"Authenticity a priority for the other Obama," blares the headline for a puffy July 17 Denver Post story on the Illinois senator's wife Michelle Obama. The story by staffers Suzanne Brown and Dana Coffield lamented that:
Michelle Obama's life as a contemporary political wife has been rocky at times. Her work life has been scrutinized. Papers she wrote as a senior in college have been dredged up and analyzed; the friendly fist-bump she sometimes gives her husband on stage has been parsed. And this week, she and Barack Obama were caricatured on the cover of The New Yorker magazine as a pair of terrorists.
But have no fear, for:
Through it all, she's been reluctant to change her tone.
"It would be hard for me to edit myself and still be me," she says. "And I think that in the end, that's what the voters deserve and it's what they want. I feel that it's my duty to make sure that people know who I am and then they can make make a clear, informed decision based on the truth of who I am."
How nice. Although I seem to recall Mrs. Obama backtracking from her comment back in February about feeling proud for the first time in her adult lifetime to be an American:
Asked again about her "proud" remark, Michelle said, "Of course I'm proud of my country. Nowhere but in America could my story be possible." What she was trying to express back in February, she added, was how proud she was of the "political process" and the interest the race between Obama and Clinton had sparked.
Of course that stands in stark contrast to the pessimistic language Mrs. Obama has used about America elsewhere on the campaign trail and to which Brown and Coffield pay no mind.
In Michelle Obama's America, everybody's suffering, no one has time to make any friends, no one earns enough to eke out a living anymore, and the bar of success is always being moved just out of reach. "Folks are struggling like never before," she says, and in a nation struggling like never before, society cannot stand the strain.
What happens in that nation is that people do become isolated, they do live in a level of division, because see when you're that busy struggling all the time, which most people that you know and I know are, see you don't have time to get to know your neighbors, you don't have time to reach out and have conversations to share stories, in fact you feel very alone in your struggle because you feel somehow it must be your fault that you're struggling that hard, everybody else must be doing ok, I must be doing something wrong, so you hide...What happens in that kind of nation is that people are afraid. Because when your world's not right no matter how hard you work, then you become afraid of everyone and everything, because you don't know whose fault it is, why you can't get a handle on life, why you can't secure a better future for your kids.
In such a state of debilitating terror, of course, we can have no hope for the next generation. "Our fear," Mrs. Obama says, "is helping us to raise a nation of young doubters, young people who are insular and they're timid, and they don't try because they already heard us tell them why they can't succeed."