Politics & Policy

Michelle Obama in Black and White

Belle of the morning ball.

You look gorgeous,” Sherri Shepherd exclaimed.

“It’s fun to look pretty,” Michelle Obama announced.

She’s not living in the White House yet, but Michelle Obama is stopping by the mall to shop at White House/Black Market on the road there. The Ivy League education is not wasted on her — she’s learned an important lesson from Elizabeth Edwards: Millionaire Democrats should work to avoid campaign stops at Brooks Brothers.

Such was the depth of campaign coverage this morning on ABC’s chick coffee clique, The View.

With a New York Times cover story as her red-carpet pre-show, Michelle Obama stepped out and back on The View Wednesday morning. Wearing an elegant black and white sleeveless summer dress, the Democratic First Lady-in-waiting successfully took attention off just about anything of substance.

Distancing herself from patronizingly elitist comments that have her dubbed as “America’s Unhappiest Millionaire,” and “Mrs. Grievance” the breaking news from The View was: Michelle Obama stopped wearing pantyhose long ago.

When addressing that “mean business” called politics, Mrs. Obama announced, “I am proud of my country, without a doubt.” She clarified her now-infamous comments, claiming she was referring to “pride in the political process.”

Michelle Obama is able to now have pride in the political process since her husband is somehow above politics. She said of Sen. Obama: “I don’t even see him as a politician.”

She dismissed her role in the campaign, saying of press coverage “I fill up some space” on the Internet, and channeling one of her daughters’ “they just think I’m cute” attitude to politics. Mean things will be said “when you put your heart out there” and wear your “heart on [your] sleeve.”

The sisterhood gathering made it possible for Michelle Obama to show love for both Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush at the roundtable. Hillary, because she was a victim of sexism, naturally. As the first popular-vote-attracting (okay, Mrs. O didn’t quite put it that way) female presidential candidate, “She’s taken [the hits] so my girls, when they come along, they won’t have to feel it so badly.”

Although she started off telling a tale of her parents’ example of hard work and personal responsibility, Obama fell into the all-so-acceptable-conventional victimspeak. “People aren’t used to strong women,” Mrs. Obama said. Further, she warned, “there are elements of racism that will go on.”

Obama dropped one pregnant announcement before she left the set: “It will be clear who I am and what I care about.”

If the goal of the day was to take her political temperature down a notch, she was more Meredith than Rosie. The only “real change we can believe in” was her mom winning on casino slots. On The View, Michelle Obama was just one of the gals — talking about the kids and their potlucks and recitals, complaining ever so casually about how tough women have it, joking about how the media always wants women to be in a catfight, bonding with conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Now can we talk about Sex and the City (interview # 1 was Matthew Broderick, Mr. Sarah Jessica Parker)? Politics is so irrelevant when the messiah is nigh.

Barack, by the way, doesn’t take out the garbage. Just like a man.

So maybe she does have a grievance or too. But, at least on The View, it’s a much softer-sell struggle than we saw in Ohio or her college thesis. It’s the kind even Ferris Bueller and the Republican on The View can fist-bump to.

Kathryn Jean Lopez is the editor of National Review Online.

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