Feature

Editor's Letter

Michelle Obama is one accomplished woman. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she’s worked for a top-notch law firm and for the city of Chicago. Now she’s a high-powered hospital executive, a firebrand on the stu

Michelle Obama is one accomplished woman. A graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School, she’s worked for a top-notch law firm and for the city of Chicago. Now she’s a high-powered hospital executive, a firebrand on the stump, and a fixture of various magazines’ “Most Influential” lists—in short, she’s someone to be reckoned with. Why, then, does she need special protection from her critics? Ever since Michelle declared, “For the first time in my adult lifetime I’m really proud of my country,” conservatives have been questioning her patriotism. This week her husband, Barack, announced that they were way out of line. “These folks should lay off my wife,” he said. “If they think that they’re going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful—because that I find unacceptable.”

I’m afraid that Obama is in for a rude awakening. For better or worse, political wives have always been fair game. Back in the 19th century, Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was pilloried mercilessly, possibly even driven to an early grave, for marrying Old Hickory before her divorce was final. In more recent times, Eleanor Roosevelt was caricatured as a busybody, Nancy Reagan as a profligate spender, Hillary Clinton as a ruthless shadow president, and Teresa Heinz Kerry as a loose cannon. And Michelle Obama isn’t being singled out this campaign season; Cindy McCain is also coming under fire, for refusing to release her tax returns. So relax, Barack; your wife is in good company. Besides, if she doesn’t get used to taking her lumps now, how will she ever survive in the White House?-Thomas Vinciguerra

Recommended

Biden tells Zelensky there's a 'distinct possibility' Russia could invade Ukraine in February
Civilian volunteer troops practice in Ukraine.
all eyes on ukraine

Biden tells Zelensky there's a 'distinct possibility' Russia could invade Ukraine in February

U.S. sends Russia letter on security demands: 'The ball is in their court'
Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
diplomacy

U.S. sends Russia letter on security demands: 'The ball is in their court'

Germany is a major wild card in Ukraine-Russia imbroglio
Olaf Scholz
Western Wrangling

Germany is a major wild card in Ukraine-Russia imbroglio

Could the threat of Ukrainian resistance deter Russia?
Vladimir Putin.
Picture of Noah MillmanNoah Millman

Could the threat of Ukrainian resistance deter Russia?

Most Popular

Florida's DeSantis upset FDA canceled 2 antibody cocktails ineffective against Omicron
Regeneron infusion center in Florida
Monoclonal Fixation

Florida's DeSantis upset FDA canceled 2 antibody cocktails ineffective against Omicron

YouTuber on wilderness expedition discovers new species of tarantula
A bamboo forest.
that's no panda

YouTuber on wilderness expedition discovers new species of tarantula

Stephen Colbert's Late Show ropes Peppa Pig into Peloton's dead TV character mess
Peppa Pig
'Daddy Pig Gets a Peloton'

Stephen Colbert's Late Show ropes Peppa Pig into Peloton's dead TV character mess