Thursday, August 16, 2012

Double-Dutch Michelle: The Great Non-Event

Idling in the motel breakfast room this morning, I saw Michelle Obama chatting with Bryant Gumbel and (what is her name, anyway?).  And I was struck by a great non event. Specifically: save only that dustup over "proud to be an American" way early in 2008, the slime machine hasn't been able to lay a glove on Michelle. And I'm sure it is not for lack of trying, or at least probing for an opportunity.  No: it seems to me that she is playing her hand perfectly: she's so easy-going and affable, so comfortable in her own skin that it's hard to imagine any attack that wouldn't blow up  in the face of the attacker.  Rather, I suppose the worst rap would be that she has put her life on hold for her man,.   Here she is, Ms. Princeton corporate lawyer, talking about--about child raising. About the kitchen garden.  About how the President won't eat beets.  I suppose a certain style of feminism is going to be outraged by this kind of self-effacement. But that is so 1992..  She  seems to like talking about the kitchen garden, and she clearly loves life with her children.  Anyway, she is young yet in politician-years, and there's time.   For all I know, five years from now she'll make a great candidate for the senate somewhere.

And the jump rope, did I mention the jump rope?  Follow up on the recipe talk and here we see the First Lady of the United States on national TV going double-Dutch with some sort of national jump-rope team.  Class, is there any other First Lady we can imagine going double-Dutch?  Bess Truman?  Maimie Eisenhower?  A small voice whispers "Laura Bush," and I pause for a moment--but she had her chance, didn't she, and we never saw it?

I'm really not very good at politics; I have no idea whether this sort of thing actually helps in a campaign, but I can think of so many ways in which the First Spouse might do harm, and so far, she seems to be avoiding all of them.  And I know what you're thinking: how can we size up Michelle against Ann Romney, the First Wannabee?

Boy, that's tempting, but the truth is we haven't any idea.  She has made  a couple of what may count as rookie errors, and she might learn. Or it might be that she is betraying that same kind of bubble-wrap cluelessness that keeps getting her husband into trouble.  Might be they will just stow her away in Wolfeboro for the duration--an option which, unfortunately, is not on offer for him.  But you do have to wonder: double-Dutch versus dressage. Will it really help the Romney cause if Ann shows up to meet Bryant Gumbel on a horse?

Update: After I wrote this post, I found this. So yes, you can even slime jumprope.

Update II: Oh, it's a rerun!  Hah, I am thereby acquitted of knowing too much about Bryant Gumbel.  Everything I say is still true, though I suppose Jimbo is right that they've tried to slime her; they just haven't been able to make the slime stick.  Anyway, my sister Sally is hereby enjoined to give me warning when she sees the First Wannabee's horse coming over the horizon.  One if by land and two if by sea, okay Sal?

1 comment:

Jimbo said...

In fact, the wingnuts have attempted to slime Michelle, repeatedly. Her campaign against the obesity epidemic (hence the White House Garden and the speeches about walking and exercising) have been branded as the most oppressive assault on FREEDOM in US history. Unfortunately, for the wingers, she and her health campaigns have generally been very popular with the public. But haters will be haters.