April 17, 2010

Why Michelle isn't amazed by Barack

Reading David Remnick's biography of Barack Obama, The Bridge, I was struck by the contrast between the hosannas offered up by whites after meeting Obama and the more balanced evaluations of blacks who knew him better. Most notably, the President's own wife Michelle has repeatedly tried to explain to worshipful journalists that he's not all that.

On second thought, Michelle's opinion may not be quite fair to Barack since she may have exceptionally high standards in just how charismatic a Presidential candidate is supposed to be. After all, as teen, she worked as a babysitter for a neighborhood man who was much more handsome than Barack, much more eloquent, a much snazzier dresser, and who ran for President twice as much: Jesse Jackson. (The Rev.'s daughter Santita Jackson became Michelle's friend and godmother of one of their children.)

Michelle's personal ties to the Jackson dynasty may have helped her in her educational, legal, and political career, and probably didn't exactly work against her in attracting the interest of a hugely ambitious young politician named Barack Obama.

46 comments:

Luke Lea said...

A number of successful politicians have married for more "practical" reasons than love: Washington, Hamilton, and Lincoln to name three.

Luke Lea said...

We probably could add FDR and W. to the list above.

Kylie said...

Steve Sailer said: "Most notably, the President's own wife Michelle has repeatedly tried to explain to worshipful journalists that he's not all that."

That doesn't mean she means it. It's, as they say, a black thing. I lived for years in a mixed-race neighborhood and don't recall any black woman ever talking other than disparagingly about her man (even the ones that were working and not in jail).

Michelle married up and she knows it. That doesn't mean she's going to admit it to either a bunch of white journalist or her own people. By the same token, I suspect Barack finds white women more attractive than black women. (He is, after all, essentially a nerdy white guy in a dark skin.) But his ego (and consequnet political ambitions) would never have permitted him to marry up, however much he may have wanted to.

Anonymous said...

you really really don't like Barack Obama, huh?

Glossy said...

Yes, by black standards Barack must seem like a beta nerd. It's like grading on a curve.

Anonymous said...

You are really stretching it, Steve. Michelle is just being a wife. Does your wife think you are hot shit?

Simon said...

Politician's wives don't normally disaparage their husbands to journalists, whatever they think in private.

Anonymous said...

She's not the only one unimpressed by The One. But then, she's not that impressive herself.

Kylie said...

Anonymous said: "You are really stretching it, Steve. Michelle is just being a wife."

I don't agree. Michelle may be "just being a wife" but the fact is that she isn't "just" a wife. She's also the First Lady of the United States. In my lifetime anyway (going back to Mamie, if you must know), the First Ladies have generally adhered to the old maxim, "If you can't say anything nice, keep your big mouth shut" regarding their husbands, who also happened to be our presidents. Thus, they've preserved a tactful silence and/or spoken admiringly of their mates. Babs Bush was probably the most off-hand but every time I've ever seen her look at Bush Sr., it sure looked loving to me. Nancy positively gushed about how wonderful Ronnie was and Pat Nixon suffered nobly and silently. Lady Bird, Rosalyn and Betty all seem devoted to their spouses in their own ways. I don't even recall Hills being too disparaging toward Bill.


"Does your wife think you are hot shit?"

Irrelevant. The POTUS and FLOTUS are subject to scrutiny that would in other circumstances be intrusive. Surely you don't think that Michelle's on-record remarks to journalists should be off-limits to speculation. It's not as if Steve has been rummaging through their trash, you know.

Mark said...

You're definitely correct that Michelle doesn't see what much of America sees - she doesn't see it becaus eit's not there - but I think Michelle's just a difficult, irritable person with an enitlement mentality, like many women but especially like black women.

Whatever you think of Obama's politics and personality (and I think very little of either), there are few if any black men who are both better providers and more likely to be faithful to the marriage - which excludes pretty much all black athletes. Unlike them, Obama has strong political reasons to remain faithful.

Really, outside of athletics, rap music and drug dealers how many black men made more than Barack Obama last year? Possibly not even twenty. And if you think $5.5 million is Obama's peak income just wait until he gets out of office.

We probably could add FDR and W. to the list above.

You would definitely add Clinton.

What was W's "practical reason" for marrying? I'm not saying you're incorrect, but I've never heard of any reason to think W didn't marry for love.

Of course to some degree all people marry for practical as well as romantic reasons. Last time I checked people with money and education had a much easier time of finding a mate than those without.

Anonymous said...

Most notably, the President's own wife Michelle has repeatedly tried to explain to worshipful journalists that he's not all that.

Among other things, she knows [as has been documented by Christopher Andersen] that William Ayers wrote Dreams and that Jon Favreau and Ayers wrote Audacity.

[I wonder whether she's aware that Frank Marshall Davis wrote Pop?]

OhioStater said...

Black women like thugs and Barack is not a thug.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

Both Mr. and Mrs. Obama seem to be neurotic head cases, but in very different ways.

He seems to be a somewhat sullen introvert in a field that rewards gregariousness; a narcissist who nonetheless has profound hang-ups about identity; a cold fish with extraordinary gifts for affectation.

She also can put forth an appealing persona when necessary (in a way that, say, Hillary Clinton was never able to as first lady). But not far underneath that is some deep bitterness. Not least of which is her bitterness at being expected to be grateful for her opportunities at Princeton and Harvard law. I'd speculate that this is compounded by a nagging suspicion that the "quota-baby" tag is justified. And, perhaps, that she thinks her (considerably brighter) husband agrees.

Anonymous said...

Michelle is just being playful. She is showing affection by negging him. And only a wife that has zero self esteem would overpraise her husband, even if he was president. I don't know why you all hate her though. Michelle Obama has been the one of the classiests first ladies we have had in a long time.

Anonymous said...

It seems Barak sometimes/often refers to troubles in his marriage.

Seems unique to him. All the prior Presidents could at least manage their wifes.

Bill said...

Hell, I'd take Michelle over Hillary or Eleanor any day.

Anonymous said...

My black girlfriend (I'm white)used be somewhat dismissive of me. I sometimes found it annoying, but other times, more intimate times, she was a total sweetie.

Dunno if that was just her or a black thing, or a girl thing.

We arent together now, but when we do meet (we get on well btw) she isnt negative in the way she was before.

Women!

*sigh*

icr said...

We probably could add FDR and W. to the list above.

FDR was seriously screwed up. Why did he marry a large, ugly woman like Eleanor? A great tragedy that such a goof was able to able to lead the US by the "nose" into war with Japan and Germany.

Difference Maker said...

Steve Sailer said: "Most notably, the President's own wife Michelle has repeatedly tried to explain to worshipful journalists that he's not all that."

That doesn't mean she means it. It's, as they say, a black thing. I lived for years in a mixed-race neighborhood and don't recall any black woman ever talking other than disparagingly about her man (even the ones that were working and not in jail).


And yet she does. She senses his weakness.

Michelle married up and she knows it. That doesn't mean she's going to admit it to either a bunch of white journalist or her own people. By the same token, I suspect Barack finds white women more attractive than black women. (He is, after all, essentially a nerdy white guy in a dark skin.) But his ego (and consequnet political ambitions) would never have permitted him to marry up, however much he may have wanted to.


He didn't marry up because he can't.

David said...

>you really really don't like Barack Obama, huh?<

Steve is interested in Obama, in his mind, life, and character. You aren't.

Anonymous said...

Fish-eye Jesse handsome?

Anonymous said...

One time around 20 years ago I was part of a fairly small group to which Jesse Jackson gave an off-the-record talk. Gosh he was smooth. I didn't agree with what he said, but he sure said it well. He was personally charming, too. I'm not surprised he did quite well as a politician and shakedown artist. He was a much better speaker than Obama is.

Anonymous said...

"Fish-eye Jesse handsome?"

NO(!?)

Kylie said...

Anonymous said: "Michelle is just being playful. She is showing affection by negging him. And only a wife that has zero self esteem would overpraise her husband, even if he was president. I don't know why you all hate her though. Michelle Obama has been the one of the classiests[sic] first ladies[sic] we have had in a long time."

Apparently you share the First Lady's sense of playfulness. But let's pretend for the sake of argument--and I don't mean "pretend" or "argument" in a playful way--that you are serious.

"Michelle is just being playful. She is showing affection by negging him."

Either you are a mind-reader or you have access to credible sources that you really should share with the rest of us.

"And only a wife that has zero self esteem would overpraise her husband, even if he was president."

I've seen no suggestion here that Michelle should "overpraise" her husband, only speculation as to why she seems mildly disparaging toward him. She has other options to that besides overpraising him, you know. I'm guessing you're left of center politically as you apparently see things strictly in terms of black and white.

"I don't know why you all hate her though."

Who--besides you--said we did?

"Michelle Obama has been the one of the classiests first ladies we have had in a long time."

Now you really are being playful. The First Lady of the United States disembarking from Air Force One in an outfit more appropriate for a shopping at Wal-Mart is not a classy image, period.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-08-20-michelle-obama-shorts_N.htm

Anonymous said...

"I don't know why you all hate her though. Michelle Obama has been the one of the classiests first ladies we have had in a long time."

I don't hate her but I don't have much respect for her either. She seems to resent the country that allowed her to have an Ivy League education via affirmative action. I'll never forgive her that "for the first time I'm proud of my country" remark. The US went through years of hell to grant blacks civil rights.

She's a third-rate intellect with a grievance mentality. That's classy?

MQ said...

Steve is interested in Obama, in his mind, life, and character. You aren't.

No, the commenter is right. Steve's writings about Obama tends to be more psychologically revealing about Steve than about Obama. He can't open his virtual mouth without making little passive-aggressive digs on the slimmest of evidence.

DYork said...

...After all, as teen, she worked as a babysitter for a neighborhood man who was much more handsome than Barack,

No.

much more eloquent,

Nope.

a much snazzier dresser, and who ran for President twice as much: Jesse Jackson.

Jesse is much "blacker". That's about it.

Old Dad said...

The President graded his performance in the Oval Office as a B+. While I think that's generous, it's also telling. The President is a B, B+ kind of guy. He's a pretty good speaker--Reagan was much better. He's reasonably smart, but Nixon and Clinton were much more intelligent. He's reasonably suave, but a piker compared to JFK. He's got a hideous golf swing and he throws like a girl. He's also somewhat of a prick. Put it all together and you've got a pampered nerd who would regularly get his ass beat in most high schools in America.

C. Van Carter said...

Michelle looks a lot like Karen Stanford.

josh said...

A bit OT but I wonder how Michelle felt about her all-too-brief sojourn to Haiti? Did she leave thinking,"Oh those poor dears! We MUST help them! I am writing a big fat check..."; or was it maybe a little more like,"Git me the hell OUTTA here..NOW!!!!" No clue that the misery of Haiti is exactly how she and all black Americans would be living if the hated white man wasnt around. Maybe a return trip to SA to check on the welfare of her brothers & sisters down there? I hear theyre not doing so well.(Most of 'em anyway!)

Anonymous said...

"Fish-eye Jesse handsome?"

Ha! He does look like a bull-headed carp :D

regular joe said...

Jesse Jackson is more handsome? Maybe I'm a bad judge, but isn't he kinda bug eyed? More eloquent? Maybe to a baptist Sunday crowd in Detroit or something, but Jackson is stuttering semi illiterate.

I'm no Obama fan, but jeez, I think even I'm handsomer and more eloquent than Jackson.

Truth said...

"That doesn't mean she means it...It's, as they say, a black thing.Michelle married up and she knows it...I suspect Barack finds white women more attractive than black women...But his ego (and consequnet political ambitions) would never have permitted him to marry up, however much he may have wanted to."

You see Rob/Mr. Anon; psychic power does exist!

Truth said...

"You are really stretching it, Steve. Michelle is just being a wife. Does your wife think you are hot shit?"

Are you kidding me!? Big Steve-O's wife throws rose petals at his feet as he walks down the vegetable isle!

Truth said...

"She's a third-rate intellect with a grievance mentality. That's classy?"

People who can pass Bar exams are "third rate intellects"? Geez, what does that say about the rest of us?

"I'm no Obama fan, but jeez, I think even I'm handsomer and more eloquent than Jackson."

I'm sure your co-workers at the 7-11 would agree.

David Davenport said...

A great tragedy that such a goof was able to able to lead the US by the "nose" into war with Japan and Germany.

Please explain how FDR caused Japan to attack Pearl Harbor and Nazi Germany to declare war on the USA before America declared war on Germany.

Anonymous said...

Jackson is not a "stuttering semi-illiterate."

He often speaks in dialect, to black audiences or to white audiences who get a smug thrill off him: "gosh, honey, I really did it, I went to see Jesse Jackson and there were black people all around and we felt so much togetherness and he talked about the Rainbow Coalition and how we can save America from rednecks and I just felt so good!"

But I know for sure Jackson can talk like a banker or a (white) college professor, because I've been there when he did it for 40 minutes.

Jackson is a con man, yes, but no fool. When he does his Negro-preacher schtick he may sound like a fool to white ears, but he can turn it on and off like a portable radio.

Pissed Off Chinaman said...

"People who can pass Bar exams are "third rate intellects"? Geez, what does that say about the rest of us"

Truth, as an attorney I have to say that the two groups are often not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

"People who can pass Bar exams are "third rate intellects"? Geez, what does that say about the rest of us?

that we haven't been to law school mostly.

Dutch Boy said...

Don't know about Washington or Hamilton but the Lincolns were a love match ('though a trying one as her behavior became increasingly difficult to tolerate as she aged).

Truth said...

"Truth, as an attorney I have to say that the two groups are often not mutually exclusive."

That's funny Chinaman, I would rate most of the lawyers I've met as definitely smart people. Not strong morally particularly but definitely smart. It takes a different type of intelligence to be a lawyer than an engineer or scientist, but an intellect (IMHO) none the less.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

Don't know about Washington or Hamilton but the Lincolns were a love match

A love match who have no living descendants in spite of their four children.

Anonymous said...

A love match who have no living descendants in spite of their four children.

I thought about pointing this out, but didn't want to push my luck with Komment Kontrol.

It's amazing how quickly the nihilism takes hold in the ruling classes, however - and how quickly [and permanently] the nihilism decimates them.

Anyone who is at all interested in this phenomenon - and, quite frankly, everyone ought to be obsessed with it - needs to read Tenney Frank's classic essay on the matter:

We know, for instance, in Caesar's day of forty-five patricians, only one of whom is represented by posterity when Hadrian came to power. The Aemilii, Fabii, Claudii, Manlii, Valerii, and all the rest, with the exception of the Cornelii, have disappeared. Augustus and Claudius raised twenty-five families to the patriciate, and all but six of them disappear before Nerva's reign. Of the families of nearly four hundred senators recorded in 65 A.D. under Nero, all trace of a half is lost by Nerva's day, a generation later.

You see it in our founders:

George Washington - no known children [although probably infertile]

James Madison - no known children

Gouverneur Morris - no known children

etc etc etc

And you see the seeds of it in our modern leaders:

John Fitzgerald Kennedy - one surviving child, three grandchildren

Richard Nixon - two children, four grandchildren

Ronald Reagan - four biological children, zero biological grandchildren

Bill Clinton - one child [who remains childless herself at the age of 30]

George Walker Bush - two children [fraternal twins, i.e. by a single birth]

Barack Hussein Obama - two children

Along those lines, it appears that Amy Carter, who is now 42 years old [and therefore probably past her child-bearing years], has only one child.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

It's amazing how quickly the nihilism takes hold in the ruling classes, however - and how quickly [and permanently] the nihilism decimates them.

At times I must imagine the rulers of Islamic and African countries must look at our own political and military leaders' barrenness with some scorn, not to mention our willingness to be overrun bytheir own progeny.

I don't think that any unique genes are dying out with their barrenness, but it's disturbing nonetheless. Not their lack of children so much as the lack of children among the well-educated in general - especially well-educated women.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that any unique genes are dying out with their barrenness, but it's disturbing nonetheless.

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying this matter, and, as a result, in place of the word "disturbing", I would substitute the word "horrifying".

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

I have spent a considerable amount of time studying this matter, and, as a result, in place of the word "disturbing", I would substitute the word "horrifying".

If Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, and George W Bush end up with no descendants I would not consider that neither disturbing or horrifying, but reassuring.