Michelle Obama ties black, white women?: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted July 5, 2008 5:19 PM
The Swamp

by Amanda Erickson

Gina McCauley's blog on African-American women in pop culture has never attracted this kind of attention.

The 3-year-old site has a mostly African-American audience. But she launched a new Michelle Obama Watch blog in June to monitor and critique media coverage of the potential first lady, and since then, feminists of all colors have been linking and commenting.

"I think new bridges are being built, and I'm excited about that," said McCauley, 32, of Austin, Texas, who noted the response to the new blog has been exponentially greater from feminist bloggers around the country.

Her experience reflects what some hope will become a trend--that interest in ensuring fair coverage of Michelle Obama will bring together black and white feminists who have often had different goals and visions for the feminist movement.

Obama, who speaks openly about the challenges of balancing a successful career with the responsibilities of raising two young daughters, has the potential to reach a wide spectrum of women. Lately she's been hit by a spate of unflattering--and some say sexist--media portrayals.

Conservative pundits accused her of being unpatriotic. One blogger circulated unsubstantiated rumors that Obama gave a speech about the sins of "whitey." Fox News, in on-screen text that was quickly removed, called her a "baby mama," a derogatory term for an unwed mother. The conservative journal National Review wrote a cover story tagging her as "Mrs. Grievance."

But the reaction, many black feminists complain, has fallen far short of the groundswell of anger from Hillary Clinton supporters who thought their candidate had been treated unfairly during coverage of her ultimately unsuccessful presidential quest.

Clinton has been more widely subjected to criticism, to be sure, but she was a candidate and Obama is a candidate's wife. Still, now that Sen. is the presumptive Democratic nominee, Michelle Obama's supporters worry that the attacks will get worse.

"You just don't hear the voices as loud as you did" when Clinton was attacked, said Mary Curtis, a Charlotte Observer columnist who wrote an opinion piece for The Washington Post about feminism and Obama. "You're reminded of Sojourner Truth asking, `Ain't I a woman?' "

Truth was an abolitionist and women's rights activist in the 19th Century, when the women's movement started with a clear goal: universal suffrage. But when black men were given the right to vote first, African-American women supported the decision, said Farah Griffin, an English and African-American studies professor at Columbia University.

White women, on the other hand, saw the move as a slap in the face. "Why Sambo before sister?" they asked, according to Griffin, raising a specter of racism into the campaign for women's rights.

The question of competing aims continued into the 1960s, as white women pushed for equal treatment in public life. They lobbied for equal pay and better representation in top corporate and government positions.

African-American women, however, sometimes chose instead to link issues of race and gender, lobbying for better quality of life for families and the poor. Author Alice Walker coined the term "womanism" to describe the movement, according to her daughter, feminist scholar Rebecca Walker.

These tensions bubbled to the surface during the Democratic primary campaign, when some black feminists felt as though they were again being asked to pick which factor might influence their vote--sex or race.

"There were some voices saying that if you're a woman and a feminist, you need to be for Hillary Clinton," Curtis said. "I felt like my very feminism was being questioned."

Similar to her husband espousing a new kind of political accommodation in Washington, Michelle Obama has tried to move beyond the sex-race divisions by appealing to both camps.

's campaign has tapped into that, turning her into an emissary to women. She has kicked off "Women for Obama" campaigns and hosted round-table talks with women across the country.

That appeals to women like Brittany Gwynn, 19, a University of Maryland student who embraces Obama's ability to be a strong woman and also a loving wife.

"I'm in college hoping to go to law school, and sometimes I feel like the men in my life ... are intimidated by my accomplishment," she wrote in an e-mail.

Obama, she said, has shown that it is possible to balance her goals with the needs of her family.

"She is a woman who is a force in her own right but also one who doesn't feel the need to be in the center of attention," Gwynn wrote. "I see her as a role model to women in my generation."

That has been true for many younger fans who have created Facebook groups and online fan sites lauding the potential first lady for her style and substance.

There do not appear to be similar Internet sites monitoring coverage of Cindy McCain, wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that Cindy McCain is less well-known than Michelle Obama.

As the presidential campaign unfolds, feminist supporters see the lack of attention toward Michelle Obama by some prominent feminists as an example of a fractured movement.

"Michelle Obama is getting short shrift ... from the mainstream white feminists who were screaming and screaming about Hillary Clinton," said Andrea Plaid, a Brooklyn-based blogger who contributes to Michelle Obama Watch.

White women bloggers, she said, still have trouble admitting their own prejudices. "There's still a sense of silence," she said. "People are shuffling their feet."

Not all white feminists agree. "I don't really see sexism in the coverage of Michelle Obama," said former Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

Meagan Fredette, a Chicagoan who writes for Michelle Obama Watch, is hopeful. She's excited by the variety of people who visit the site, seeing comments from men, women, liberals and conservatives.

What impresses her most, though, is the number of women's Web sites that have been keeping up with her work. The blog Feministe, which had been closely following Clinton's race, recently began reporting more extensively on Michelle Obama.

Other mainstream women's groups, such as the National Organization for Women, are closely monitoring the coverage. NOW created its own online Media Wall of Shame to highlight what it says were unfair articles about women during the 2008 campaign. Reports on Michelle Obama are featured regularly.

"I think that women have become very sensitive to media sexism," NOW President Kim Gandy said. "They will be watching."

But Murray Lipp, a Clinton supporter and the founder of Hillary Clinton Forum, an online group dedicated to discussing the New York senator, said many Clinton supporters who use his forum still are angry--at the Obamas for not doing more to stop the slights against Clinton, and at the media for its coverage.

It's unfair, he said, to expect those supporters to simply get up and lobby for the wife of the man who beat Clinton.

"The wounds are so deep," he said. "It'll be a time before those are healed."

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Comments

Michelle Obama herself is at the root of her own problems with her misguided and ill-advised comments, some off the cuff, some obviously planned. She is not content to the wife of the candidate; she obviously wants to be center stage and, as such, puts herself into the political spotlight. Absent her own self-inflicted foot-in-mouth problems, she would be viewed as what she is, an accomplished professional woman and mother. But in the end, because of her actions and speeches, her problems originate with her, not anyone else.


You go Michelle! Don't let the smears from the Republican crowd bother you, they're desperate and they know that their time in the White House is just about up.


McCain has started running his campaign just like Bush did in 2000 and 2004. I guess McCain doesn't remember how much people generally dislike President W 23%, including his hiring of all the Bush farm hands.
http://s144.photobucket.com/albums/r163/InsultComicDog/?action=view¤t=mcsame-1.jpg


I can't wait for the GOP convention. Should be some great theater, and a chance for a terrific warm embrace by the most unpopular President in post WW II polling history, reminding people what a dumb decision the GOP made in holding the convention in true-blue Minnesota, while the Democrats turn Colorado bluer.


Anyone want to bet on how many personnel changes the McCain camp will have between now and then?


I'm just about tired of reading from Ms. Obama's supporters that all critics of her are Repukes. Believe it or not, there are plenty of Democrats that think Ms. Obama leaves much to be desired. Perhaps she should look within for the reasons for her relationship problems with other citizens. Thank you.


Considering Geraldine Ferraro's outspoken position her loyalty to HRC, was she really the best one to notice whether or not Mrs. Obama was treated fairly? Could you get nobody else to comment?


Michelle Obama will be judged accordingly just like another other person..If it's good...Great. If it's bad..So be it. If she can shake the elitist, smug attitude and think prior to speaking she would be much better off..She needs to curtail the impression of Jacquline Kennedy with her dress, mannerisms etc. It is insulting. Just be hersefl and see where it takes her. Lots of us our here are professionals, have 2 or more kids in daycare and know all about the juggling one has to do to be a Mom. There are also lots out here that have to attemp to do it without enough money to put enough food on the table and be glad for garage sale clothes for their kids...I do not think she needs to attempt to be the rold model for Moterhood as most are not in her income bracket and are already making do as best they can....Her husband is the one that can possible make a difference in lives. However, he must have HRC on his VP ticket to win this election....


Michelle Obama is a breath of fresh air. Coming from a middle class family she knows all our struggles.
These biased, prejudiced idiots are not even worth our attention.
I love the saying "It is better to be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubts".
There are many fools out there, unfortunately, also voters.


Feminists? Is that a new party line or the old, hypocritical, exclusive group of women self absorbed only with women's issues and concerns? The Masculinists have spoken.


Hillary Clinton and her campaign has insulted the African American (men and women) community AND our way of life. I don't know if I can ever forgive them for that (I hope so).

The Hillary supporters are no angryer then we are. If her supporters think that Obama should have done more to "stop the slight against Hillary" - what will Hillary do to appease the AA community? It feels like a relative just stabbed you in the back during this primary.

There's a lot of hurt feelings all the way around. Hillarys supporters claim they won't support Obama and I'm hearing AA's will never support Hillary if/when she chose to run again. This needs to stop...all the anger and hatred in this democratic party.


Michelle Obama is a strong woman who speaks her mind and that's why the Repuglicans want to twist her words and make her into something she isn't. They don't like strong women, they like women like Substance-abuse Barbie who stands there looking like a wax museum statue.
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/10/18/drugs/


-If that's they type of generation Gwyn represents then she should go back to school. Being 19 she needs to finish college before moving on to law school. I take great displeasure in her ability to offer that the ideal model for todays new generation is a woman who is a force in her own right but doesn't seek attention. For a second forget who she is talking about, what she means to say, if it is accurate, and consider that this statement can go both ways. There is the positive connotation, but also the negative. In their attempt to quote the perfect voice for this new generation that would chose Mrs Obama they had to differentiate. They did so by calling her a force in her own right, but also one that doesn't seek attention (as in not like Hillary). It surprises me because this type of statement is also the bear minimum an anti-female person would agree to...sure she's a force and as long as she's not looking for attention we're fine with it. Seeking attention becomes anything out of the mold that can be construed as seeking attention. Hence Hillary becomes egoist and Mrs Obama angry black female.
-I'm getting a sense that as Obama "moved to center" Michele is moving to the same role expected of women (but some are trying to make it sound new) as First Lady. It's a shame because I was hoping Mrs Obama would make something that's her life passion, something new, a corner mark of her bridge between two sides. Not the role of a working mom and professional. Not the force in your own right without looking for attention. That's so 90's for a couple who are supposedly going to usher in a new paradigm for this country and world. I was hoping one step forward.
-Without taking away from the Obamas it is odd to me that today's new generation is so easily lead to take Mrs Clinton's (forget her policies) role model for granted and instead willing to acknowledge Mrs Obama's(forget her race) as a role model. Forgetting that it was Clinton who was in that role before: being educated, successful, First Lady, fawning over her husband's 'electability', dicing 'evil' Republicans, and forgoing baking cookies in attempts to raise women's issues. It's like we're getting a new Mr Clinton and Mrs Clinton if you go back to when he was first elected.
-I understand the concerns for Mrs Obama. Sure sexism is involved. Ofcourse those backing the Obamas will believe Mrs. O has more sexism geared towards her (I think it's more like racism) because saying that Hillary really had it hard would only acknowledge the part the Obama grass-roots movement (email chains) played in the sexism...starting with I want to see a woman president but just not her...her ego...her cleavage...her cackle...her crying.....her pant suits.....her husband...'pandering' to women....her husband's dynasty......can't control her husband.....Femi-Nazi
-Now I am aware that Mrs O is an accomplished woman and yes a role model. A ground breaking certainly. Although, I disagree on the formulation of that sentiment by Gwyn. Otherwise, if anything stood out outside of the formulation it was the idea of her being considered a new role model on old terms (granted taking away race for a second.) Oh and this dynamic of racism and sexism is something you find often on sites who shamelessly back Barack and Michelle and follow black entertainment like Bossip. See their new post on Ebony's new covers. Barack Obama made it as part of the cool black, but you will also find comments defending strong black women.


American's don't like Michelle. She only has a 14% rating, so who cares...she doesn't belong in The "White" House.

Paulo


Obama this, Obama that. More articles on Obama's spouse than the Republican candidate. The 24/7 Obama infomercial that is The Swamp.

The Swamp is so partisan it's starting to make the North Korean media look good by comparison.


Anyone who looks into Michelle Obama's background and writing will know that she's a radical left wing who is just recently proud of this country, even though she reaped all the benefits.Michelle and her husband are bad news for this country.


I'm tired of waiting for Obama to pick Hillary for VP.I don't know what is taking him so long to pick the most logical choice to bring the party together.If he doesn't pick Hillary then it will feel to me like a slap in the face to women.If it happens that he doesn't pick Hillary,he can just bring it on then because I and lots and lots of other women will not turn the other cheek and vote for him in November.


The Republicans are so desperate that they're even try to smear Michelle Obama.


Imagine being a Republican right now. Bush is the worst president in the history of our Union. His administration made up intelligence on WMDs as a precursor to invading Iraq. Sending American soldiers in to battle on fabricated charges is an impeachable offense. Bush and Cheney have the blood of thousands of real American patriots on their hands...and now the guy who's carrying their water (McCain) is just a doddering old fool - a fact obvious to anyone watching him speak. This is the truth - something quite foreign to many Republicans.


I don't care what KKKarl Rove pulls out of his arse this year, I like our chances


Don't vote for Obama even if he picks Hillary. She would be in a weak position. Why should she allow Obama to send her out to pasture on some unimportant assignment.

Vote for McCain in 2008 and Hillary in 2012.

My money went to Hillary until the DNC selected Obama. Now the money and my vote will go to McCain.


Hey Dusty..Learn how to spell


Michelle Obama is such a normal gal. What's up with all you doubters? Afraid of a really nice black lady with smarts, a little style, a slightly dorky but enthusiastic persona? What, FOX got the chickens scared?

Listen and think before casting stones, friends.


VP usually doesn't get announced until the Convention - at least traditionally. That news should come in Denver. Michelle Obama has nothing to do with replacing Hillary as a woman to be judged by the public. Michelle has ground to stand as a potential first lady. What we expect from a First Lady varies from person to person. We can say that the Obama's have passed muster for their American roots, character, and public service. Whether we like them or not is secondary. They have been good for the country, good for laying a political canopy of American ingenuinity and they bring back our root values and morals. I personally think it has had a great effect on our society so far.


I love michelle obama. what's not to love? She's smart--and she's honest. What honest person can say that they are always proud of their country like Cindy McCain did? Can't I love my country but still have moments when I'm not proud--like considering the increasing refugee crisis in Iraq with children and civilians homeless--as well as our internal problems with continuing racism and discrimination in schools and in the justice system against people of color. Can anyone be proud of our history of racial separatism--that was legally required until the 1960's? Frederick Douglass, a great American, commented on how hard it was to be proud of his country. Anyone who's honest sees that we have done great things and not so great things. Being "really proud" doesn't always come to me naturally either, as an adult, when I consider the ways in which we fall short of our promise as a nation, and our founders' vision of democracy.


Labeling any criticism of Michelle Obama as sexist, like labeling any criticism of Senator Obama as racist, does no service to the cause of eliminating sexism and racism in our public dialogue.

It is a fact of life that political wives will be scrutinized and their words and actions, past and present, will be discussed. On this they are fair game, and they know it.

By the Obama campaign calling the Clintons racists, he who had the first cabinet to 'look like America', and she who has fought racism since hearing MLK speak as a young woman, was unconscionable.

Please call out anyone using sexist arguments against Michelle Obama; but don't equate what has been said up to this point with what was done to Hillary all these years, and by the big-name media pundits during the primaries.


Michele Obama is offensive and none too bright (try reading her rambling, incoherent graduate thesis!) As a potential First lady, she is the same kind of polarizing figure that Hillary Clinton was in 92 and 96, but without the political savvy.
Nevertheless potential First ladies are like Vice Presidential candidates in one way... nobody votes for them.
Anyway here is an interesting take on Mrs Messiah by a renowned Leftist:
http://www.slate.com/id/2190589/


Obana--Do as I say, not as I do.

"What do you call a man who sermonizes about the evils of paying women less than men but allows that very practice in his own office? While a certain unflattering noun would leap to the mind of most, we can now apply a proper one: Barack Obama.

Although the Illinois senator has vowed to make pay equity between the sexes a priority in his administration, it has been revealed that he doesn't practice what he preaches. Writes CNSNEWS.com:

On average, women working in Obama's Senate office were paid at least $6,000 below the average man working for the Illinois senator . . . . Of the five people in Obama's Senate office who were paid $100,000 or more on an annual basis, only one - Obama's administrative manager - was a woman.

Now, some might call Obama a hypocrite. Isn't he guilty of the very invidious discrimination he claims plagues America? "

from The American Thinker.

And for the curious, in John McCain's office, women are paid more than men.


To Janis;
And you know what I'm tired of??? I'm tired of reading posts by nagging feminist women like you, demanding Obama choose Clinton or you won't vote. HE WON. He gets to make his own choice, the VP IS SOMEBODY HE HAS TO LIVE WITH AND DEAL WITH, NOT YOU. Get over yourselves, you don't own him. You make him appear so weak by this demand, I don't know why you don't see that, and that is something he doesn't need to be appearing as, as weak. The Reps will walk all over him if he gives in to these demands.


Funny, I recall Michelle Obama saying she wouldn't support Hillary if she was the nominee. And her silence was deafening when big media and her own campaign piled up the misogyny against Hillary. Who cares of Michelle is a victim of sexism (which she isn't). Any criticism of Michelle "professional victim" Obama couldn't be harsh enough.

And the final irony is that the Tribune have so little respect for readers' intelligence in putting this article out to try to garner sympathy for Obama. It was their sick editorial, after all, that called for Hillary Clinton to be murdered, in reference to the euthanization of Eight Belles after the Kentucky Derby. Shame on the Tribune!


Let's be clear that the "whitey" rumor was from a liberal blog -- a Hillary supporter. The writer implies (by omitting that fact) that it was a conservative.


Bruce, why aren't crying foul on Frank James' unflattering posts about Barack's apparent backtracking on abortion? Your adolescent whining is noticeably absent on those threads. Is it because you cherry-pick posts to cry about the same way you cherry-pick polls to support your juvenile views?


Brightest blessings to Michelle, Hillary, and Cindy (McCain) in the tough days ahead - all strong, accomplished and successful women in their own right. There are many kinds of strength and many ways to be strong. It all depends on the challenges one is faced with. Strong women come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, religions, and political parties.... as do weak women, and everything in between. Both Hillary and Michelle have demonstrated much strength in their lives, as has Cindy. Unfortunately, too many women admire only that strength which resonates with our own experience, and are too quick to criticize that strength that does not. Maybe one day we can and will do better, but obviously not today.


Women need to unite and resist looking for was that one race is being favored overanother....looking to be insulted. It's counterproductive to what we really need to be looking at and actively voicing: the disrespect of all women in this country is ulike any "ism"..it has left that qualification long ago. The disrespect of all women in this country is blatent in the media, in the minds of our young boys, to such a degree, it has become a part of our American culture. If that does not frighten you, it should.

How we perceive our women in this country: the degree and quality of respect, care, opportunity for real leadership, is the only hope we have in becoming a healthy society again.

The media should not become a forum for woman bashing, simply because it has happened for so long, with no consequence. Of course there will always be "the National Inquirers," and yellow journalism
rags that draw mean spirited, shallow minded readers.

But what happened during Hillary Clinton's candidacy for Presidency, shocked me. Nothing was sacred..there were no papers/magizines (including the Washington Post, The NY Times, Huffington, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Time magazines, providing sanctuary for readers to read about Mrs. Clinton without blatent bias, and often blistering comment that would never be said of an African American, or White, or Hispanic, male running for office.

And the television and radio "journalists" were just as classless: Bill Mahr, Chris Matthews, Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh....broke all the rules
pertaining to political correctness
when it came to Hillary Clinton.
What has happened to journalistic ethics and humanity with these people? Who do they think they are to have such a privileged position as to reach millions of listeners of all ages, and encourage noxious thinking among a country struggling in ever way to unite and become healthy and whole.

Michelle will take care of herself, just as Hillary did. She is a strong, intelligent woman.
If the going gets as rough for MIchelle, as it did for HIllary, you better believe women of America will be heard..

I encourage you to watch Keith G. Wright's video on this very topic. ( UTube) He is a young African American man, calling for Americas to wake up, and see what is happening to our women.
"It aint no joke."

Powerful and important.

Deborah Winstead, Chaple Hill


Who cares about the Obamas or the McCains? Ron Paul has more intellect and relevant ideas than all of the above.


She is a rasist, she needs the white people to put her husband in office, am I voting DP now way, I all for turning CA red...


Women need to unite and resist looking for was that one race is being favored overanother....looking to be insulted. It's counterproductive to what we really need to be looking at and actively voicing: the disrespect of all women in this country is ulike any "ism"..it has left that qualification long ago. The disrespect of all women in this country is blatent in the media, in the minds of our young boys, to such a degree, it has become a part of our American culture. If that does not frighten you, it should.

How we perceive our women in this country: the degree and quality of respect, care, opportunity for real leadership, is the only hope we have in becoming a healthy society again.

The media should not become a forum for woman bashing, simply because it has happened for so long, with no consequence. Of course there will always be "the National Inquirers," and yellow journalism
rags that draw mean spirited, shallow minded readers.

But what happened during Hillary Clinton's candidacy for Presidency, shocked me. Nothing was sacred..there were no papers/magizines (including the Washington Post, The NY Times, Huffington, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Time magazines, providing sanctuary for readers to read about Mrs. Clinton without blatent bias, and often blistering comment that would never be said of an African American, or White, or Hispanic, male running for office.

And the television and radio "journalists" were just as classless: Bill Mahr, Chris Matthews, Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh....broke all the rules
pertaining to political correctness
when it came to Hillary Clinton.
What has happened to journalistic ethics and humanity with these people? Who do they think they are to have such a privileged position as to reach millions of listeners of all ages, and encourage noxious thinking among a country struggling in ever way to unite and become healthy and whole.

Michelle will take care of herself, just as Hillary did. She is a strong, intelligent woman.
If the going gets as rough for MIchelle, as it did for HIllary, you better believe women of America will be heard..

I encourage you to watch Keith G. Wright's video on this very topic. ( UTube) He is a young African American man, calling for Americas to wake up, and see what is happening to our women.
"It aint no joke."

Powerful and important.

Deborah Winstead, Chaple Hill


When Michelle is subjected to the same amount of sexist treatment, then we'll talk. To date, I have not seen anything anywhere near the level that Hillary was subjected to.

And, let's not forget, that Michelle herself is guilty of piling on in the melee when she famously said "If she can't run her own house, how can she run the White House?"

That sexist comment was bad enough on its own, but coming from another woman, it was especially egregious. Therefore, Michelle will never get any sympathy from me, nor will I ever defend her. She can't complain about sexism when she herself was a willing participant in it when she wanted to trash another woman.


And let's not forget...whoever Obama chooses as VP for the Deomcratic ticket, must (as ANY VP) be capable and effective should there ever be the need for this person to step into the President's shoes. Think of the grave issues we are facing in this country....unpresidented number of critical threats: global warming, middle east wars, failing economy, poverty,
racism, and mesogany that has become now, part of the American culture. Whoever he picks, they better be experienced, competant, capable and efficient. Hillary Clinton, is the only sensible choice. And while Obama is "changing" everything in our government...what about changing the traditional role of VP's past. Actually collaborate with your VP, give VP's important responsibilities that are in line with your platform.

I do not think that Obama can possible win without Clinton on his ticket. I have nothing against the man unless he allows his ego to get in the way of making such bold, intelligent
etical moves as appointing Hillary Clinton.


Nanao,Hillary supporters are not
going to make Obama appear weak
if he chooses Hillary as VP.,thats rediculious ! If he chooses her he
will appear to have made a very logical
smart choice,thats how he will appear.


Dear Michelle,

I don't know how to contact the Senator but please ask him to be true to himself and return to the hope he gave this country last fall. He made so much sense and had great vision and that is why I supported him. Now I see him swaying to the establishment and I would hope he will still be the hope to return this country to where it should be.

Thank you.

Estelle Ambrosino


Gina is not only looking at the sexist attacks against Michelle, she is also looking at the racist attacks against her. She is being hit with a double wammy, not of her own making as many of you speculate but the making of insecure and ignorant men and women who are uncomfortable with a not only STRONG, accomplished but also a BLACK woman as the first lady of the U. S. They over-exaggerates every little thing she says, make it sound worse than what is really is and then blame her for it.

One more thing, Hillary Clinton will NOT be chosen as Obama's Vice President. She will be in the Obama Adminstration in a position where she will be the most useful and that's not as V. P.


I have just finished reading the whole thread on this subject. My only comment, since a lot of people have already proferred their personal opinion, doesn't have much to do with Michelle Obama. But! I really enjoy reading the variety of what people are thinking -- anyway, please bear with me.

I have voted in every presidential election since 1952, when I think most citizens were still enthralled with the man in the uniform, Dwight D. Eisenhower! A Republican yet! Since I have been a ranting, raving pinko liberal tree-hugger most of my adult life, it took a while for me to come to grips with my faux pas in 1952 and my vote for Big Daddy Ike.

I watched and listened to Michelle Obama when she was a guest on "The View". And I liked her very much. She has that thing some call "charisma"? I had always admired Hillary Clinton until her campaign, for some reason, got me a little ticked off with myself when I had a hard time trying to figure out some of her wild ideas. That was very disappointing since, like many females who worked for a lot less money than her male counterpart in the corporate world, (and who did not move into that higher position because, as I was told then, the man who got the job had a family and needed it more than I did. (I was divorced, my daughters were adults and I lived alone)

Well, please excuse the rambling of a senile old retiree (and U.S. Air Force veteran), I admit to getting carried away much too often. Sorry. What I wanted to mention had nothing to do with voting and women's rights ---- I'm finallygoing to say this and let the chips fall where they may. I'm a tad disappointed in too many peoples' comments here and most other places who kind of take for granted their atrocious spelling is acceptable when writing their opinions in a venue where other people are going to read it !!

Whew. I've wanted to mention that "bad spelling" is found in every single *comment* page I've ever visited---I didn't know I had the nerve to "Just Do It" ~LOL~


As a 62 year old white woman, I have come to understand that being white has insulated me from understanding many experiences that can only be had by being continuously set apart from a dominant culture/race. Michelle Obama and many other women of color like her have grown in wisdom and character by learning to balance ongoing disappointment and feeling of urgency with understanding and forgiveness. It is up to white women everywhere to stand up in solidarity with this shining example and give ourselves over to recognizing that true sisterhood (and universal brotherhood) is a total shared experience that is the only thing that can heal this world!


Not too much press about the good things that Cindy McCain has been doing for years. Quite a contrast to the other candidate's wife:

Cindy McCain visits Vietnam

NHA TRANG, Vietnam (AP) —

Cindy McCain ranged far afield from the presidential campaign trail Thursday to showcase her charity work helping Vietnamese kids born with facial deformities.

McCain has made several trips to Vietnam, where her husband, Republican Sen. John McCain, was shot down during the Vietnam War and held for more than five years as a prisoner of war.

She visited the coastal town of Nha Trang, where about 100 children born with cleft palates and cleft lips were awaiting free plastic surgery provided by the U.S. charity Operation Smile. The operations will take place on one of the U.S. Navy's floating hospitals, the USNS Mercy.

"This is what I do, and this is what revitalizes me, personally," she said. "The campaign is extremely important, of course, but this is also important to me, and so you try to balance everything."

Cindy McCain has been actively involved with Operation Smile since 2001 and is a member of its board of directors.

She has a special connection to Vietnam because she and her husband first helped a baby, Phuoc Thi Le, receive reconstructive surgery on her cleft palate and cleft lip in 1997 after a chance meeting with the girl's uncle in Arizona. Cindy McCain reunited with Le, now 11, during her one-day visit.

The McCains later adopted a daughter from Bangladesh who also was born with a facial deformity.

"When you see a child anywhere, say a child that doesn't have food or a child with a cleft palate who's been kept in a back room because the family is embarrassed or whatever it may be, it takes you back to really what's basic and what's really important," Cindy McCain said.

Before returning home, Cindy McCain was expected to stop in Thailand on Friday to meet with officials from the U.N. World Food Program to discuss ongoing relief operations in neighboring Burma. The military-run country is recovering from last month's cyclone that killed more than 78,000 people and left another 56,000 missing.

Cindy McCain said she didn't bother applying for an entry visa, because she knew the government would likely deny it. She has visited Burma — also known as Myanmar — twice.

"It's just a terrible group of people that rule the country, and the frightening part is that their own people are dying of disease and starvation and everything else and it doesn't matter," she said. "I don't understand how human life doesn't matter to somebody, but clearly, it doesn't to them."

She also plans to visit Cambodia to participate in charity work there.

Separately, Cindy McCain told ABC's Good Morning America in an interview aired Thursday that she believes Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois, "is a fine man" and his wife, Michelle, is "a fine woman," but the presidential election "is about who would be better and I think my husband would be better."

Cindy McCain caused a stir in the presidential race when she took exception to Michelle Obama's February comment that for the first time in her adult life she was proud of the United States. She pointedly told reporters at the time: "I have, and always will be, proud of my country."

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THIS IS THE KIND OF PERSON I WOULD LIKE TO SEE AS FIRST LADY.


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