Stunning, Exclusive, Breaking News About Michelle Obama!

Sit down and prepare yourself for a shocking revelation about Michelle Obama: She is likable! I mean, who knew?

Ben Smith credits David Axelrod for what he calls the First Lady’s “recovery” (emphasis mine):

Her transformation in the public eye is one of David Axelrod’s great successes, and really a remarkable thing. She was, for a moment, a serious vulnerability for the campaign. She was the subject of her own set of hostile rumors, many centered on race: There was the imaginary “whitey tape” and the rumors about her (actually pretty dry) college thesis. She did herself damage with a comment about how her husband’s success made her proud to be an American for the first time. Then she retreated into a far narrower space of supportive wife and mother.

But she had also had great strengths. She had campaigned hard through Iowa for months, and played extremely well to women there who, superficially, had little in common with her. On those smaller stages, the directness and irony that sometimes come across as harsh on the bigger stage made her authentic and easier to connect to. With just a 17% unfavorable rating, she’s found a way to blend the two, or at least to settle into a position that is, by default, viewed warmly by most Americans.

As First Lady, she isn’t making any visible, Hillary Clinton-style efforts to test the bounds of the role, and hasn’t shown any public signs of bridling at the very old-fashioned insistence that the job be largely about image and morale, rather than about ideas. The question as the term goes on is whether the traits that made her staff and the women of Iowa so fond of her — biting humor, irreverence, normalcy — can find their way more fully into her public profile.

“She was, for a moment, a serious vulnerability for the campaign.”

For a moment? How revealing. No public figure becomes “a serious vulnerability” for a political campaign because of a “moment.” Moments are fleeting, and they pass quickly — unless, of course, someone (or many someones) keeps bringing up a moment’s infelicitous or ambiguous comment over and over and over and over again. Or, making them up out of thin air, like that indeed imaginary “whitey” tape, and yes, definitely, that invented no-there-there story about a college thesis.

So we see how this game works. Politically conservative media sources such as Politico assign the worst possible meaning to a statement that could be understood in more than one way, or they repeat outright lies and unsourced, unsupported accusations as if they were fact, and then blame the target of the lies and spin — in this case, Michelle Obama — for something that was never true to begin with.

So, if the Queen of England puts her arm, briefly, around Michelle Obama’s waist, and Obama responds in kind, it does not mean that the U.S. president’s wife is such a genuinely warm, kind, caring person that even the titular head of Great Britain is moved enough to let protocol slip for a moment or two to lightly touch her American guest, and to accept without offense that guest’s friendly but also light touch in return. No, no — it means, rather, that the U.S. president’s wife is an ignorant boor who does not understand or respect ancient British rules of protocol for interacting with royalty.

And when it becomes increasingly obvious that there is no “hostility” problem directed toward the First Lady that is so substantive and serious as to “damage” her or make her a “vulnerability” for her husband’s campaign and presidency; when it can no longer be denied that, indeed, the First Lady is hugely popular and well-liked because, after all, what on earth is there not to like about this woman? then we are informed that her image has been “transformed” in the public eye, with compliments to her husband’s male adviser for this “remarkable success story.”

One Response to “Stunning, Exclusive, Breaking News About Michelle Obama!”

  1. D. Williams says:

    HI,

    I’ve got a new song/video here called MICHELLE OBAMA’S ARMS celebrating the first lady and her fabulous arms that wrap around us all

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3JL1h3o2bk


    David Williams

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