Those old enough to remember the Reagan years may recall how Nancy Reagan was vilified in the press. "Queen Nancy," the woman who preferred the company of her rich friends while the country suffered in a mild recession. Nancy, the woman who controlled her dunce of a husband and consulted an astrologer before key policy decisions were made (by her in secret so they said).
Then there were the Clinton years where Hillary's fits of rage at Bill Clinton's many, MANY indiscretions were covered up by the same news media.
Now, with a new book coming out on Michelle Obama, we have the usual fawning story in the New York Times where they call her a "groundbreaking figure," and just keep heaping on the praise.
But between the lines we read of an angry First Lady upset by the shortcomings she sees in the President's staff and not shy about expressing her opinion, rather strongly, to him. It seems that Michelle pushed for husband Barack to be even more radical and confrontational in promoting liberal policies on issues like health care and immigration.
The article describes Michelle's "deep frustrations" with being trapped and isolated in the White House and even considered staying in Chicago until the girl's finished their school year in 2009.
There there's the issue of Michelle's lavish lifestyle. The White House parties, millions spent on lavish vacations and the like. Michelle, who has no problem being called "your excellency," engaged in a constant struggle with the President's more image-conscious advisers:
was constant, anxious give-and-take between the East and West Wings about vacations, décor, entertainment, even matters as small as whether to announce the hiring of a new florist.The article goes on to point out that if Michelle didn't get what she wanted she found ways to punish her husband's staffers by refusing to cooperate on various projects.
Of course not every word written about Michelle Obama is true. But since the standard for criticizing First Lady's was established in the early Reagan years, the criticisms of Michelle, especially those which reinforce common public perceptions, must be considered valid!
UPDATE: Four Letter Smackdown As more news of the Obama book comes out this tidbit cannot go without notice:
Enraging Gibbs According to a passage excerpted by Politico's Mike Allen, the first lady, via Valerie Jarrett, infuriated Robert Gibbs after his handling of the emergence of an unflattering story in the French press. "According to a new French book, Michelle Obama had told Carla Bruni-Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell." After a whirlwind effort, Gibbs successfully managed to get the Élysée Palace to issue a denial of the story and the potential crisis was averted. However, Michelle's supposed disappointment in Gibbs's work set him off:More highlights at the Atlanic Wire.
Jarrett announced that the first lady was dissatisfied with the White House's handling of the situation. All eyes turned to Gibbs. 'Don't go there, Robert, don't do it,' another aide remembered Rahm Emanuel saying. Years of tension between Gibbs, Jarrett and an absent Michelle Obama exploded. 'Fuck this, that's not right, I've been killing myself on this, where's this coming from?' Gibbs yelled. He calmed down and tried to probe, according to a half-dozen people who witnessed the exchange. 'What is it she has concerns about?' he asked Jarrett. Jarrett said something about the reply not being fast enough. Gibbs blew up again. 'Why is she talking to you about it? If she has a problem she should talk to me!' David Axelrod was trying to soothe Gibbs. It was the calm of Jarrett's tone that finally undid Gibbs, others said later. He looked so frustrated one colleague thought he was going to cry. 'You don't know what the fuck you're talking about,' he hurled back. 'The first lady would not believe you're speaking this way.' 'Then fuck her too!' He stormed out as the rest of the group sat stunned.
Note that Valerie Jarrett is another of the out of touch, radical incompetents that Obama brought with him from Chicago.