Anyone see that talk she gave at the girls' school in France yesterday?
It had me all teary eyed (as it did her).
The thing I love most about Obama and his wife is their honesty. It's seemed all my life like politicians speak a different language, and their spouses too.
There's a kind of diplomacy or tact that I understand most public figures need to keep in mind—when I'm asked to speak on or contribute some writing about topics that involve real people and their experiences, I have to calculate if anything I say or write will hurt anyone. so I understand this. [My old friend Hubert Selby Jr. used to say "Honesty without love is attack."]
But aside from being conscious of not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, there's another layer of language padding that surrounds most statements from politicians and their spouses that compounds the distance and differences between us and them, and resonates with phoniness, or at least unreality.
This isn't true most of the time when Obama speaks. And none of the time when Michelle does.
She not only seems to speak spontaneously from her heart (even with notes) but to be aware of the reality of her unprecedented position on the world stage. She has to be the tallest, most athletic, most self-made woman ever on the world political stage. And she definitely is the darkest, at least from any developed country.
But she transcends the differences between her and her predecessors as well as between her and those of us who aren't tall, athletic, independent dark-skinned women, with the most disarming honesty I've ever heard from a public figure, at least among our country's political elite.
How unbelievably refreshing. Or actually, finally, believable. I hope she's setting a standard that we will all (including the media) hold future politicians and their spouses to.