Thursday, September 6, 2007

On Obama's Wife's "Stinky" and "Snores" comment

As reported in today's New York Times:

"In an interview with Glamour magazine, Michelle Obama reveals that her husband, Barack, is so “snore-y and stinky” when he wakes up in the morning that their daughters won’t crawl into bed with him. The interview, in the magazine’s October issue, was conducted by Tonya Lewis Lee, who is married to Spike Lee, the filmmaker."

"Referring to their daughters, Mrs. Obama says: 'We have this ritual in the morning. They come in my bed, and Dad isn’t there — because he’s too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want to ever get into bed with him. But we cuddle up and we talk about everything from what is a period to the big topic of when we get a dog: what kind?'

There has been a lot of criticism from the vox populi, or the peanut gallery, in response to her comments, for being too humanizing, too crude, or basically, just too much information.

One man writes in the online comments to the New York Times piece, "Believe it or not the best thing she can do at this time is pretend she’s the little housewife who likes to decorate instead of trying prop herself up and minimize her husband." So he acknowledges the falseness of the stereotype of the First Lady, the archetype Laura Bush has modeled herself on, but suggests that this is an easier image for people to accept than the one Michelle Obama is trying to project. Another man writes, "The wives of Biden, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich, Gravel, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Tancredo, Hunter, Paul, and even Giuliani ALL have shown better political sense than Mrs. Obama, in supporting from the sidelines and not eclipsing the candidate. I’d say the wives of Sen. Clinton and Sen. Edwards are both making the same mistake (although Bill is trying his best not to outshine, he’s the most popular wife of them all)."

So there's a feeling out there that she is not pretending enough, not giving in to the accepted archetype of the traditional First Lady, or potential First Lady, which is to be quiet and stay in the background while she lets her husband be glorified. She's trying to create a new mold, a new image for the First Lady that's more real, more candid, but that's not what people are ready to accept.

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