Showing world why she makes him better
August 26, 2008
BY MARY MITCHELL Sun-Times Columnist
KANSAS CITY -- She has his back. That's the one thing voters should be clear about after Michelle Obama's big night at the (P.T. Barnum's) Democratic convention.
Four years ago, when little-known Barack Obama burst onto the national political scene, Michelle was at his side. (right where a woman's s'posed tuh be, dadgummit...)
She was there to give him the support only a loving wife can give and to provide the comfort that needs no words. (...except for a 30-minute speech)
But on Monday night, Michelle Obama showed the nation that she was also a woman who could make the sacrifices that are often required of a first lady. (Sacrifice?!? What the fuck is she talking about? Sacrificing what? Her nervousness of speaking in front of people?!?)
She took the podium at the Democratic convention (and pony show) alone to speak up for the man she knows better than anyone else.
Given the closeness of this couple, Michelle would have wanted him there in Denver for her speech. (sounds a bit "clingy" for your hero, there, Mary)
She and Barack are a team, a dynamic duo, if you will, (I won't) that is poised to make history.
After all, a woman who has the spunk (read: nag) to tell her husband if he wants to run for president of the U.S., he'll have to stop smoking (and finish everything on his plate), and a woman who makes sure despite the hoopla of a presidential campaign, she and her husband show up for her daughter's soccer games, clearly values family ties. (Clearly. That, or it makes for one hell of a great photo opp)
Still, she went out there, and as Obama has said about his wife in the past, she handled (did what she was told) her business at the convention.
"I've come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother (ick..) who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend," Michelle Obama said (whilst washing his feet)
"I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president. (I'm sold!) I come here as a mom whose girls are the heart of my heart (Isn't that a Quarterflash song?) and the center of my world," she said.
Unfortunately, because strong women like Michelle have been stereotyped as too this or too that, (...that's some solid writing, there. Thanks for the specifics backing up your point.) she has been the target of attacks that usually are reserved for the presidential candidate.
Most Americans have never seen a black woman like Michelle on this stage before. (uh, hello! Ever hear of Janet Jackson and a little thing called the "Rhythm Nation Tour"? Helloooo?)
They've seen Oprah and Tyra, but Michelle is not an entertainer or talk show host. (Whoa! Baaaack up! What?!? Dumb it down a shade, Doc?)
She's an African-American woman who has managed to live the American dream because she has been willing to work for it.
Frankly, the same people who heap high praise on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and criticize blacks for failing to honor her to the degree that they think she ought to be honored, are the same people who are quick to criticize Michelle Obama's every move. (yeah, you call them "sellouts")
Indeed, if Michelle was as "mean" as her critics make her out to be, Barack Obama would have been in Denver watching her speech from behind a curtain, if need be, rather than with strangers in a private home. (wh-wh-whbbWAHAH?! What in holy shit does that prove?!)
Like her husband, Michelle Obama has made a commitment to lead (by playing second fiddle)
It would have been a lot easier to sit back and let someone else take the heat. It would have been a lot easier for her to raise her daughters in the comfort of the home (mansion) she and Barack have provided for them.
(Now, let's count the number of times Mary makes it seem like the Obama's live in Mayberry and not in Kenwood....)
It would have been a lot easier to continue with a lifestyle where she could show up at the neighbor's house with her favorite potluck. (1)
It would have been easier to maintain a lifestyle where getting out of the house for the day didn't require makeup (2), a hairstylist (3) and a Secret Service detail. (4)
(mmmm-MMM! Ozzie and Harriet, indeed)
On Monday night she gave America a glimpse of her own journey, with the hope that many Americans will see a little of themselves.
"Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you are going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them," she said. (stop saying 'you')
Needless to say, today Michelle Obama will be judged by some by the words she spoke. (Quit looking at me, Mary) Others will judge her by the way she looked. (Quit looking at yourself, Mary)
It doesn't really matter.
She's already passed the most important test. (she spoke at a fever-pitched pro-Democrat rally. Indeed, her work is done.)