I see this morning that Drudge has this photo (subtitled, ‘skin is in’) of a fit and sleeveless Michelle Obama posing in a White House photo with the rather dumpy (by comparison) South Korean first lady and I wondered if she is happy now.
If you recall, I posted a widely read article back around Labor Day in which speculation was rampant that Michelle was not a happy camper in the White House. Now, as I read the two-year-old book by Christopher Anderson, Barack and Michelle—Portrait of an American Marriage, I’m even more sure that things may not be so lovey-dovey between the two and that indeed may have serious implications for Obama’s success (or lack of success in 2012).
First, you might wonder why I’m reading the book in the first place. My excuse is that when Borders went out of business I happened to stop in just as their political books were marked down by 90%, and I bought three books on Obama for about ten bucks! BTW, I highly recommend Sally Jacobs book entitled The Other Barack, a straight-forward biography of Barack Obama Sr.—a cad, a liar, a womanizer, and an alcoholic who was thrown out of his Harvard PhD program and promptly sent back to Kenya (did you know that?).
And, here is another thing about Barack Sr. and our President’s mother (Anderson should have seen The Other Barack before writing his book). Barack Sr. and Ann Dunham (Mrs. Obama on college transcripts) never lived together after marrying (and of course you are aware of the fact that he was already married in Kenya). She was about three months pregnant with Barack when she supposedly married Barack Sr (there are no marriage records, but there are divorce records, go figure).
Ann was mysteriously absent and had dropped out of school for the 6 months of her pregnancy, however within weeks of giving birth she packed up baby Barack and enrolled in college in Seattle, Washington. Meanwhile Barack Sr. spent almost another year in Hawaii before heading to Harvard and Ann never returned to Hawaii during that time—weird wouldn’t you say—so much for the myth about how they were in love!
Of course we know that Barack Sr. then headed off to Harvard and began dating several other white women, one of whom (Ruth) followed him back to Africa and became wife number three (adding two more sons to Barack’s Luo clan). Barack Sr. died in his 40s as a result of an alcohol related car crash leaving behind four wives (two divorces) and an indeterminant number of children.
But, I am digressing….today I’m wondering again if Michelle is distressed in the White House.
I had the impression that the Anderson book was going to be one of those squishy books about our dear leader, but find it interesting to see that he virtually confirms all the bad stuff we heard about the Obamas and Bill Ayers (yes, he was a very close friend and had a significant role in writing Dreams), Tony Rezko (Michelle was the first to get close to the very rich Rezko family) and Jeremiah Wright (Michelle loves Wright and they were in church to hear the “God Damn America” rant).
The portrait Anderson paints of Michelle is not very flattering. She was a bossy kid, a tattletale and according to elementary school teachers had an “anger problem.” She got into Princeton partly because of affirmative action and the fact that she had a big brother who was a basketball star at the school, but her Princeton days appear to have been pretty much consumed with anger over the perceived racism she felt from the white students. (I doubt that in the early 1980s there was any overt racism at Princeton, like so many colleges at that time, the black students self-segregated).
One story from high school that I think says a lot about the adult Michelle was that although her parents were working class people, and her Mom especially was working extra to help pay for her brother at Princeton (Dad was working too but was ill), Michelle was into fashion and purchased a $300 handbag with her babysitting money which her mother found astounding. It was a sign of the Michelle who would later expect the finer things in life.
Indeed the marriage of Barack and Michelle was a rocky one for years mostly because Michelle resented Barack’s political ambition and his almost continuous campaigning. Not only was he a slob who didn’t seem to care if Michelle did all the picking up after him—dirty socks, dirty towels, dirty underwear, etc.—but she was working too and according to Michelle they didn’t have enough money.
I was astounded to learn that about the time Michelle was pregnant with their second daughter and Barack was pouting about losing the race for a Congressional seat held by black radical Bobby Rush (Bill Clinton endorsed Rush!), they were making $250,000 a year and in debt. Michelle wanted him to stop running for office, take a high paying law firm job and get them some serious money! She didn’t share her husband’s passion for changing the world.
Michelle also resented the fact that all of the child care fell on her, so she fixed his wagon. She began going to the gym at 4 a.m. to work with a personal trainer (you know those buff arms) leaving Barack in bed and responsible for the tiny tots when he woke up. Eventually she got full-time child care.
I know this is sounding like a gossip column, but I’ve now read about six books on Obama and continue to be amazed at how little the general public knows about these two in the White House. And, based on the personality that is Michelle (she is very ambitious herself), I don’t see how they can function together (without imploding) for five more years should he be reelected in 2012.
Will she be satisfied with the charade of digging unrealistically large sweet potatoes from the White House garden? I doubt it.
An afterthought: Since the media and the public in general never really did any research on Obama before he was elected in 2008, there is no reason that the Republican candidates this time couldn’t get more information out to the public about who we have entrusted our nation to with this pair.