Michelle Obama – A Mother’s Day Profile

By YeOldeScribe ~ May 9th, 2011 @ 2:38 am

Seeing as how today (actually yesterday at this point, but who’s really counting?) is a celebration of all the wonderful things mothers do for their families and their nation, we would be remiss if we didn’t do a post on America’s current most famous mother – the First Lady of the Unites States of America – Michelle Obama.

We won’t bore you with many details about her past, but there’s some interesting things to note. First, she’s the third First Lady to have a post-graduate degree (her two immediate predecessors, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton are the others). She met Barack when the two were working at the same law firm – and she was actually assigned to mentor him! As you all well know, the two married in ’92 and have two children.

Unlike many previous First Ladies, modern women married to the most powerful man in the world seem to adopt “projects” to work on during their tenure in the White House. The Bush’s focused on reading and fighting illiteracy.  Mrs. Obama’s initiative is to curb childhood obesity. The project has been dubbed “Let’s Move!” Like the many other programs out there to curb childhood obesity (such as the NFL’s Play60 movement), the Let’s Move! program focuses on getting kids active and helping them make proper nutrition choices. Using the Body Mass Index scale as an indicator, her goal is to show kids and their families how at risk they are for developing diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and many other preventable ailments.

Of course, no one in the White House can focus on only one thing at a time, and the First Lady is no different. Another issue that is very dear to Mrs. Obama is helping working women balance their jobs and their families. Ever since her husband first began to run for public office, Mrs. Obama has reluctantly agreed to campaign right by his side. But she also made it clear that her primary responsibility was to her family, so for the 2008 elections, Mrs. Obama campaigned only two days a week, never being away from her children for longer than 48 hours. The first lady has also supported various other programs such as helping members of our military as they return home.

So how has the media and other politicians responded to Mrs. Obama’s good deeds? Well, the media in particular (with no thanks to many average Americans) has decided to focus almost exclusively on the First Lady’s fashion and interior design skills rather than talk about her legal qualifications or look at the work she’s done in helping tackle major issues facing Americans. While her beauty is undeniable, we’re disappointed that most people can’t see past her good looks and value her for her good deeds instead.

And it comes as little surprise to us that in no time at all, Sarah Palin has misrepresented Mrs. Obama (as she often does with other members of the Obama household) and bastardized the First Lady’s obesity prevention initiatives. While helping to plant the White House’s first vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt, Mrs. Obama said “The problem is when things get out of balance, when dessert is practically a food group.” On her reality show (Sarah Palin’s America – which is a scary thought to us so we’ve never even thought about watching it), the former Alaskan beauty queen was quoted as saying “Where are the s’mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert.” Way to stay classy, Sarah. Not only are you belittling the good deeds of a fellow woman and politician simply because you don’t agree with her political philosophy, you skewed the original statement so much that what you said wasn’t even true. We can only hope that the First Lady responded by sending a box of condoms to Mrs. Palin reading “These are in honor of your daughter, who proved the other day you don’t have to have brains as long as you mother a child out of wedlock and can dance moderately well.”

But Mrs. Palin isn’t the only politician to undercut the First Lady. Both Democrats and Republicans have refused to pay for Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Play!” program, and as a result Democrats had to cut money from the food stamps budget to get her the necessary funds for the program. Smooth, Congress. Real smooth. And how much a day goes toward defense? Or pork barrel politics? Or your own salaries, health care and other benefits? And yet, when it comes time to fund an initiative to get kids to go out and play, the money just isn’t there, unless it comes from a program that was already struggling to just survive.

In short, it seems that instead of the usual Mother’s Day gift of flowers and chocolates, what Mrs. Obama should really get is some recognition and respect for the hard and good work she’s put in during her tenure at the White House, as well as some funding for her various programs. We’ll give you the former, Michelle – it’s up to Congress to give you the latter.

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1 Response to Michelle Obama – A Mother’s Day Profile

  1. Chris McConaughay

    I have a great deal of respect for Michelle Obama. Honestly, I have a great deal of respect for any spouse or partner of a major politician, especially on the presidential level. Basically, they get their life torn apart and flipped upside-down, and rarely do they get a sincere “thank-you” from the people.

    When I see the coverage of Michelle Obama, I’m usually annoyed by it. Granted, her eye for fashion blows mine out of the water, but, as you said, there is so much more depth to her character beyond armless dresses. Sometimes I wonder if everyone just wants Camelot to come back so badly, they can’t see the forest for the trees.

    As for the funding of “Lets Move” I think I probably disagree with you. I cannot place my finger on the article of the constitution that gives the congress the right to tax the people for the purpose of encouraging playtime. If “Lets Move” was a voluntarily funded charity, I would be all about it, but sadly, it’s not.


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