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Michelle ma belle

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At the VDARE blog, James Fulford has contrasting videos of Barack Obama and Jesse Jackson reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham

Jackson’s version is great. I didn’t make it through Obama’s version, but I did like the part at 0:24 when he’s stumbling around and Michelle starts clapping, perhaps in the hope that everybody will join in and put an end to this ordeal before it gets started.

Much of the palpable disappointment with Obama among youngish voters who got so excited about him in 2008 is that for their whole lives they’d been informed that black guys are cool. So what could be cooler than electing President Will Smith? But then President Obama turned out to be, the more you got to know him, nowhere near as cool as he thinks he is.

We could have guessed that long ago from the way Michelle treats him. According to Jodi Kantor’s book The Obamas, Michelle still very much believes in Barack as “transformational” for the rest of us. But, her body language always suggested that she never really got Obamania, and in fact resented the hoopla over her husband, who, if you know him the way Michelle knows him, isn’t all that.

Kantor discovered that Michelle’s initial reaction to his election was to demand a separation — he could go bach it in the White House while she and the girls stayed in Chicago through the rest of the 2008-2009 schoolyear. Eventually, aides talked her out of what would have been a PR cataclysm, and her mood has improved as her husband’s poll ratings came down from the stratosphere.

Comparing Obama to Jackson is particularly germane because Michelle was Jesse Jackson’s babysitter. It’s hard for people familiar only with the grandiose wreck of 70-year-old Jesse Jackson to grasp what he was like in the 1970s. I found this anecdote:

In June 1971, LOOK magazine recorded an encounter between Sen. Edward Kennedy and Rev. Jesse Jackson. 

Kennedy “stuck out his hand and exchanged banalities [with Jackson]. Kennedy acted like a man running for the Presidency. Jackson, typically, acted like a man who is President.” The article went on to say Jackson is “the closest thing to a national leader that has surfaced on today’s fragmented civil rights scene. Tough talking, fast-stepping Jesse Jackson is as different from the conventional notion of a black minister as a Maserati is from a Dodge.”

Imagine being 15-year-old Michelle showing up Saturday evening to babysit. The 38-year-old Reverend Jackson, dressed magnificently, comes down the stairs of his 15-room house, heading out to some banquet to receive yet another award and give another galvanizing oration, and, yet, he takes time from his busy schedule to chat with the suddenly shy girl … 

How can poor Barack compete with that?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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The AP reports:

First lady Michelle Obama set out Monday on a listening tour through the federal bureaucracy, stopping first at the Department of Education to thank employees for their service and rally them for the tough work ahead.

“So many of you have been here struggling and pushing for decades and Barack and I want to say ‘thank you’ for what you’ve done and ‘thank you’ for what you will continue to do,” she told 350 employees who filled a department auditorium to capacity. …

In thanking the workers, she told them: “I am a product of your work.”

Or, as she put it in her Princeton senior thesis, “Thank-you.”

I reported on her actual unhappy educational experience for a year ago.

She was educated at the top public high school in Chicago, Whitney Young, which only accepted the highest scoring applicants on the entrance exam—within each race. Time reported in 1975:

“… the $30 million Whitney M. Young Jr. High School will open as a magnet in the fall with—among other things—an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a special center for the performing arts and a separate curriculum for medical studies. Whitney Young also has a strict admissions quota: 40% white, 40% black, 10% Latin, 5% other minorities and 5% at the discretion of the principal.”

Michelle was overshadowed by her smart and athletic older brother Craig Robinson, who is now the head basketball coach at Brown University of the Ivy League [now coach of Oregon St.]. Newsweek’s cover story recounts:

“For Michelle, Craig’s easy success was intimidating. ‘She was disappointed in herself,’ her mother tells NEWSWEEK. ‘She used to have a little bit of trouble with tests …’”

Her poor performance on tests remains a sore point with Michelle, who brings it up in odd contexts, such as when discussing her husband’s standing in the polls last November:

“You know, [I've] always been told by somebody that I’m not ready, that I can’t do something, my scores weren’t high enough.”

Newsweek describes her career at Whitney Young:

“… but she was not at the top of her class. She didn’t get the attention of the school’s college counselors, who helped the brightest students find spots at prestigious universities. … Some of her teachers told her she didn’t have the grades or test scores to make it to the Ivies. But she applied to Princeton and was accepted.”

It just got worse from there.

A reader notes:

Instead of lecturing (and patronizing) these people, why doesn’t Mrs Obama demonstrate her commitment to the cause by sending her own daughters to a state school?

• Tags: Michelle ma belle 
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Vanessa Williams writes in the Washington Post’s “Root” magazine (I’m guessing the author is a different Vanessa Williams than this former Miss America, singer, and actress):

“Hey, dark ‘n lovely!”

Gotta love the brothers who show their affection for the dark-skinned girls, even if they are hollering out the window of a passing car.

Gotta love it even more when the brother is the president, and the object of his affection is front and center for the world to see.

It’s true: A lot of black women fell for Barack Obama the moment they saw his wife.

If a black president represents change, a dark-skinned first lady is straight-up revolutionary.

I won’t apologize for taking note of Michelle Obama’s physical appearance. Plenty has already been said about how she, with her double Ivy degrees, six-figure salaries and two adorable daughters, is crushing the image of the struggling black single mother. She is a real life Clair Huxtable! But the true breakthrough here is that sisters who look like Michelle Obama seldom become cultural icons, aesthetic trendsetters—a proxy for the all-American woman.

And don’t roll your eyes and ask why we have to go there; we haven’t completely gotten over our prejudices about skin tone and hair texture. Despite years of scholarly, literary and popular debate—from Dr. Kenneth Clark’s baby-doll tests, to Toni Morrison’s tragic characters in <i”>The Bluest Eye, to the showdown between [racial term that doesn't appear in iSteve] in Spike Lee’s <i”>School Daze—too many of us continue to accept a standard of beauty that does not favor ebony-hued skin, woolly hair and full lips (and not those surgically enhanced smackers, either).

I know from first-hand experience. I remember being taunted and shunned by some people who didn’t believe that old saying about the blacker the berry. Back when we were Negroes, the word “black” was used to describe the dark-skinned among us, usually not with affection. My mama assured me that I was a pretty black girl, but it was the brothers on the streets, cooing such compliments as dark ‘n lovely, chocolate drop, brown sugar, who convinced me.

I’m not sure how to break the news to this writer, but being a good enough-looking woman to have black guys shout stuff at you while you walk by is a pretty low hurdle…


But consider the complexions of most of the black women who smile or stare seductively at the world from the covers of celebrity and beauty magazines—cream, café au lait, golden honey. Gorgeous sisters, yes, but we come in other good flavors, too. The failure to showcase dark-skinned beauties feeds the notion that pretty black girls are an exception. Not so much dark and lovely as dark but lovely.

The light-skinned, long-hair aesthetic reigns.<spanMsoNormal”>I think of India.Arie’s song from a few years back.

“I’m not the average girl from your video<span”>But I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally
<spanMsoNormal”>An empowering anthem,



but even Arie acknowledges that many of us who don’t look like Barbie dolls—even chocolate-coated Barbie dolls—are not convinced of our beauty.

“I don’t know if young women necessarily think that certain women they see on TV are beautiful, but they do see that certain women are financially rewarded by looking a certain way and therefore that image is reinforced,” Arie told me via e-mail. She thinks that Michelle Obama’s presence on the national stage will “jump-start the challenge of those long-held beliefs. Not only is she naturally and uniquely beautiful, but she demonstrates a great deal of poise, class and style, which I think has and will continue to help capture the nation’s attention in a positive way.”

As much as we’d like to think that everyone will be instantly enlightened, the truth is it might not have much of an immediate or noticeable impact.

Really? Ya think?

A huge amount of female journalism consists of demands that society must be reorganized so that the author is considered more sexually attractive. (This is hardly the most egregious specimen of this vast genre.)

I’ve always thought that Mrs. Obama was a handsome woman, who spends a lot on her four sessions with her personal trainer each week. Still, there are those expressions …. You’ll definitely want to check out the expression on Mrs. Obama’s face in the picture that The Root chose to illustrate Michelle’s loveliness. Let’s just say that when a husband sees his wife staring up at him with that expression, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble.

Barack Obama’s autobiography ends with his wedding to Michelle. The last line in this self-pitying book is:

“And for that moment, at least, I felt like the luckiest man alive.”

The Luckiest Man Alive would seem like a pretty realistic self-description, but, judging from That Look she’s apparently giving him in this picture, maybe he’s not …

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Michelle ma belle, Obama 
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One of the zanier con jobs that Barack Obama got away with is positioning Michelle Obama as the epitome of unambitious maternal femininity rather than as the second coming of Hillary Clinton. Here’s an October 5 Lynn Sweet blog item from the Chicago Sun-Times that I (and everybody else) totally missed, which contains an excerpt from the upcoming biography of Michelle Obama, “Michelle,” by Washington Post Magazine writer Liza Mundy. It tells of her few years at the high-paying Sidley Austin corporate law firm, where she was employed before quitting to work as a fixer for the Daley Machine.

“But Michelle could also frustrate her supervisors. Quincy White, the partner who helped recruit Michelle and who headed the marketing group, remembers finding her a challenge to manage. White, who is now retired from the firm, says he gave her the most interesting work he could find, in part because he wanted to see her advance, but also because she seemed perennially dissatisfied.

She was, White recalls, “quite possibly the most ambitious associate that I’ve ever seen.” She wanted significant responsibility right away and was not afraid to object if she wasn’t getting what she felt she deserved, he says.

At big firms, much of the work that falls to young associates involves detail and tedium. There were all sorts of arcane but important rules about what could and could not be said or done in product advertisements, and in the marketing group, all the associates, not just the new ones, reviewed scripts for TV commercials to make sure they conformed. As far as associate work goes, it could have been worse — “Advertising is a little sexier than spending a full year reading depositions in an antitrust law suit or reviewing documents for a big merger,” says White — but it was monotonous and relatively low-level.

Too monotonous for Michelle, who, White says, complained that the work he gave her was unsatisfactory. He says he gave her the Coors beer ads, which he considered one of the more glamorous assignments they had. Even then, he says, “she at one point went over my head and complained [to human resources] that I wasn’t giving her enough interesting stuff, and the person came down to my office and said, ‘Basically she’s complaining that she’s being treated like she’s a second-year associate,’ and we agreed that she was a second-year associate. I had eight or nine other associates, and I couldn’t start treating one of them a lot better.”

White says he talked to Michelle about her expectations, but the problem could not be resolved because the work was what it was. He is not sure any work he had would have satisfied her. “I couldn’t give her something that would meet her sense of ambition to change the world.”

“Not many people went over my head,” says White. It was an unusual move for a young associate to make, and he believes it was consistent with her personality. She “wanted something that pushed her harder. Waiting five to seven years to make partner was a good career move for me but not for [her]. There are too many other opportunities out there that mature faster than that.”

Abner Mikva, a former congressman and federal judge who is close to the Obamas and was an early mentor to Barack, finds that account of Michelle’s 20-something impatience amusing. “It doesn’t surprise me at all,” he says.”

So, it turns out that Michelle is exactly how you expected her to be. The Power of Stereotypes is validated once again!

By the way, it apparently took Michelle two tries to pass the easy Illinois Bar Exam (81% pass rate), because she wasn’t admitted to the Illinois Bar until almost a year after her graduation from Harvard Law School, while her smart husband was admitted to the Illinois Bar only a half year after graduation.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Shortly after her husband was sworn in as a U.S. Senator, Michelle Obama famously received a raise from the U. of Chicago Hospitals from $122k to $317k for doing whatever it was she did for them.

But why was she getting paid $122k by the giant hospital in the first place?

An answer may have emerged in an NYT article, “In Developer’s Trial, E-Mail Note Cites an Obama Role.” Like everything involving Tony Rezko and the Obamas, this article is complicated and boring. (For example, Rezko’s involvement in the Obamas’ purchase of their Chicago mansion had to do with zoning details and, likely, with Michelle being on the Chicago Landmarks Commission, but don’t ask me to put together a lucid story of what exactly went down.)

What is interesting is part of this NYT sentence in reference to a 2003 email:

“The vaguely worded message also seemed to raise the possibility that Mr. Obama, who at the time was chairman of the Illinois Senate’s health committee, had been involved in recommending candidates for the board.”

Yes, but there’s no indication of … Wait a minute? Did that say Mr. Obama was “chairman of the Illinois Senate’s health committee?” And this was while Mrs. Obama was being paid over $100,000 per year by one of Chicago’s three big private hospitals to do something or other?

Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

If I didn’t know that Senator Obama is a cross between Mother Theresa, Neo from “The Matrix,” and Jonathan Livingston Seagull, I might almost suspect he could be a Chicago politician.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Michelle ma belle, Obama 
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The NY Post reports on the wife of New York Lieutenant Governor David Paterson, who appears likely to move up to the governor’s mansion in the wake of Gov. Spitzer’s troubles:



March 12, 2008 — New York’s next first lady has always made one thing clear – she’s more than just Mrs. David Paterson.

Michelle Paige is “David’s wife, but that’s not the badge she wears,” said former state Comptroller Carl McCall. “She likes to be accepted for what she is, as a professional.”

The 46-year-old mother of two is a health care-management expert who is an executive at HIP Health Plans involved with its charitable arm, after working for years as a community liaison at North General Hospital.

Somehow, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the grand tradition of Michelle Obama, she gets her salary in the health care industry almost tripled in the coming months.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Michelle ma belle 
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