Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Michelle Obama and the American Dream

The tremendous story of Michelle Obama’s family that she told so eloquently last night at the DNC convention should resonate with everyone here in Milwaukee. After all, many of us are familiar with the South Side of Chicago a mere 100 miles away. Although on a much larger and denser scale, the South Side of Chicago is not that different from the North Side of Milwaukee. To succeed – much less excel – from that depressed, heavily-segregated part of the city is a remarkable achievement of not only her but her entire family.

Tell me again how "elitist" this up-from-nothing woman is, as she worked her way from the South Side to Harvard, a big law firm and, ultimately, public service. Tell me again how she is a product of privilege when her hard-working father, a city worker, struggled just to get out of bed with his deteriorating MS that took him too young. No welfare, food stamps or handouts for this family – everyone in it got what they had and what they have through hard work, determination and, yes, faith.

And the extraordinary talents of Michelle Obama were on full display as she delivered her compelling story on this week’s biggest stage. She is the model of the modern professional woman – strong in her own right, but stronger still in an obviously equal partnership with Barack in raising a family and trying to affect real change. In this campaign, she and Barack are seizing the opportunity to live their dream of developing a more-perfect nation; not out of a sense of entitlement, but of duty. One of the most interesting parts of the biopic was the fact that her mother and father implored her not to abandon the community in which she grew up, as too many before her had done and continue to do. So she didn’t, and the South Side of Chicago is a better place for her commitment to her home.

Imagine such a story coming out of the North Side of Milwaukee. There are, of course, many such stories, told in smaller forums; less noticed, perhaps, but no less inspiring. If this kind of against-all-odds success resulted in the emergence of a conservative star, we would never hear the end of his or her accomplishments, regardless of what college, law school or right-wing think tank they ended up in. Instead, with Michelle Obama, the Republicans have created out of whole cloth a caricature, a cartoon figure; as if she were born in Harvard Yard, taken in and raised by ‘60s radicals and committed to a subversive campaign to destroy the American Way.

Michelle Obama spoke not only with passion but with joy about her success and that of others in her family. She came before the nation last night fully-formed and in full, beautiful flower – much more so than Hillary Clinton when she was first introduced to us as the Accomplished Spouse in 1992. Regardless of what happens in this campaign, Michelle will be just as much of a force for positive change as her husband. I can’t wait to see what she can do.


Anonymous said...

Public service? Would that be the "public service" where she made nearly $317,000 annually working at the University of Chicago Hospital and where they turned away patients who didn't have insurance, mainly poor and black patients?


There is no doubt that Michelle fought her way to where she is now, but this type of thing happens everyday in our country to varying degrees. Maybe it's not achieving a 300k per year salary bur rather finishing high school and going onto college or being pinned as a nurse or raising a family better than you were raised. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats, once you have achieved success on your own, feel that you should be compelled by government to redistribute a majority of your income to those who don't have it.

caieva said...

It is sooo hard for some to see a woman making $317000 - isn't it?
Cool compresses on your wrists might help, anonymous...
Whilst U of C is one weird place, working from the inside is a far better way to effect change, and someone had to support that family while Barack established himself.
Here she is, successful and moving toward wealthy, yet willing to pay more taxes on her hard earned salary - why do you suppose that is?

Anonymous said...

Where did I say I had any problem with her salary?? I give her full credit for succeeding the way she is, it is quite admirable and example for all.

I just think it's funny how it is termed "public service" to work in a hospital and make $317,000 per year. She wasn't elected to the position, she's not working for a non-profit.

Why is she willing to pay more in taxes? Probably because she and her husband were barely giving any of their riches to charity:


Other Side said...

How much did you give, anony? I don't really want to know, but then isn't that the point? It's their decision how they wish to dispurse their funds, and besides, it's not just money ... how about time, especially the time the two have decided to give to ensure no more years of Republicanism.

Anonymous said...

While selling how many books and receiving millions in book advances? Boy those Obamas are sure altruistic!

They CHOSE to disclose their tax filings to the public which highlighted their giving or lack thereof.

Tim said...

Michelle Obama is a disgusting hate America, get whitey piece of crap. She was on full display of what is wrong with liberals. Her continous gaffes and pure ugliness, I mean between Theresa Heinz kerry and Michelle Obama, guess Lib cockroaches caught the ugly stick, she just makes it easier for McCain every time she opens her mouth.

John Foust said...

Hey, Oprah got her start here!

Prosqtor said...

MSNBC talking points.

"in full flower" was right out of Matthews' mouth.

I don't have a problem with her making that amount of money either (although, for the job title, it seems a little excessive); my problem, like others', is that she runs around acting like she's heading a nonprofit, or is a government lawyer representing the poor or something.

Roland Melnick said...

caieva wrote:

"Here she is, successful and moving toward wealthy, yet willing to pay more taxes on her hard earned salary - why do you suppose that is?"

Answer: Because, at $317k (undoubtedly more nowadays), she's got more room to "give back" than most of us.

I didn't buy her performance at the the 2008 Dog-N-Clinton Show...
"We were cold...Barack brought us warmth."
"We were hungry...Barack brought us food."
"We were poor...Barack brought us prosperity."
"We were angry...Barack brought us peace."
[Blinding light pokes through the clouds, trumpets play]
"We were in despair...Barack brought us hope."

The Messiah Cometh!

Gag me. Although, it will bring an interesting twist to the ensuing McCain-Obama debates. Should McCain dare to disagree or criticize Him, it will be the first time one candidate will point the finger at the other and shout: "Blasphemer!!"