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Michelle Obama's "proud" comment remains resonant

Chances are, variations of the introduction Cindy McCain got today from former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger are going to become standard before Republican crowds.

"Cindy has always been a proud person and proud of her country. Not just once, but always," Eagleburger said in yielding the dais to McCain at a fundraiser for her husband, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, in Virginia (John McCain also was at the event, speaking after her).

The reference by Eagleburger, who served as State Department head under President George H.W. Bush, was to the mid-February remark by Michelle Obama that remains the most indelible mark she's made on the public consciousness.

"For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country," Obama said at a Wisconsin rally as her husband staked out a lead in the Democratic presidential race that he would never relinquish.

The candidate's wife quickly offered a clarification to try to tamp down the resulting tempest, but the effort has proven largely futile (thanks in part to GOP partisans and conservative bloggers who rarely miss an opportunity to draw attention to her comment).

Coincidentally, before Eagleburger did his part along these lines, First Lady Laura Bush gave Obama a pass ...

... on the matter.

In an interview with ABC News, she said: “I think she probably meant ‘I’m more proud.’ ... You have to be really careful in what you say because everything you say is looked at and in many cases misconstrued.”

With Barack Obama having claimed his party's prize, the spotlight on his wife will only get brighter (we took note of signs of that in an earlier post). Michelle Obama would be wise to fully heed Bush's advice.

And the next time their paths cross, the woman who would be first lady owes the current one a big "thank you."

-- Don Frederick

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

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It would be recommended for the press and media to interview and feature Michelle Obama throughout this campaign season.

Her demeanor and remarks will give you more insight into Obama's moral compass more than anyone else can. She will be his reflection.

This is very important for voters to finally know once and for all, who Obama really is. We know who McCain is, but we still don't trust Obama. As Americans, we truly want to have a clear picture, because not only are we voting for ourselves, but for the millions of Americans who will be putting their lives and livelihood on ONE man, at the helm of this great country.

Obama is brillaint at making speeches and carrying out a message... what we want to know is... does he mean it? OR does he just say what he has to say, in order to get elected? I don't want "change" under these circumstances.

Michelle Obama is around my age, & I feel the same way she does. She doesn't need to apologize for anything. If conservatives want people to be proud of America, then why do they keep doing things that make people not want to be proud of it? America has to earn my praise, sorry.

I think Michelle Obama gave a terrific explanation about what she actually meant, I just don't believe her. But that is just my personal opinion and if others do believe her that is fine as well.

There is no "fair reflection" when Hillary Clinton wins Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Indiana, Barack Obama wins a Minnesota Caucus, and gains more overall delegates than Hillary.

http://www.Hillary-Wins.com
http://www.CaucusCheating.com
http://www.Florida-Michigan.com
http://www.Fair-Reflection.com

So Eagleburger's idea of the winning Republican strategy is to be as snarky as possible? Brilliant.

If we were talking about a middle school election, that is.

The dubious line is " before Republican crowds."

That's a weak generalization. Many Republicans will be voting for Obama.

The clearer description of affected crowds who show distaste for Michelle past words, could be "idiots".

Fools that use sound bites to judge complete character.


One day she's supposed to wear the comment with chagrin. The next day, media says nothing about it and the words fade.

Then its brought up again.

Stop peddling the comment, so what, someone mentions it. Let the crowds where the speaker rants negatively about Michelle's words, determine validity or nonsense of the discussion.

Michelle isn't offering alcohol which can ruin lives, such as Cindy McCain has made a huge living off of. She's proud of drunk driving deaths and assaults? Of course not, but that's how she's made a living.

Drinking is a choice and right, but the beer and wine industry promotes the party up atmosphere where drunkenness occurs.

Alcohol and Tobacco, some addictive products.

When Michelle Obama said those negative comments about her never before feeling proud of america, I think that was the real Michelle. Michelle and Barack Obama seems to think they can say anything bad about america or anyone else and no one better not question it. Obama dares anyone to question his background and why he has so many close radical associates. If you hang with gangs you usually become one, ask any parent. I hear too much criticizing america and arrogance from Michelle & Barack Obama.

Laura Bush is a Librarian by profession, and for her degree she needed to pass some reading comprehension classes. She is also an intelligent person. So I am not surprised that with her librarian ethical approach to freedom of speech she underscored the only meaning that Michelle Obama's remark may have in the English language; That Michelle Obama has always loved her country, only that now with a candidate for Change winning, she is even more proud. God bless you, Mrs. Bush. It takes a librarian! Now I am really proud of you. It is not surprising that Laura Bush's approval ratings double these of her husband. Now they should triple.
Michelle Obama is a lawyer by profession. She knows her words well. To construe her remark as unpatriotic, the MSMs as well as the recent GOP negative ad had to falsify the tape of her speech by removing the word “really” from the whole sentence. Without this adverb the sentence has a very different (=unpatriotic) meaning.
With it, it may only mean what Laura Bush said yesterday. Since February many linguists have discussed the remark and pointed to an evident glitch in the the video where the word “really” is cut out, see youtube where both versions float

FULL QUOTE: Michelle Obama said, "What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something--for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud." [New York Times, 2/19/08]
I think this is very original and profound statement. Now that Barack Obama is the nominee, it is even more resonant and truthful to those who support Barack Obama, as his wife naturally does.
You do not have to support Obama, but before you make any negative comments about Michelle, learn some English. And trust the current First Lady who also is a professional woman.

The Obamaniacs should accept the fact that Michelle and Barack Obama are not perfect and many of the negative comments some people claim to hear them say are really said. When you don't want the truth about someone acknowledged, you try to find another way hide it by saying you didn't hear that or it was taken out of context and this is what was said. I am a person who can see, hear and judge for myself.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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