Exclusive: Michelle Obama - New Wine in an Old Bottle

by JOAN SWIRSKY February 22, 2008


What is it about Leftwing female Ivy League-educated lawyers whose husbands attain prominence in the political arena that makes them, well, so alienating? Is it that they secretly think they’re the real powers-that-be and resent all the hoopla about their husbands?


After all, it takes a fairly intense degree of competitiveness to slosh through either Yale or Harvard Law School, as Hillary and Michelle Obama did respectively, and then juggle the demands of childrearing with careers. Does that competitiveness mysteriously evaporate or just as strangely make them morph into adoring second-banana wives when the men they consider either their equals or inferiors are showered with public adulation?


Hillary chose to deal with the competitive problem by sacrificing her pride – and tolerating over 30 years of humiliation inflicted by her philandering husband – to their mutual goal of her becoming the first female president of the United States, a goal that became more urgent as the mister’s impeachment and disbarment threatened the “Clinton legacy.”




Interestingly, in marriages of this kind, competitiveness works both ways. While Bill yearns, indeed lusts, for a return to the White House, and has worked indefatigably to make Hillary’s success happen, his malignant narcissism has proven to be the main barrier to her road to the White House.


Between his unsubtle racist statements and his scarlet-faced, finger-wagging, spleen-venting confrontations with the media and regular citizens alike, he has told the American public that he, not Hillary, is the “power” in their family, which has effectively undermined her “own voice” that she found so magically in New Hampshire.


Now, as 60-year-old Hillary is on a spiraling-downward trajectory – having lost 10 primaries in a row, as well as most of the caucuses – and has failed to exceed Obama in both electoral and popular votes, the “Clinton machine” is challenging the Michigan and Florida primary votes that both Hillary and Obama agreed would be disqualified (in terms of delegates) and calling in all their cards for the Super Delegate votes, which depend largely on “inside” favors, deals, and – tada – money.


Then there is the nasty matter of New York City’s Board of Elections undercounting Senator Obama's share of the February 5th presidential primary vote, where in 80 election districts (including Harlem, where Bill Clinton’s office is located) he received no votes.


"This is just an outrage," said the City’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, calling the Board of Elections "the last openly, outright, pure, partisan patronage organization we have in this state and in this city."

Here’s another beauty. Hillary is now so desperate that she’s insulting her daughter Chelsea’s chosen profession! The other day, at an economic roundtable in Parma, Ohio, she said that wealthy investment bankers and hedge fund managers on Wall Street aren't doing “real work.” Duh. While Chelsea is flying around the country trying frantically to save her mother’s devolving campaign, she is told that her work for a hedge fund organization, McKinsey & Company, is a pretense!



Last Monday, speaking in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michelle told a packed-to-the-rafters crowd of her husband’s supporters that, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”

Let’s run that by again: “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country…”


Immediately, the Democrat spin-control crowd, as well as Republicans, weighed in:


Kirsten Powers, a Fox News Democrat apologist, said that Michelle’s crystal-clear statement had been misinterpreted.

The editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol said: “[Michelle Obama] was an adult when we won the Cold War without firing a shot. She was an adult for the last 25 years of economic [and] social progress.”

According to writer-economist Richard McDonald, “This utter lack of pride is especially damning in light of the amazing and praiseworthy work that President Bush has done for Africa during his two terms as President. Michelle Obama calls her husband's socialism the reason why, for the first time in her life, she is proud of America. Madame Mao could not have said it better!”

“It says something about her view of this nation, and of her husband and herself, writes Jonathan V. Last, “that she seems to find it so difficult – their own experience notwithstanding – to feel gratitude for and pride in her country.”

“What Michelle Obama is doing is just echoing the sentiments of the hardcore left abroad, and telegraphing it to the hardcore domestic left here in the U.S.,” says Rene Guerra, a conservative activist, writer, and former Marxist from Venezuela, who says he “knows the leftist agenda and how destructive it is to the vitality and survival of America.”


Various and sundry talking heads on the left rationalized that Michelle – whose husband was an Illinois state senator for seven years and has been a U.S. Senate for four – had never been exposed to national scrutiny and so was unprepared to have her statements scrutinized with such ferocity.




At the beginning of Sen. Obama’s campaign, it was clear to anyone with eyes-wide-open that 44-year-old Michelle had an “edge.” The spiteful little barbs at her husband escaped no one’s notice, nor did the sharp edges she displayed while being interviewed by Larry King – until, that is, she apparently remembered her media advisor’s counsel to tone down her voice and attitude and go nice.


But let’s get real. Michelle has been in the public spotlight for the better part of a decade. She knows the gig and she knows the consequences of intemperance. But she couldn’t help herself! This privileged and successful woman – the absolute embodiment of the American Dream – said what she meant and meant what she said.


No matter how she tries – or gets others to try – to downplay her statement of abject ingratitude, I predict that Michelle’s toxic salvo will linger in the public imagination for the rest of the campaign, if not for the next several decades.


According to psychoanalyst and ethicist Willard Gaylin, “You are for the most part what you seem to be; not what you would wish to be, nor, indeed, what you believe yourself to be. Spare me, therefore, your good intentions, your inner sensitivities…”


It appears we have a new phenomenon in our midst – the bizarre specter of a woman who competes with her husband, ala Hillary, and who sabotages her mate as well, ala Bill. It turns out that Michelle Obama is new wine in two old bottles!


# #
FamilySecurityMatters.org contributing editor Joan Swirsky has been a longtime health-and-science and feature writer for The New York Times Long Island section and the recipient of seven Long Island Press Awards. She was a science writer for The Women's Record, writing over 175 articles on the issue of breast cancer on Long Island, publicly acknowledged as driving two redesigns of the New York State Study on breast cancer and as the first journalist in America to put the breast cancer-environment relationship "on the map" of public consciousness.
read full author bio here

If you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to pr@familysecuritymatters.org.

Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.

blog comments powered by Disqus

FSM Archives

10 year FSM Anniversary