First things first: Michelle wore kitten heels in Europe. Apparently they were the talk of Europe. Because they are so practical and suitable? Don’t we wish.
There are clear limits to Michelle’s ambition. She went to excellent schools, got decent grades, stayed away from too much intellectual heavy lifting, and held a series of practical, modestly salaried jobs while accommodating her husband’s wilder dreams and raising two lovely daughters. In this, she is a more practical role model for young women than Hillary Clinton, blending her calculations about family and career with an expectation of normal personal happiness.
Pollitt points out that this is hardly accurate; she had a high paying pressuring job while raising two children. Still, it makes people feel good about her. She isn’t like that ambitious Hillary, thank goodness. (Samuels is advising young women to be practical in their ambitions; it’s interesting to wonder if we’ll get a lot of articles about, e.g., how damaging ambition can be for women. See here, for example.)
Still, there’s something depressing about the joy and relief with which the high-end media have greeted Michelle’s makeover from accomplished professional and outspoken social critic to new-traditionalist homebody. They’re not only not ready for Hillary Clinton, they’re apparently not even ready for Eleanor Roosevelt.
A black Eleanor Roosevelt? Not quite so fast. Having raised the question of whether the first lady should be paid for her onerous job, Pollitt concludes,
Meanwhile, we should be counting ourselves lucky that Michelle Obama is working for free and let her wear whatever she wants.
Gosh, that’s lowering our hopes. On the other hand, perhaps the most important thing that the Obama’s can do is to get his agenda passed. That Michelle has to play the supporting role now may be another bad consequence of the last 8 years.
What do you think?