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mincing Up Michelle

I had to rub my eyes and check again to make extra sure that Maureen Dowd actually wrote this Op Ed in yesterday's NYT about Michelle Obama -- not only was there no snarkiness, but it was positively glowing (well deserved, of course!):

That’s a good preview of how Republicans will attack Michelle, suggesting that she does not share American values, mining a subtext of race.

She’s a devoted daughter, wife and mother who has lived the American dream, from the humble South Side of Chicago to Harvard Law School. Hey, isn’t it totally unAmerican to complain that being a black woman in the ’80s at a class-conscious, white-bread college, Princeton, was somewhat uncomfortable?

Just as Bill and Hillary did the “Pssst! He’s black!” thing on Barry, now the Republicans will use the same tactic on the strong and opinionated Michelle.

Unlike her husband, who wrote in his memoir that he had learned at a young age to smile and charm and disarm whites of the notion that he might be a bristly black militant, Michelle has not always hidden her jangly opinions so well. She has spent more time dwelling on the ways in which society can pull down the less privileged and refers a lot to a callous but unnamed “They.”

“Michelle,” as one political observer puts it, “is a target-rich environment.”

Team Obama is hoping for the best. When she’s on her game, after all, Michelle is a knockout. And as one Obama booster enthuses: “Michelle’s story is a lot more mainstream American than Cindy McCain inheriting a brewery.”

June 11, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

Mincing Up Michelle


Hillary and Bill are busy updating their enemies lists. And Obama is racking his brain trying to figure out where to stash his erstwhile rival.

If a President Obama put her on the Supreme Court, of course, we would have the infinite fun of hearing Bill rant about how Scalia, Alito, Thomas and Roberts were dissing Hillary.

It’s good news for Obama that Hillary’s out of the race. But it’s also bad news. Now Republicans can turn their full attention to demonizing Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama is the new, unwilling contestant in Round Two of the sulfurous national game of “Kill the witch.”

There are some who think it will be harder for America to accept a black first lady — the national hostess who serenely presides over the White House Christmas festivities and the Easter egg roll — than a black president.


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