"We're going to be interviewing Matthew Broderick, she will participate in that," [Barbara] Walters said. "Another segment will be what makes a good breakfast. It will be a normal show; instead of five, there will be six."Chatter. You can learn a lot about a person by their chatter. Oh, how I would love to hear the behind-the-scenes chatter between Michelle and her handlers about going on the show. Did Michelle bitch about the need to soften herself for dimwitted American women in flyover states? Or did she think it would be fun to have a free-for-all with those smart, funny women? Did her people tell her that the important thing is just to smile and look comfortable and not say anything too smart or too stupid? Or did they tell her to be herself and enjoy this chance to let everyone see the Michelle Obama we all know?
Walters said the show was put together as normal, and guests booked in advance.What? Matthew Broderick was not a special selection for Michelle? I'm sorry, I find that impossible to believe. He's too perfect for the occasion, isn't he? Married, delightful, mild, warm... squishy yet masculine... white. Watch her not call him "whitey" — though the man is stark white.
And, if today resembles the typical day on the popular daytime show, there will be plenty of give and take between the hosts on serious and not-so-serious topics.
And making a good breakfast? Come on! That's too perfect of a set-up for them to talk about — we all want to know! – what's Barack Obama like at breakfast?
You can really learn a lot about a man by seeing what he's like at breakfast. He's helping the girls find their mittens and testing them last-minute on their spelling words, I bet. Or is he grouchy? Is he all Why can't I just eat my waffle?
ADDED: The women walk out in pairs, with Michelle and Barbara Walters in the lead. Michelle is much taller than the others, and she looks fabulous in a fitted, black-and-white, floral print sundress. Her hair is neatly tousled, and she has pearl earrings and really pretty soft makeup. They sit at the table, Whoopi Goldberg enthuses an introduction, and Michelle says: "I have to be greeted properly. Fist bump, please."
All the ladies bump fists with her. Whoopi's all "I'm sorry. What'd that mean? Should I be worried about doing that with you?" in a Valley Girl voice. Barbara leans forward and yells: "It's a terrorist attack!" Michelle responds: "It's now my signature bump, but lemme tell ya. I'm not that hip. I got this from the young staff." Joy Behar says: "I thought it was for germ freaks." I'm thinking: good idea! And then: potential new smear: Michelle Obama, a germophobe!
Whoopi says they've got "a million questions" for her. Oh! So then, she's not just another co-host. She is being interviewed. Barbara waves the New York Times article that is the first link in this post. Is Michelle here on "The View" to soften her image after all these attacks? Michelle finesses this into the new introduction that the NYT said she is seeking. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, etc.
Barbara interrupts to ask what it causing the attacks? Michelle refers to the pervasiveness of the media and the competition of politics. And people are "tired" of all this hostility. Elisabeth Hasselbeck takes this as a cue to chatter about how the media think that she (Elisabeth) is going to be fighting with Michelle (and is enemies with the other View ladies). By this point, Michelle is visibly sweating. (If she weren't wearing a bare sundress, you wouldn't see it.) But she gamely talks about how she puts her heart out there, taking a risk by showing passion. And she's not worried. Over time, people will get to know who she really is.
Michelle is asked if she thinks there was any sexism against Hillary Clinton, and she says, "Yes, there's always a level of... people aren't used to strong women... We don't even know how to talk about 'em. So, yeah, there was obviously that. There was also, um, you know, there were elements of racism and that will go on." But she resisted veering into the subject of racism and, wisely, kept to the subject of sexism but ended on a positive note. Hillary had cracked the glass ceiling, and had made it so "my girls, they won't have to feel it [sexism] as badly."
Barbara asks if, then, Hillary should be the VP nominee. Michelle insists that she willl have "nothing to do" with the decision. Elisabeth breaks right in an offers an opportunity for Michelle to talk about getting away from politics and paying attention to the kids. A commercial break swiftly descends.
Sherri Shepherd wants to interrogate Michelle about her toned arms. Michelle is always going sleeveless, setting a trend that is rough on women who are flabby. But the subject is immediately shifted to how long it takes for a woman to do her hair and makeup in the morning. Whoopi starts riffing about how up until now all the black women we've seen on the news are toothless or have gold-rimmed teeth. (How many people did she just insult?!) What she's trying to say is that Michelle with be a good role model. Joy Behar has the classic "who farted?" expression on her face.
Barbara raises the hot topic of pantyhose. They say not wearing pantyhose makes you look young, so she (Barbara) went without pantyhose to some event and someone yelled "No pantyhose!" Funny, especially since Barbara Walters is nearly 80. But the point here is: Michelle Obama is not wearing pantyhose. Michelle says: "I stopped wearing pantyhose a long time ago because it was painful."
Much talk of raising the kids. Barack and Michelle think about their daughters "every single day." She quotes 10-year-old Malia saying — when asked how she deals with going in front of a big crowd — "I'm just a kid... They just think I'm cute, so I just wave and I smile and then I'm outta there."
There's talk about Barack Obama's Father's Day speech. Michelle says she's most touched when Barack says that "the greatest gift he can give to his kids is to not be who his father was."
Barbara asks if Michelle wanted Barack to run for President, and she says she didn't even want him to go into politics, because it's "a mean business":
I knew the man that I loved. He was sweet and pathetic. I thought...Pandemonium! I think each of the 5 view ladies exclaims "Pathetic!" Michelle's all: "Right, I know, he's pathetic." She does a dismissive hand wave. I take a few TiVo passes at the chaos, there's a reference to a comma, and I figure out she was saying:
He was sweet, empathetic.Whoopi spells out the whole word to the camera and makes big hand gestures to get the point across: Empathetic.
After the break, they bring out Matthew Broderick. I think he's wearing a bad wig. He's got a bulky black suit on and a red tie. He fist bumps everyone, and they sit down on little puffy gold chairs. He crosses his legs just like Joy Behar. He's not wearing pantyhose, but white and black striped socks. He has largish feet.
It's established that Broderick's 4-year-old son supports Barack Obama. Why? "He likes the man to beat the lady." Michelle makes a cute grimace then distances herself from that remark. Kids are drawn to Barack Obama, she says. Some think his first name is Baracko.
Michelle must sit through the promotion of 2 Matthew Broderick movies, which is slightly painful, especially since they show a clip that has him talking to a young woman who's prating about how easy it is to be a stripper. Michelle basically keeps her mouth shut here.
Fortunately, they go to commercials, and when they are back, Michelle, Joy, and Sherri are standing with some woman under a big orange sign that says "Best of BREAKFAST." The woman — Elizabeth Somer — has written some New York Magazine cover story about breakfast and she starts ranting about how people who eat breakfast are better than other people. She's a raving breakfastist. Guess what you can eat for breakfast? A bowl of cereal with milk in it. And have you heard? You can put fruit on your cereal and also drink a glass of fruit juice. Michelle asks a question about pomegranate juice. She looks uncomfortable, and she doesn't get a straight answer, just a warning about apple, grape, and pear juice. Michelle munches a nugget of Autumn Wheat cereal and pronounces it good.
Joy asks Michelle what she has for breakfast, and she says:
"Toast, fruit, and I do my protein as: bacon. We're bacon people."Joy does a mini-cheer: "Bacon! Bacon!" The audience shows enthusiasm. Somers in all seriousness says if you're going to have bacon, you should have Bob Evans Canadian Bacon. Michelle and just about everyone laughs at her for that absurd suggestion. Somers also recommends turkey bacon and "smart bacon" — and much grumbling is heard. "Smart bacon" is soy. Michelle is all "soy, sounds good" as she elbows Joy Behar. Those 2 seem to be bonding over bacon. Whoopi sneaks over to join the group: "I'm just going to say leave the bacon alone. We'll eat anything, but don't touch the bacon." Ha ha. The health nannying is shot to hell. "Does Obama eat bacon?" Joy asks. Michelle: "He will eat the bacon." Ha ha.
Final shot at the table. Everyone's looking happy. I find myself smiling. Okay. Worked for me. Broderick and Somers were stodgy and dull, but Michelle was just lovely and excellent. Her one little flub/nonflub ("pathetic") was hilarious.
Time for me to go get some bacon.
ADDED: Plenty of video here.