Michelle Obama made a surprise visit to the Oscars Sunday night, reading the winner for Best Picture live via satellite from the White House. Surrounded by White House military social aides, Obama was glamorous as usual, sporting a Naeem Khan stunner as she read out the Best Picture winner, Argo.
But before you could say, “And the winner is…” the critics were off.
She’s endorsing Hollywood’s liberal agenda! She’s demeaning the office of FLOTUS! She’s blocking progress on a solution to sequester! She showed the president is not serious about reaching across the aisle!
Image Credit: The White House via Flickr
Even the Iranians were upset. Not only did they have to endure Argo winning for Best Picture, they had to download Photoshop to make the FLOTUS's dress suitable for Iranian public consumption.
But back in the U.S. Christian Toto wrote on the conservative Breibart.com:
"Never mind those job reports or the ballooning deficit. Those are just distractions. Michelle Obama hijacked the Oscars tonight, and we're all supposed to be giddy at the chance to see her shine anew."
Jennifer Rubin, also a conservative, wrote in the Washington Post:
"It is not enough that President Obama pops up at every sporting event in the nation. Now the first lady feels entitled, with military personnel as props, to intrude on other forms of entertaining (this time for the benefit of the Hollywood glitterati who so lavishly paid for her husband’s election)".
All of these criticisms seem to imply that because Michelle Obama is married to the president, she can't appear in any nationally televised, non-political event for fear of singeing conservative eyeballs. Really, I don't think the majority of conservatives are that petty and small minded. And how many of the rest have a 66 percent approval rating?
MSNBC's Donny Deutsch said on CNN's Piers Morgan show, that despite being a Democrat, he too thought it was a bad idea:
"I think you have to respect your audience enough to not impose," Deutsch said. "The tone of it - there was almost a monarch quality ... There was an elitest flavor to it ... I just thought it was very, very tone deaf and I'm just surprised they did it."
And even movie critic Richard Roeper, who said he's a liberal, tweeted:
I'm a big fan of Michelle Obama, but I think she should have turned down invite to present Best Picture. It just didn't fit the moment.
At least that's a fair criticism. But the over-the-top vitriol from the right made it sound like she'd stripped down to her skivvies and danced the lambada in Times Square. Oh wait, didn't she do that last week on Jimmy Fallon's show?
Oh no, she just had a little fun while promoting the third anniversary of her Let's Move campaign to fight childhood obesity.
And by the way, Sunday wasn't the first time a First Lady appeared on the Oscars. In 2002 Laura Bush was in a taped segment, “What Do the Movies Mean to You?” There was nothing wrong with it then, and nothing wrong with it on Sunday.
Michelle Obama is everyone's First Lady and doing an amazing job for the entire country. In fact, the day after the Oscars, she was back at work advocating for military families. She's a role model to millions of girls around the world while skillfully dancing along a tightrope that only minority women in this country can truly understand.
As a black woman she can't be too hip, too street, too smart, too casual, too formal and never, ever too angry. If she references her education, she's being elitist. If she doesn't, she's not smart enough. If she talks about being mom-in-chief, it's a charm offensive. If she acts career oriented, she doesn't have "our" traditional family values.
It's an impossibly boxed-in existence that black women understand can suffocate the life out of you if you let it. And luckily, as Susan Milligan wrote in US News and World Report "the Harvard-educated Obama doesn't let anyone put her in some limited "place."
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