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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:08 AM
Original message
Michelle Obama and the politics of candor - Profile
in The New Yorker Magazine March 10 issue

Scratching Bill Clinton eyes out... in jest comment

Her bleak outlook on America (stump speech) in contrast to the Hope message of her husband

An interesting read, interesting to watch how it is taken apart by the media: Positive or Negative

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/10/080310fa_...

"Obamas pride chafes at being asked to make herself seem duller and less independent than she is."

Enjoy!
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Lucinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks!
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 11:12 AM by wlucinda
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Welcome and for others; Excerpts from the article down thread n/t
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Compared to the Stepford wife and the Co-President
she is so refreshing and real.

I love her and thanks for the article.

Anyone over 40 and lost in the '70's may need to have a younger person help them to get it.

I got every word but I'm a Senior that is up with the 21st Century!

Go Michelle

:bounce:
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
3. LOL @ this from the New Yorker
"Listening to her speeches, with their longing for a lost, spit-shine world, one could sometimes mistake her, were it not for the emphasis on social justice, for a law-and-order Republican."


She also can sound unhinged and loonytoonish
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goldcanyonaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. I wonder what the reaction here would be if Bill said he could slap the shit out of Obama.
Racist, no doubt.

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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. As a former POTUS, he shouldn't have said half the crap he's said on the
campaign trail.

Mrs. Obama is not a former President of the United States. (And Mrs. Clinton will never be, IMO.)
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goldcanyonaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. She wants to be first lady, if she can't control her mouth now wtf is she gonna say if in the WH?
We wont have to worry though, she won't be setting foot in the WH unless someone invites her.

Mr. Obama won't be President ever.

Oh, that's IMO.

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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well, at least she's not saying stuff like:
"I'm not sitting here as some little woman 'standing by my man' like Tammy Wynette.

or

"I've done the best I can to lead my life ... You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life."

Whoever said that would never be First Lady.
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redstate_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. So
I guess Bill Clinton allowing a very young college intern named Monica Lewinsky to perform fellatio (several, several times and don't forget about the CIGAR!) on him in the OVAL OFFICE and then LIED ABOUT IT to the WORLD is just peachy, but Michelle jokingly saying she would like to scratch out his eyes is just utterly indefensible.

Yeah, okay.
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goldcanyonaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Of for fucks sake, quit bringing up Monica, it wasn't Hillary she was giving head to.
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redstate_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. And
Michelle Obama isn't running for president.
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. OMG can you imagine?
Racism and every other nasty thing.
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Beregond2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wimps
When did Americans become such prissy wimps? There was a time when people like Truman were loved for saying things like: "I'd like to kick him in the nuts!"
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Bake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
10. Sounds to me like she's pissed off at the world.
All that anger somehow doesn't fit really well with her husband's message of hope and "new kind of politics." But most of the O-bots don't get that either.

Bake
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I went to hear her speak the day before Super Tuesday
I noticed that in her speech, there is some anger and attitude

curious how that will play out
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
11. Excerpts from the article - something for everyone!
snip

In Wisconsin, I asked her if she was offended by Bill Clintons use of the phrase fairy tale to describe her husbands characterization of his position on the Iraq War. At first, Obama responded with a curt No. But, after a few seconds, she affected a funny voice. I want to rip his eyes out! she said, clawing at the air with her fingernails. One of her advisers gave her a nervous look. Kidding! Obama said. See, this is what gets me into trouble.

snip

The ordinary card, in fact, may be one of the Obamas best assets. It assuages fears of differenceWere just like you is the cumulative message of all the back-and-forth about the breath and the breadand inoculates against jealousy, a smart bit of self-deprecation on the part of a young, gifted, attractive couple whose fortunes have risen quickly, like movie stars insisting that they were unpopular in high school.

snip

Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: were a divided country, were a country that is just downright mean, we are guided by fear, were a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day, she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. Folks are just jammed up, and its gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, Im young. Forty-four!
From these bleak generalities, Obama moves into specific complaints.

snip

In Cheraw, Obama belittled the idea that the Clinton years were ones of opportunity and prosperity: The life that Im talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl. . . . So if you want to pretend like there was some point over the last couple of decades when your lives were easy, I want to meet you!

snip

Listening to her speeches, with their longing for a lost, spit-shine world, one could sometimes mistake her, were it not for the emphasis on social justice, for a law-and-order Republican. Its not just about politics; its TV, she says, of our collective decay. And, wistfully: The life I had growing up seems so much more simple. She is a successful working mother, but an ambivalent one: My mother stayed at home. She didnt have to work.

snip

Her frame of reference can seem narrow. When she talks about wanting my girls to travel the world with pride and the decline of America over my lifetime, you wonder why her default pronoun is singular if the message is meant to be concern for others and inclusiveness.

snip

(As it happens, Obama has spent most of her life working within the two institutions for which she most frequently claims a populist disdain: government and the health-care system.)

snip

More troubling to the Obamas image of civic rectitude is their entanglement with a campaign contributor named Antoin (Tony) Rezko in a 2005 real-estate deal. (Rezko is now awaiting trial on corruption charges.) That year, as the Tribune reported, the Obamas moved to a $1.65-million Georgian Revival mansion in Hyde Park, which features a thousand-bottle wine cellar and bookcases made of Honduran mahogany. On the day they bought the house, Rita Rezko, Tonys wife, purchased the adjacent lot, which was wooded and empty, for $625,000. After the deal went through, Michelle contacted the citys landmarks commission, which she had served on, and received an e-mail from a deputy commissioner with suggestions for obtaining permits to erect a fence between the parcels. The Obamas paid for legal, architectural, and landscaping work, while Rezko got the bill for the fences construction, for fourteen thousand dollars. (Obama paid the proper fraction of the purchase price for a sliver of land that he bought from the Rezkos as a buffer.)

snip

The other Chicago connection that dogs the Obamas is Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., their pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ. Wright, who drives a Porsche and references Bernie Mac and Terry McMillan in his unorthodox sermons (Take what God gave you and say, In your face, mediocrity, Im a bad mamma jamma! ), officiated at Michelle and Baracks wedding and baptized their two daughters. Barack took the title The Audacity of Hope from a sermon that Wright preached. In 2006, the Obamas gave $22,500 to the church.
Wright espouses a theology that seeks to reconcile African-American Christianity with, as he has written, the raw data of our racist existence in this strange land. The historical accuracy of that claim is incontestable. But his message is more confrontational than may be palatable to some white voters. In his book Africans Who Shaped Our Faithan extended refutation of the Western Christianity that gave rise to the European Jesus . . . the blesser of the slave trade, the defender of racism and apartheidhe says, In this country, racism is as natural as motherhood, apple pie, and the fourth of July. Many black people have been deluded into thinking that our BMWs, Lexuses, Porsches, Benzes, titles, heavily mortgaged condos and living environments can influence people who are fundamentally immoral.
In portraying America as a Eurocentric wasteland of lily-white lies and outright distortions, Wright promulgates a theory of congenital separatism that is deeply at odds with Obamas professed belief in the possibilities of unity and change. Last year, Trumpet Newsmagazine, which was launched by Trinity United and is run by Wrights daughter, gave the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award to Louis Farrakhan, leading to accusations that Wright was anti-Semitic.
Baracks advisers have tried to dismiss the criticisms of his association with Wright as a witch hunt by conservative blogs and talk-show hosts. The candidate disinvited Wright from giving the convocation when he announced his Presidential bid. Last month, I attended an Ash Wednesday service at the church. When it was over, I approached Wright and asked him to tell me about Michelle Obama. Shes from the hood, he said. Within seconds, a minder rushed over to say that I was forbidden to conduct any interviews on the premises.
We dont want our church to receive the brunt of this notoriety, Obama told me. I asked her whether Wrights statements presented a problem for her or for Barack. You know, your pastor is like your grandfather, right? she said. There are plenty of things he says that I dont agree with, that Barack doesnt agree with. When it comes to absolute doctrinal adherence, she said, I dont know that there would be a church in this country that I would be involved in. So, you know, you make choices, and you sort ofyou cant disown yourself from your family because theyve got things wrong. You try to be a part of expanding the conversation.

(She made a similar argument when I asked if she agreed with her husband in opposing gay marriage. Its like you gotta do the baby steps. . . . You dont start with the hardest, toughest issues when youre trying to unite a group.)

snip

She talked about her first trip to AfricaBarack took her to Kenya to meet his fathers familyand the realization that, as much as white society fails to account for the African-American experience, so does any conception of pan-blackness. Theres also the view among many black Americans that Africa is home, she said. But when youre a black American youre very much an American first.

snip

In an essay on TheRoot.com, Kim McLarin writes that Obama reminds her of Ntozake Shanges play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf: ordinary / brown braided woman / with big legs and full lips / reglar. For her, the Obamas relationship is a public validation of the worthiness of dark-skinned women. He chose one of us, and I am thrilled, McLarin writes. She loves, respects, and adores Barack, but she is the prize and she damn well knows it. He better know it, too.

snip

Some observers have detected in Obama an air of entitlement. Her defenders attribute these charges of arrogance to racist fears about uppity black women. While its a stretch to call the suggestion that Obama projects an air of self-satisfaction bigoted, it may at least reflect a culture gap: last April, after Maureen Dowd wrote a column criticizing Obama for undermining her husbands mystique, a blog riposte, circulated widely on the Internet, was titled The White Lady Just Doesnt Get It.

snip

But Obamas blitheness about politics may have less to do with race than it does with classconservative commentators pegged her as a paragon of litist leftismor, more likely, for a daughter of blue-collar Chicago, with personal disposition. In our conversation, she came across as almost apolitical. I asked her about the first time she voted. Oh, God, um, Ive voted every time that I could vote, but I dontit doesnt stand out, she said. You know, that was just something you did. You know, you didnt not vote. . . . But I, you know, it wasnt like this moving experience for meshe breathed in dramatically I cast my first vote! (I feel kind of bad about it, she once told a reporter, unconvincingly, who asked whether she participated in the Senate spouses club.)

The self-assurance that colors Obamas 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 countrys problems. I tell people I am married to the answer, she said, in a speech in Harlem. The man . . . who I am willing to sacrifice, she called her husband, in Iowa. In November, on MSNBC: Black voters will wake up and get it. There is a hectoring, buy-one-while-supplies-last quality to Obamas 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.

snip

And theres a sort of strategic genius to her presentation of campaigning as grinding work that takes her away from her family, rather than a glorious tour of the worlds greatest country that she would be thrilled to be undertaking even if she didnt have to. She frequently tells her audiences, I dont care where I am, the first question is How are you managing it all? How are you holding up? The effect, of course, is to set up an expectation of tribute, like those hairdressers who display all their gifts in the days leading up to Christmas. By loudly voicing her distaste for retail politicking, Obama makes people feel as though, by showing up, she were doing them a favor.

snip

The acrimony between the Obamas and the Clintons had been intensifying in the days leading up to the Wisconsin primary. I asked Obama if she was worried about negative attacks on her husband. She was diplomatic. Weve pretty much heard it all, she said.
Shes very competitive, and she believes deeply in him and in what were doing, David Axelrod said later. I dont think shes a pacifistif she thinks were being treated unfairly or doesnt think were being aggressive enough in debunking attacks, she will say so. She does not fold up into the lotus position and start chanting kumbaya. Shes against gratuitous attacks but shes not against defending our position and making sure we dont get punked.
Others in the Obama camp were less circumspect. Im telling you, shes not faking the funk, thats for sure. Neither is he, Craig Robinson said, over lunch in Providence. And thats why its working. Thats why people are connecting. Cause you cant B.S. that good. Even if youre Bill Clinton you cant, because hes getting called on it.

snip

Baracks plan is to win this election. They cant be worried about what he says. I mean, you know, sometimes you get angry. But its so ludicrous that its almost comical. It really is. It really is. And the whole crying now before every primary? Youve got to be kidding me. If I was a woman, Id be embarrassed for her, he said of Hillary Clinton.

snip

In The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama perceives a vulnerability in his wife, one so closely guarded that even her brother professed to me never to have noticed it. There was a glimmer that danced across her round, dark eyes whenever I looked at her, he writes, the slightest hint of uncertainty, as if, deep inside, she knew how fragile things really were, and that if she ever let go, even for a moment, all her plans might quickly unravel.


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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. whow--thanks
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niceypoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sounds like she is a lot like Bill Clinton in some respects...
Imagine if he had said something like this...
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:30 PM
Response to Original message
15. This is what we have been reduced to?
Wanting a First lady that cannot be herself, and who's every word will be microscopically disected in order that she can be criticized?

Democrats, the party that seems to have become more like Republicans in how they "judge" everything and anything uttered from the mouths of our politicians.

I'm sure that these same Democrats must have lost it when Teresa Heinz Kerry said if Bush is Elected, we have "four more years of hell!"

I have news for you! She was speaking the truth; we got four more years of hell.....partly because so many were so willing and able to criticize her for saying exactly what so many thought.

I am totally disallusioned with the Democratic party at this time. The big tent ain't nothing but a mirage.....and I agree with most of what Michelle stated in the profile, because most of it is true.

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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. I remember what Sharpton said a few years ago, sticks in my mind
about the Democratic party and black voters:

"They always invite us to the dance, then leave with someone else"

I took it to mean, they want the votes but not the issues.

That will not be the case with the Obamas.
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redstate_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Ah yes
Sharpton and blacks... two peas in a pod, eh?

Just like Hagee, Coulter, Limbough, Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, and white voters in general. I guess ignoring the will of the majority of white voters has not been the case with Bush for the past eight years.
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. You disagree with his position regarding the party?
if so, how and why?
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redstate_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. They're
blinded by their bitter partisanship. They know not what they do because they are not led by their brains, but by their illogical emotions. Hillary Clinton has said far worse and yet they expect that this bitterly partisan, highly disliked and despised, self-infatuated amateur politician can one day become president of these United States. BLIND they are indeed.
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niceypoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. You are describing your own hyper-critique of all things Clinton...
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 12:39 PM by niceypoo
Which you vent ad nauseum on this board. If Bill Clinton said some similar 'truth' would you be defending him? We all know the answer to that one...

I find it amazing that people can endlessly spew vitriol at a family then complain of being 'disillusioned' at the direction things are headed... face, meet mirror.
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redstate_democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. lol
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 12:43 PM by redstate_democrat
wrong reply
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. Call me names and make it personal, why don't you?
I have come to expect it. :eyes:
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indimuse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. scratching eyes out...sounds violent!
Excatly the quality a lot of Americans are "HOPING" for in our next first lady...OR man!





example...see how inspiring she looks here:::>>>
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CyberPieHole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
24. The repub party will have a field day with Michelle's anti~American Screeds...
There is NOTHING Americans love more than a person who has achieved everything but who hates the country and the people who supplied it. Oh, yeah...you can see how it will all play out. And the vicious and cantankerous (and very often ornery), Michelle Obama will play right into their hands. How could she help but do so, what she thinks of as "smart" is nothing more than "smart~ass".
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GoldieAZ49 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
29. kick
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