September 5, 2012

"Good Evening, It's An Honor To Be Used As A Political Prop By My Husband's Campaign."

That's the headline for an Onion article, linked by Christopher in the comments to my live-blogging the first day of the DNC convention.

And here's a photoshop from Lance, appropriating my photograph from last night's "café" post and putting the dreamy "pioneer of the future" into Michelle Obama's dress:



(A "café" post headline on this blog signals that commenters should write about whatever they want. The sculpture is "Pioneers of the Future," by Jeffrey Barber, located on the grounds of the state capitol in Bismarck, North Dakota, dedicated in 1989, the state's centennial, and — according to the plaque — representing young people on "a path of knowledge through education that opens up unknown truths about ourselves." Also on the capitol grounds is this far superior sculpture "The Pioneer Family," depicting the pioneers of the past.)

Here's what I'd like to say the morning after the First Lady's speech. It was a typical First Lady speech, completely old fashioned, using the candidate's wife in the old-fashioned way. She's a wife and mother, and she tells you over and over how being a wife and mother is the most important thing. Children are the future. We live and sacrifice for them. And my husband knows that. Vote for the wonderful man that I'm vouching for.

There's no indication that this woman, like her husband, has a J.D. from Harvard. Her undergraduate degree is more impressive than his. As a lawyer she was senior to him: She served as his mentor when he was a summer associate at a fancy Chicago law firm where she was a permanent associate. She has (or had) professional stature and legal expertise. No trace of that showed in the speech she gave.

Isn't it ironic? The Obama campaign has relied on a theme called "the war on women," within which the Republicans want to shove women back into the past and Democrats represent the future where women are the full equals of men. Yes, yes, yes, that's all very nice, but the man has an election to win, and his woman must reenact — one more time — the role of the traditional, modest, little-lady, helpmeet housewife.

101 comments:

Darrell said...

I missed her recipes.
Does she have recipes?
Beside from the socialist overthrow of the U.S., that is. . .

roesch/voltaire said...

Yes I agree and I think Tammy Duckworth gave a more powerful speech for women and for Obama with this comment: “It’s about whether we do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me, whether we’ll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled, whether we’ll pull together in a time of need, whether we’ll refuse to give up until the job is done.”

Christopher in MA said...

Yes I agree and I think Tammy Duckworth gave a more powerful speech for women and for Obama with this comment: “It’s about whether we do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me, whether we’ll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled, whether we’ll pull together in a time of need, whether we’ll refuse to give up until the job is done.”


Speaking of pulling together in a time of need, R/V, how did you enjoy the tribute to Chappaquiddick Ted? As someone on Ace of Spades pointed out, he's the only one with a confirmed kill in the War on Women.

Shouting Thomas said...

We all become whining assholes when it comes to our self-interest.

Yesterday was a classic for Althouse, who posted this precious bit of nonsense...

Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings.

Maybe it's time for you to dump this feminism crap, Althouse. This type of whining is just bad manners in a woman who has what you have. I'd wager that just about every woman you've ever encountered eats very well and lives a pampered existence.

I briefly got dragged into men's issues politics by a close friend a couple of decades ago. No doubt, there are some ways in which men are getting shafted. I exited the "movement" the first time I found myself in the middle of a room of whining middle class white guys.

Seeing Red said...

And the position is "unpaid."

Is she a "corporate wife?"

Shouting Thomas said...

And the answer to the question raised by this post is...

We elected Barack Obama president, not his wife.

Her role as wife and mother is the only one that is relevant.

Gordon said...

Well, she has that Hahvahd JD, but she surrendered her license. What kind of a lawyer does that? Usually, the kind that faces a disciplinary alternative.

Colonel Angus said...

Speaking of pulling together in a time of need, R/V, how did you enjoy the tribute to Chappaquiddick Ted?

It is ironic that two of the most popular Democrats, Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton were the most notorious womanizers. But a little collateral damage is acceptable when its for the cause. Just lie back and think of feminism.

Matthew Sablan said...

It is kind of a shame that Duckworth and Booker got short billing while people like Salazar and Reid got better speaking spots. Heck, the Key Note speaker could have easily been a liberal Republican for most of his speech. I feel like the DNC has been so much more scattershot than the RNC was, and it is also significantly more negative. Even Christie wasn't as red meat happy as most of the Democrat speakers. I'm impressed they got away with so much, but then again, there were no fact checkers last night, so you know.

Which is why Rahm's speech was so weird. I thought he'd be one to go for blood, apparently not.

Either way, Michelle Obama and Ann Romney both gave good speeches.

Patrick said...

I believe it was Iowahawk who said the DNC featured the only man with a confirmed kill in the war on women.

vet66 said...

As a veteran I didn't agree with her comparison between her battlefield injuries and the crew who saved her on the one hand with the entitlement society on the other. The logic fails when considering the difference between "we" and "me" when under real fire. The only color in the foxhole is khaki green. Under the liberal/progressives it's every man/woman for himself. I admire Duckworth but where is the humility?

Jay said...

Headline:

Obama’s Popularity Dips Underwater;

Note: The decline has occurred entirely among women registered voters – from 57-39 percent favorable-unfavorable in April to a numerically negative 46-50 percent now. That’s Obama’s lowest score among women voters – a focus of recent political positioning – in ABC/Post polls since he took office.

Good luck with the "war on women" meme.

Matthew Sablan said...

Any person who watched the RNC should accept the war on women is over. But, everyone on stage who said they watched the RNC seemed to have... well, not. So, I don't know any more.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

"Lest we forget, I hasten to add what a privilege it is to be objectified by all of you here and the millions of people watching at home, as I’m forced to use my charming smile and physical attractiveness to distract an entire nation from what is, by most accounts, a generally disappointing presidency."

-- Ouch. Et tu, The Onion?

Jay said...

and his woman must reenact — one more time — the role of the traditional, modest, little-lady, helpmeet housewife.

Remember?
I’m not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.

That was actually during the campaign! (on 60 Minutes)

LilyBart said...

They put her in a pretty dress to talk about her kids, etc. I guess they're hoping we don't notice we're $16 trillion in debt (and that doesn't include all those unpleasant unfunded liabilities). And there is no workable plan to get out of this ruinous debt. Its just going to keep getting worse until we're in ruin.

And raising taxes on the 1% by 5 - 10% or so isn't going to take care of the debt. Those "icky rich people" cannot pay this off. Its just too damn much money. The political types are going to have to come after your income...and it STILL won't be enough.

But Malia and Sasha won't suffer- because their parents are big-wig political types and they'll be just find. But your kids and my kids? Not so much.

But, hey, isn't Michelle's dress pretty?

Shouting Thomas said...

Yeah, the traditional thing of trotting the spouse up there is pretty lame.

But, I thought it did some good in this case, because the Obamas are black.

The hidden message behind all those "don't you dare to oppose the first black president" articles and editorials is that the success of the first black president is an overriding issue of importance for the assimilation of black people into the middle class.

So, the pro forma served a purpose. Part of being a regular middle class person is conforming to the dumb protocols, putting on your best clothes and mouthing the expected pieties.

damikesc said...

I feel like the DNC has been so much more scattershot than the RNC was

Gotta disagree.

"ABORTION IS TOTALLY AWESOME!" is a pretty clear meme of the night. That and that we belong to the government.

I wonder if they realize that Big Brother was, you know, BAD.

Any person who watched the RNC should accept the war on women is over. But, everyone on stage who said they watched the RNC seemed to have... well, not. So, I don't know any more.

They're Democrats. They likely watched MSNBC coverage of the event.

Mitt didn't take a dime as head of the SLC Olympics when he saved the Games. He did a great job and declined a salary.

Obama is getting fat as all hell on the public trough as President --- and he's been a horrible President. An 11% unemployment rate if workforce participation wasn't at a 30 year low presently.

Hagar said...

Tammy Duckworth is quite somebody, but someone had ought to explain to her that with her and her family's outlook on life and personal responsibility they are in entirely the wrong party. Don't know that it would penetrate, but somebody had ought to try.

Colonel Angus said...

In earnest, does Obama have a plan for the economy other than repealing the Bush tax cuts? Because if he has, I certainly haven't heard it.

LilyBart said...

It’s about whether we do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me, whether we’ll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled

I wonder how you think the poor will fare as the county's economic system begins to really fail. We can take are of the poor only if we stay strong. Notice, we're not staying strong.

Matthew Sablan said...

Dami: But they also had Mitt is a bad man, Mitt hates the poor, Mitt is evil, Dreamers, we all belong to the government, drowning women is OK if you're a Kennedy (OK, not a real theme), fair pay, work hard & follow the rules -- they just tried to fit a lot of themes. The RNC seemed good and focused "we built that" one night "Woohoo, Paul Ryan's got a plan" the next, and "Mitt Romney is not a robot" the last.

wyo sis said...

They make her into faux Ann Romney when their whole convention is supposed to be about celebrating feminism. This makes no sense.

If you want some of her recipes go to the nearest school with a school lunch program. But, be prepared, they're not all that appetizing and they're not the ones she eats. None of the large messy greasy fattening foods that we see her scarfing down so often.

MayBee said...

I would love to get rid of the focus on politicians' wives. Iots so weird. You know, I had no idea whether Steve Jobs was even married until he was about to die. His wife was important to him, but not to Apple. Why can't it be that way with first ladies?

As for Michelle Obama, of course they can't talk about her actual career. She surrendered her law license for unknown reasons at an early age, then proceeded to make money on the board of a wal-Mart supplying junk food company, and kicking poopr people out of her emergency rooms.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Tammy Duckworth seems to be quite intelligent, I'm sure she chose the Democrtic Party because she KNOWS it's not every man or woman for themselves. It's not Progressives that tout rugged individualism at the expense of community, it's the right wing.

Duckworth is in the correct party.

Colonel Angus said...

Tammy Duckworth is quite somebody, but someone had ought to explain to her that with her and her family's outlook on life and personal responsibility they are in entirely the wrong party. Don't know that it would penetrate, but somebody had ought to try.

I know a few people like this, believe in personal responsibility, fiscal conservatives, yet consistenly vote for the party of giveaway free stuff every election. I think its because their parents were Democrats so they vote Democrat.

I guess its easier than thinking and being informed.

wyo sis said...

rugid individualism
I like that!
I think I'll start using it.
It has a refudiated ring to it.

wyo sis said...

Dang, You fixed it.
To bad, because it was so perfect.

AllieOop said...

Wyo Sis! You misspelled rugged, silly.

AllieOop said...

My iPad told me not to emulate Sarah Palin.:)

wyo sis said...

I know!
It's just the way I roll.

wyo sis said...

Silly iPad!

Shouting Thomas said...

It's not Progressives that tout rugged individualism at the expense of community, it's the right wing.

There is no politician of any stripe touting rugged individualism, Allie.

Why do you think that rugged individualism is "at the expense of the community?" Seems to me that the individual taking responsibility for himself serves the community.

Colonel Angus said...

It's not Progressives that tout rugged individualism at the expense of community, it's the right wing.

I'll assume you just made this up from whole cloth unless you mean at the expense of the community means I don't like having to hand over an ever larger share of my earnings to the State.

I say that because everytime a Democrat opens their mouth, its how I'm not paying my 'fair share' and need to dig deeper. If that's what Duckworth stands for then yes, she's in the correct party.

wyo sis said...

Allie
Hope the wedding was great!

Matthew Sablan said...

... Did everyone miss the entire night of the RNC that was about how Romney was a successful, dare I say it?, community organizer and brought people together into a real community to work towards their common goals while suffering their heart ache with them?

Republicans believe in community guided by people, not government.

AllieOop said...

Thanks Wyo Sis, it was!

machine said...

What...a...bunch...of...crap.

Shouting Thomas is absolutely correct....

Gordon, you do not know what you are talking about.

LilyBart said...

...she chose the Democrtic Party because she KNOWS it's not every man or woman for themselves

I love how democrats always act like its a choice between big government attending all your needs and interests, and 'every man for himself' - as if there is no middle ground. A small government can serve the people very well, much better than the heavy handed, big government proposed by the current crop of democrats.

I Really don't 'belong' to the government.

Bruce Hayden said...

I briefly got dragged into men's issues politics by a close friend a couple of decades ago. No doubt, there are some ways in which men are getting shafted. I exited the "movement" the first time I found myself in the middle of a room of whining middle class white guys.

I guess that is one of the reasons why feminism tends to bother me. Guys tend to just suck it up, because many, if not most, of them are not whiners, at least around other men. Feminism on the other hand gets all the funding in the schools, all the publicity, etc., and what is it? Mostly women publicly whining about why they don't get even more special privileges. Bad enough that men are the primary financial support for Medicare and Medicaid, while women are the primary beneficiaries. That men earn the majority of wealth in this country, but women end up with a majority. That they are already getting a majority of college degrees. Etc. They seem to want more, more, more. 30ish Georgetown 3L Sandra Flake gets national notice, and an assured career as an adjunct of the Democratic Party, by publicly whining that some of her law school friends couldn't afford contraceptives at the Jesuit law school that cost them $50k or so a year (and apparently couldn't be bothered to walk to the student health center where condoms were free).

But, I don't think that DNC type whining feminism would bother me nearly as much, if it weren't so economically bad for this country. I would suggest that the state dependency that this type of feminist demands, and is getting more and more of, is a primary cause of the family breakdown in the lower classes, that, in turn, is a primary cause of much of the violence today in society, as well as the culture of dependency on the part of the females and their fatherless child-rearing.

My mother was proud of the fact that her ancestors were active feminists 150+ years ago, working hard to give women the vote (as well as to abolish both slavery and demon rum). And, yet, there are times like this, the DNC feminist whinefest, when I sometimes think that this country would have been better off if they had not ultimately been successful in gaining suffrage. That whining has actual costs, and with Obama in the White House, and the Dems controlling Congress through his first two years, those costs have arguably been enormous.

machine said...

"If I understand the rules Obama isn't allowed to mention George W Bush, but Republicans can run against Jimmy Carter in perpetuity."

Carnifex said...

@AllieOop

I usually cut you some slack because you get treated quite unfairly by some of the posters here, but I gotta' take you to task on that last one.

1) Republicans have grown the welfare state just as much as the Democrats do, they just do it at a slower rate.

2)Even red meat raving conservatives like myself admit there is a use for government. Our chief complaint is that there is too much government.

3) How many welfare people are going to be served when the government goes bankrupt? If they just keep printing money to inflate the economy? etc.

4)only Dems have noone trying to stop their wild spending spree. The Reps have the Tea Party.

Try to look beyond just winning a political office.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If I understand the rules Obama isn't allowed to mention George W Bush, but Republicans can run against Jimmy Carter in perpetuity."

A) Bush removed himself from politics, Carter continues to step into it.

B) The prayer at the end of the first day DID mention Bush, and the work he's done fighting AIDS in Africa. They just didn't use his name then.

Colonel Angus said...

"If I understand the rules Obama isn't allowed to mention George W Bush, but Republicans can run against Jimmy Carter in perpetuity."

Oh there is nothing wrong with mentioning Bush, its just that the default 'its all his fault' has grown tiresome. I think the voters actually expected Obama to lead, to govern. Carter on the other hand is simply a good analogy of what Obama's Presidency has become.

chickelit said...

@Althouse: Michelle Obama is pretty gross and couldn't win Chicago alderman standing on her own credentials. She represents hatred, division, and racial victimhood.

Why were you so neutral and unsupporting of the last woman who ran on her own stuff--Sarah Palin?

Were you against her because she failed your perceived gay litmus test?

MadisonMan said...

I look forward to the first speech by the husband of the President. That will be interesting.

Ronald Ward said...

How dare Michelle to even consider herself worth of using heartwarming or personal life struggles, life dreams or goals, or even achievements resulting from those in order to identify her husband. Who does she think she is, Ann Romney?

Christopher in MA said...

Tammy Duckworth seems to be quite intelligent, I'm sure she chose the Democrtic Party because she KNOWS it's not every man or woman for themselves. It's not Progressives that tout rugged individualism at the expense of community, it's the right wing.

Duckworth is in the correct party.


Oh, lord, Allie. The GOP does not "tout rugged individualism at the expense of community." The up-from-bootstraps cliche means that we take the opportunities we have to educate ourselves, work hard and become a contributing member of society. It is not Daniel Boone seeing chimney smoke on the next moutain over and moving because it's getting too damn crowded. And it most certainly is not every man for himself; I defy you to find any conservative who thinks "well, you're born. Don't bother me again, kid."

We are all members of the community. Despite Elizabeth Warren's screeching, we all pay for the roads and the fire departments and the police and the schools. What I object to is "the community" being used as a bludgeon to increase taxes rather than cut waste in local, state or federal government.

AllieOop said...

Chickelit, Michelle Obama is gross?! And you felt that Sarah Palin was unjustly attacked? Sheesh.

rhhardin said...

She has (or had) professional stature and legal expertise.

That's the soap opera world, the woman's trap.

A guy is just interested in his field.

The Crack Emcee said...

Isn't it ironic?

That's one way to put it. I tend to favor the simpler words, like "lying," because - clearly - I'm a simple man. To be treated as a fool by those determined to fool me. Which seems to be just about everyone. Pretending to be something they're not, because most like that more than the truth.

Almost the entire planet, through this mask-wearing political structure, historically unmoved by the determined few who authentically can't be bothered, prancing before us as snakes in a child's garden,...

Christopher in MA said...

How dare Michelle to even consider herself worth of using heartwarming or personal life struggles, life dreams or goals, or even achievements resulting from those in order to identify her husband. Who does she think she is, Ann Romney?

What achievements would those be? Her no-show $300K-per year hospital "job" taken up on her husband's ascension to the Senate? The job so vital and important that when she left, it was quietly eliminated?

Shouting Thomas said...

To be treated as a fool by those determined to fool me. Which seems to be just about everyone.

Well, yeah!

That's the game!

The Drill SGT said...

Her undergraduate degree is more impressive than his.

sociology / African American studies is that much more impressive than Poli Sci / International Relations?

You left off the $300k / yr patronage job kicking poor people out of emergency rooms

Shouting Thomas said...

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Shakespeare, of course.

Colonel Angus said...

And you felt that Sarah Palin was unjustly attacked?

You're right. Nearly all female politicians are investigated to see if it was really their teenage daughter who gave birth to her Down's Syndrome child.

Is she smart? Probably not any less than the sitting Vice President but I guess if you're a man, you can be an idiot and Katie Couric will give you a pass.

MadisonMan said...

That Onion Column is perfect, by the way.

I (heart) the Onion.

chickelit said...

AllieOop said...
And you felt that Sarah Palin was unjustly attacked? Sheesh

Althouse never misses a chance to highlight a reference to lynching in the news or around her own house.

But the gays do a mock lynching of Palin? Not a peep.

EMD said...

“I’m not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette.”

Tammy Wynette also sang D-I-V-O-R-C-E.

Shouting Thomas said...

Tammy Wynette and Shakespeare in the same thread!

Your Good Girls Gonna Go Bad!

Hagar said...

It is not just about "waste," Chris.

It is that for Democrats, issuing regulations that requires people in the public sector to enforce and a lot more people in the private sector to either comply with or resist, is the same as "creating jobs."

They do not see any distinction between productive work and overhead.

creeley23 said...

Any doubts as to the effectiveness of Ann Romney's RNC speech should be laid to rest by Michelle Obama's bookend to it last night.

I must say that MO looked as beautiful in a soft feminine way as I've ever seen her.

The Crack Emcee said...

Shouting Thomas,

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Shakespeare, of course.


That's why I only speak on what I know, and am proud to say "I don't know" to the rest.

Unlike some people,....

Beldar said...

Prof. Althouse, I'm concerned that you might have inadvertently misspoken; or perhaps you know something that I don't, despite some prior efforts on my part to find out about Michelle Obama's time at Sidley & Austin (as it was then called), in which event I hope you'll enlighten me as to your source.

For those not acquainted with the firm, Sidley Austin LLP (they've now dropped the ampersand) is an old-line, long-established, top-rate Chicago BigLaw firm whose clients are mostly Fortune 1000 companies.

Prof. A, you referred to the First Lady in your post as a "permanent associate." Did you mean simply "full-time associate," reflecting the fact that she'd already graduated, passed the bar, and begun practice as a lawyer and full-time employee of Sidley & Austin?

Or did you mean that she was a "permanent associate" in the sense that some law firms use that term -- someone not on a partnership track?

My understanding has always been that she was a regular (i.e., partnership track) associate until she decided to leave BigLaw for other lawyering work (representing the University of Chicago Hospital, IIRC). But I confess that's been my assumption, and I haven't gone back to re-research the question.

It's not a meaningless distinction among the credential-conscious: Permanent associates are generally paid much less than regular partnership-track associates; their time is often billed to clients at lower rates; and in some (but by no means all) cases, they may not have quite the same polished credentials as regular associates. In other cases, including a fair number of explicit "mommy-track" firms, permanent associates may be just as qualified but are working on limited schedules or under less stress as a conscious life/career trade-off.

deborah said...

"I look forward to the first speech by the husband of the President. That will be interesting."


Especially if the president is a man.

Beldar said...

^^^ I'm NOT suggesting that if the First Lady was indeed a non-partnership track associate at Sidley & Austin, there's any stigma that ought to attach to that! I'm just curious.

For conservatives, there is no net political upside to attacking or mocking the First Lady. Any- and everything about Barack Obama is fair game for inquiry or comment, but I've no fault to find, no bone to pick, nothing but kind words for his family.

deborah said...

Take heart, chick, we'll always have her convention speech.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings." Maybe it's time for you to dump this feminism crap, Althouse. This type of whining is just bad manners in a woman who has what you have. "

Maybe it's time for you to put on your humor hat. That quote is totally charming sarcasm. Hear it purr.

Shouting Thomas said...

Maybe it's time for you to put on your humor hat. That quote is totally charming sarcasm. Hear it purr.

That's reassuring. I thought you'd lost your mind.

Ann Althouse said...

Gordon said: "Well, she has that Hahvahd JD, but she surrendered her license. What kind of a lawyer does that? Usually, the kind that faces a disciplinary alternative."

That's scurrilous bullshit. Support the insinuation. Simple Googling gets me to the answer that she never faced disciplinary proceedings. She seems to be someone who, like me, filled out the forms to be "retired" from the practice of law. When you do that you avoid paying the annual fee and submitting to some other requirements.

Michael said...

I didn't see any comments on her totally inappropriate dress. Sleeveless? She is NOSD.

deborah said...

I felt the dress was appropriate, but boy was I steamed when she went sleeveless in February at her husband's first State of the Union. I felt that was completely in-your-face.

Michael said...

The dress was appropriate for a garden party. I guess that is actually what the dnc is come to think of it. I retract my comment. It was appropriate for the audience.

creeley23 said...

Sleeveless dress -- I thought she was doing Jackie Kennedy.

But I don't know fashion. What the big deal here?

creeley23 said...

Michelle also looked much less "black" last night compared with the Olympic speech Ann links in the next topic.

The Drill SGT said...

Beldar said...My understanding has always been that she was a regular (i.e., partnership track) associate until she decided to leave BigLaw for other lawyering work (representing the University of Chicago Hospital, IIRC). But I confess that's been my assumption, and I haven't gone back to re-research the question.

As I understand it, after 2-3 years, (in 1991), she left the law firm and never practiced again, making her bar license inactive in 1993.

As I read them, her early jobs (before her license went inactive) were "an Assistant to the Mayor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development."

neither of which sound like lawyering...

edutcher said...

Moochelle told a lot of whoppers last night.

she tried to be nice, but that perpetual scowl still follows her.

AllieOop said...

My iPad told me not to emulate Sarah Palin.:)

He/she/it shorted it out by holding it up to his/her/its pet wussy.

Anthony said...

"Michelle Obama ... couldn't win Chicago alderman standing on her own credentials. She represents hatred, division, and racial victimhood."

Aren't those the necessary qualifications for alderman?

Dante said...

Women's suffrage
A medley from a computer game I used to play, of footage from the past.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Qr8NuY8R8

I love the old woman at 0:34. She clearly feels uncomfortable being video taped, like she is committing a bit of a crime. My brain fills in the "crime" part of it as follows. "Finally, after all these years of listening to my damn husband tell me who ought to be in power, I get to have my say, and it's not what he's been telling me."

Beldar said...

I can't speak for Illinois, but in most states, keeping one's law license active requires completing a non-trivial number of hours of continuing legal education and paying several hundred or a few thousand dollars in membership fees. A great many capable and ethical lawyers decide not to continue practicing law, and many state bars offer them an "inactive" status that still leaves the door open (perhaps with some obstacles) to re-activation.

Nor is there much likelihood that short of being convicted of a felony, a young transactional associate at a firm like Sidley & Austin would get into the kind of trouble that could prompt the state bar to discipline her. Most bar disciplinary actions involve theft of client funds, or failure to account for and distribute settlement proceeds properly, or gross malpractice in representing clients in court. She wouldn't have been exposed to any of those temptations, or even had much opportunity to commit, any of those sorts of offenses as a junior-level deal lawyer who didn't represent anyone in court.

I agree entirely with Prof. Althouse that it's not reasonable to draw any adverse inference from the First Lady's bar status based on the knowledge that's publicly available.

Beldar said...

@Drill SGT: What I seem to recall reading is that the First Lady started off doing at least some legal work when she left Sidley & Austin to go in-house for the University of Chicago Hospital, but that she found her work shifting more to fundraising and PR, which doesn't require a law license. But you may have looked into it more recently than I have, and I have a healthy respect for your ability to scour the web, so if you have some detailed sources, I hope you'll not hesitate to refresh or contradict my memory on any of these points.

Geoff Matthews said...

I remember reading Steve Sailer's account of MO back in 2006, and how it seemed like she more involved in her husband's campaigning than Hillary was in Bill's.
He also called the Jeremiah Wright thing way before anyone else.

The Drill SGT said...

Beldar said...
I have a healthy respect for your ability to scour the web, so if you have some detailed sources,


LOL. Wiki

I parse the text below as:

Harvard Law Grad 88
Lawyer in a Law firm 88-91
City of Chicago Non lawyer jobs 91-93
Bar License inactive 93
Private Foundation PR 93-96
Assoc Dean (PR) Univ of Chicago 96-02
PR work Univ Chi Hospital 02-08


Following law school, she was an associate at the Chicago office of the law firm Sidley Austin, where she first met her future husband. At the firm, she worked on marketing and intellectual property.[4] She continues to hold her law license, but as she no longer needs it for her work, it has been on a voluntary inactive status since 1993.[46][47]

In 1991, she held public sector positions in the Chicago city government as an Assistant to the Mayor, and as Assistant Commissioner of Planning and Development. In 1993, she became Executive Director for the Chicago office of Public Allies, a non-profit organization encouraging young people to work on social issues in nonprofit groups and government agencies.[19] She worked there nearly four years and set fundraising records for the organization that still stood 12 years after she left.[17]

In 1996, she served as the Associate Dean of Student Services at the University of Chicago, where she developed the University's Community Service Center.[48] In 2002, she began working for the University of Chicago Hospitals, first as executive director for community affairs and, beginning May 2005, as Vice President for Community and External Affairs.[49] She continued to hold the University of Chicago Hospitals position during the primary campaign, but cut back to part time in order to spend time with her daughters as well as work for her husband's election;[50] she subsequently took a leave of absence from her job.[51]

Lindsey Meadows said...

Thank goodness Anne Romney would never do that...I mean, you people!

Beldar said...

@Drill SGT: I also respect your honesty. :)

Ralph L said...

LilyBart said...
I wonder how you think the poor will fare as the county's economic system begins to really fail
That isn't important--they're Levellers, first and foremost. Clinton managed to rise above that a bit, mostly because he wanted big donations.

MayBee said...

As for Michelle Obama, of course they can't talk about her actual career. She inactivated* her law license for unknown reasons at an early age, then proceeded to make money on the board of a wal-Mart supplying junk food company, and kicking poor people out of her emergency rooms.

*corrected, possibly by using a made-up word

Chip Ahoy said...

What is the worst worst worst thing is trying to speak to people about something touching that you've dealt with and by speaking and by being listened to, you suddenly become overwhelmed by all the emotion that was held in check, in order to be dealt with, and that flood tide breaks across your face your jaws turn to stone and you physically cannot speak. Everybody has seen that happen but when it happens to you it's devastating.

The worst worst worst thing worser than that is someone trying to produce that effect and failing like a sack of cold ass popsicles.

And we all see, "shit, Klingon warriors really cannot cry."

I did not watch, b-b-b-but still did not manage to avoid that little s-s-s-show twice.

Baron Zemo said...

My Dear Lady!

Barry's blessed little heart is not troubled when you taunt him that he did not fill it.

He hears that refrain much too often for it to have any effect as Michelle oft cites the same deficiency in regard to her vagina.

MayBee said...


The worst worst worst thing worser than that is someone trying to produce that effect and failing like a sack of cold ass popsicles.


Ha ha ha ha ha!

Baron Zemo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

MayBee, you should read the rest of this thread before posting.

Zach said...

There's no indication that this woman, like her husband, has a J.D. from Harvard. Her undergraduate degree is more impressive than his. As a lawyer she was senior to him: She served as his mentor when he was a summer associate at a fancy Chicago law firm where she was a permanent associate. She has (or had) professional stature and legal expertise. No trace of that showed in the speech she gave.

I find it weird to discuss the undergraduate degree of anybody over 40. Michelle Obama is 48 years old. She started working as a lawyer at age 24, and moved to another career at 27. Since then, she's worked in the Chicago Mayor's office, been director of a nonprofit, worked for the University of Chicago, had two children, and been the First Lady of the United States. All of those occupations lasted longer than her job at Sidley Austin. Is a three year law career that she undertook 27 years ago really the defining feature of her life?

Beldar said...

@Zach: You make a fair point about the current relevancy, or lack thereof, of Michelle Obama's earliest years after law school graduation.

I'd add, in support of your point, that the current First Lady and her husband didn't campaign on the "two for the price of one" theme that Bill & Hill used in 1992, and her initiatives as First Lady have been more traditional and dramatically less controversial than Hillary Clinton's were as First Lady.

But Prof. Althouse's point, if I understood her drift correctly (and she certainly doesn't need anyone to speak for her!), was that her "happy helpmate" speech at the DNC bore no trace of her career, even though she started her legal career on a very elite and tony path, one that was relatively more prestigious than Obama himself (the great Credentialed One) could claim. She was well embarked upon some sort of career, as a lawyer or administrator or fundraiser or PR person, for several more years.

Can you see no irony in the Democratic Party, whose current hot talking point is the Republican "war on women," de-emphasizing the career of one of the Administration's most prominent figures in order to instead emphasize her traditional "wifely" qualities? To me, that seems fairly obvious, but more than passing strange and therefore worthy of being pointed out and chewed upon.

Beldar said...

@Zach: Also, the working assumption is that at a minimum, Obama himself had input into and script approval over her speech, and more likely that every line of it was focus-grouped within an inch of its life. Her speech -- what it chose to emphasize, what it chose to ignore to the point of sublimation -- is attributable not just to the First Lady, but also to the Obama-Biden[?] campaign. So it's not just the choice of the career woman to wife it up (ugh, sorry for that one), it's the choice of the campaign run by and for his husband that she do that too.

MayBee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach said...

Well, I agree that the speech minimizes Michelle's biography. Probably for good reason -- politically connected bureaucrat may be well paying, but it's not going to attract many votes. I just find it irritating that education is so often treated like a title. The truth is, she didn't find her calling in law. She quit the first opportunity she had. But when Althouse tries to describe the woman, the first thing that comes to mind is the magic name -- Harvard Law!

MayBee said...


MayBee, you should read the rest of this thread before posting.


So should you, Mad Man.

I was correcting something I'd said earlier, based on what the Drill Sgt Posted.

If you have a more specific complaint about something I've said, please feel free to share it.

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

"I look forward to the first speech by the husband of the President. That will be interesting."

Todd's a great guy, as far as I can tell--but is he any good as a speaker?