The Corner

Politics & Policy

Recalling Michelle Obama’s Long-Forgotten ‘Strikingly Ungracious’ Remark

While I was away, the Washington Post ran a column about the “rude, racist, sexist or plain ridiculous attacks” against Michelle Obama, and pointed to me calling her “strikingly ungracious.” No context to when and where and why I wrote that, and the article’s link to my piece from February 2008 conveniently doesn’t work.

My comment was in response to her declaring during her husband’s campaign that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.”

As an NR reader observed at the time:

Mrs. Obama is in her mid-forties. That means her adult life has spanned from about 1985 to the present. She’s found nothing in all that time to make her proud of her country? Not the fact that it won the Cold War and liberated tens of millions from totalitarian rule? What about sending billions to ease the plight of millions of AIDS sufferers in Africa? What about the nation’s selflessness in stopping genocide in the Balkans when it had no immediate security interest in the region? What about our ability to produce hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who will risk life and limb to liberate two countries from despotic regimes right out of the Dark Ages? Doesn’t the Herculean Tsunami Relief effort generate a flicker of national pride?

Of course, the list of things to make the ordinary person proud of this country is interminable. But then, the Obamas are not ordinary. Clearly, they’re extraordinary.

From a working link to my 2008 piece:

Michelle Obama, who suggests that her husband’s success is her first reason to feel pride in America in her adult life. Others have addressed the numerous and obvious reasons for pride that easily fit the time period of “her adult life.”

America hasn’t been good to her? What, opportunities to go to Princeton, Harvard Law, working for top-shelf law firms and hospitals, sitting on the board of directors for a major Wal-Mart supplier — that’s not enough?

Kaus wonders if it’s an expression of jealousy of her husband. Either way, it’s a strikingly ungracious remark, and she’s certain to be asked about it in the near future.

Why, I was practically frothing at the mouth, wasn’t I?

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