Thursday, September 06, 2007

Obama, Up Close and Very Personal

It started in 1994 when Bill Clinton went on MTV and answered a question about his underwear, “Boxers or briefs?” With only the slightest pause, the President of the United States answered, “Usually briefs.”

Now, in a Glamour Magazine interview, Michelle Obama is taking Presidential personalizing to a new level. Talking about her daughters, she told Tonya Lewis Lee, who is married to filmmaker Spike Lee:

“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?”

Mrs. Obama has talked this way before, about her husband’s not picking up his socks or putting the butter back in the refrigerator, and she offers a philosophical reason for it:

“Barack is very much human. So let’s not deify him, because what we do is we deify, and then we’re ready to chop it down. People have notions of what a wife’s role should be in this process, and it’s been a traditional one of blind adoration. My model is a little different--I think most real marriages are.”

When Richard Nixon was running for President, reporters would talk about a life-sized inflatable Pat Nixon doll that was brought out to stare adoringly during every speech, but only half-inflated for whistle stops.

They won’t be making jokes like that about Michelle Obama.

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