September 16, 2010

What Carla Bruni says Michelle Obama said about being First Lady.

"It’s hell. I can’t stand it!"

Oh, Carla, you attention whore. I want the whole context and the inflection. I can think of a hundred ways those words could have been spoken (assuming they were spoken). There's a way to say it that actually means "of course, it's wonderful." There's a context in which it refers only to a part of the experience, such as the way you don't get much time alone with your husband anymore.

But Carla appropriates the line to spice up the book she's selling.

I'm giving Michelle a complete pass on this one.

ADDED: Ed Driscoll assembles a lot of background material, including something I said a while ago.


Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh, Carla, you attention whore.

Such a sexist term.

Scott M said...

Oh, Carla, you attention whore. I want the whole context and the inflection.

This definitely. One, because its simply the right thing to do for anyone, let alone the FLOTUS. Second, because (assuming it's true in context) if you don't think that would have a bearing on the President's desire to seek a second term, you don't know very many black women.

MayBee said...

In a book about Michelle, she tattled that Carla Bruni asked her about having sex while other world leaders were waiting.

I think we're seeing revenge here.

edutcher said...

She's been silenced and shoved to the side the same way Hillary was. And, like the Hildabeast, she wants to remake the country in Uncle Saul's image and has to watch hubbo screw it all up when she knows she could do it the right way.

I have a nasty feeling it's true.

MrBuddwing said...

Assuming the quote is accurate, it's just one moment out of that huge mess we all go through called Real Life.

Agree the First Lady deserves a pass on this one.

Word verification: semessiv

bagoh20 said...

"But Carla appropriates the line to spice up the book she's selling."

Who wouldn't?.... Blog advertising, Blog advertising.

AJ Lynch said...

Here is some context- the conservation is supposed to have occured about six months into President Obama's first term? I can't imagine how bad it could be for her to be so disenchanted so quickly- maybe Michele is just a chronic sour puss?

traditionalguy said...

Carla is just plain a whore. The attention bit is an add on. There is little chance that any free woman would enjoy playing the First Lady role as second fiddle to the career of a husband she hates. Poor Michelle needs to eat more salt and fat to comfort her. Or she can take more vacations.

bagoh20 said...

Real-life marital power relationships are the exact reverse of the ones in sitcoms. It's all about the escape.

MayBee said...

If there's anything about her new life that Mrs. Obama openly (if half jokingly) chafes at, it's the lack of a paycheck. As the former lawyer and hospital executive once pulling in a $300,000-plus salary recently cracked to a second-grade girl, the job of First Lady "doesn't pay much." Not that the family can't live very well on her husband's $400,000 alone, but Mrs. Obama says she remains a bargain hunter and, in this economy, will be turning to familiar national retailers for decorating her girls' rooms

People Magazine, March 9, 2009

shoutingthomas said...


When she was killing time at her no-show hospital diversity cop job (+$300,000), Michelle bitched that she was a victim of discrimination.

When Obama was elected she revealed that it was the first time she was proud of America and that America is a mean country.

She a chronic bitch.

MadisonMan said...

I'm giving Michelle a complete pass on this one.

I think any sensible person would.

JAL said...


I really do think being FLOTUS (and POTUS) is a much much much different gig than either of them thought it would be ... mainly because their real world experience was so atypical and rarefied. Not to mention minimal and shallow.

And so I think the quote may be true.

Maybe they thought the Secret Service coverage during the campaign was kind of cool because gee, they were so important!

Now it is a really big PIA.

My guess is that it requires a fair amount of effort to live in the White House with people standing and sitting in hallways here, there and everywhere. Going out -- check out the entourage photos in Spain -- is a PIA.

And the parties! I think the parties can be a bit overwhelming. How many of us get all (I was going to say "pimped up," but ...) spiffed up a couple nights a week, a couple weeks every month, and have to put on our happy face and make small talk with people we really don't know or care about? Given the opinions Michelle has about things, one might have to be very careful what one says, lest the evil right wing conservatives gloat over it on Drudge.

So yeah. I do not think the Obamas are happy doing what they are doing in many ways.

He needs to be UN Gen Secretary. After we send it to back to Europe of the UAE.

So. I can empathize, but I sure don't feel sorry for her.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

"First Lady" is not a job. I realize it has often been used as a platform; but that's a choice, not an obligation.

If this quote is true -- and I'm cynical about a leaked quote like this -- then Mrs. Obama has an alternative: stay home, take care of her kids, work in her garden, and work on projects of her choice. Especially in today's connected world, she could find ways to contribute to causes she supports without the stress of the public spotlight.

But I'm cynical. While I'm no Obama fan, I'm not ready to believe this third-party quote.

k*thy said...

I wouldn't last 5 minutes. I'll take my life, any day. If it's true, she gets a pass. If it's true, the honesty is refreshing.

AllenS said...

I say give Michelle a pass, and then let her go on another vacation in Europe.

c3 said...

Hopefully, the experience is not dampening her pride of country.

Lem said...

Its not easy telling people what to eat.

Fred4Pres said...

Carla is not a good friend. I do not care for Michelle, but I understand why she would be mad for Carla shooting off her mouth.

Lincolntf said...

If she really meant it, I think it's interesting. Don't care about the political points to be won or lost.
She's still new to the job, and can (in a broad sense) do everything anyone could ever want with her time, but she's still dreadfully dissatisfied? There's no mention of her being troubled by the most obvious complaint, privacy, but she's certainly no butt-outsky herself, so that's not necessarily her gripe.
She was talking to another First Lady, not the gals in her book club. Seems hard to believe that's who'd she vent on, particularly since she specifically did NOT want to commiserate with Bruni about it.
What makes Michelle tick?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Carla is not a good friend. I do not care for Michelle, but I understand why she would be mad for Carla shooting off her mouth.

Oh bull. If you want to keep a secret, don't tell a female. Hell Carla was probably texting the conversation 30 seconds after it was over.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What makes Michelle tick?

Plutonium core.

ricpic said...

Cut Carla a little slack, she's just experienced the loss of a plum role in Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris. Replaced by a younger, more nubile actress. After her performance had been filmed. Now that's humiliation.

MayBee said...

It's revenge for Michelle telling Jonathan Alter this:

French first lady Carla Bruni shocked Michelle Obama by trying to compare notes on their sex lives, Jonathan Alter reports in "The Promise: President Obama, Year One." Bruni, the Italian wife of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, "delighted in telling friends that she shocked Michelle Obama at their first meeting" by informing her that "the press of state business prevented her husband from making love to her as much as she would like," Alter writes.

Robert Burnham said...

Yes, to all of it.

Yes, it's a publicity plug for Bruni's book.
Yes, Michelle most likely meant it in the obvious way.
Yes, the life of a FLOTUS is hellishly public.
Yes, she'll be pilloried for saying this.
Yes, she should have been smart enough to never say such things except to POTUS in private.
Yes, most of us would probably react much as she did.
Yes, she's like a draftee stuck in Basic Training.
Yes, she is there semi-willingly, because if she'd said No! (or Hell, no!) to BHO, then the whole idea would have died before it ever got off the ground.

And yes, she's living through a very rough and public education in how the real world works. (So's he.)

My sympathy doesn't go very far, however, because they are both manifestly unsuited to the job.

Famous Original Mike said...

This is the first time I've been proud of Carla Bruni.

mrs whatsit said...

I see no particular reason to believe Carla Bruni -- maybe Michelle said what she claims and maybe she didn't. However, if Michelle did say it, why on earth give her a pass? She wasn't speaking privately with some old friend who later betrayed her trust -- she was blabbing away to a political acquaintance and well-known loose cannon whom she had no reason to expect would respect her confidences. This is what happens when people with no experience in public life -- and not much discretion or common sense either -- are abruptly elevated to the fishbowl life of the Presidency.

TMink said...

Michelle was not elected, so I give her lots of passes. Unless she really mucks something up, she is the first lady and that is great.


deborah said...

And I say 'Yes, yes, yes, yesssss, more, more, yessssssssssss!!!!!!!' to Robert Burnham.

And I'm proud to be an American when I see my dear fellow Althousers stick up for a first lady they regularly trash, when having to choose between trashing her and a Frenchwoman. You guys rock.

Scot said...

I would give her a pass without more context, though 'pain in the ass' is usually the exact way you would describe a job that you feel is beneath you.

Lincolntf said...

What kind of pass are all you people talking about?
She didn't say it, Bruni fibbed?

She did say it, but was only an exasperated housewife/public figure venting?

She said it and she really means it?

The third option is the only one that makes the story interesting. And she doesn't need a "pass" from anyone if it's what she really feels.

pm317 said...

So she campaigns saying her husband will fix our souls and they cheat to get where they are and now she wants to whine and complain that it is hell. Why is it hell? Have you not seen them lapping up all the perks of the office? And she knows very well how they can mint money once they leave office. Does she not have any sense of purpose or even just a little grace? if she didn't wnat to be encumbered by such office, let her leave and take her husband with her. We will find more competent people who will grateful to use the visibility and the power for some good.

MayBee said...

when having to choose between trashing her and a Frenchwoman

So it's about a national obligation to disbelieve the French? From Freedom Fries to Freedom Lies.

Shanna said...

Carla is not a good friend. I do not care for Michelle, but I understand why she would be mad for Carla shooting off her mouth.

Oh bull. If you want to keep a secret, don't tell a female.

Or maybe just don't tell anyone likely to write a book about famous people.

I don't know if it's true, but I can believe it. It would be a pita.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I imagine that pretty much all of the First Ladies didn't really like being FLOTUS. Who would. As already stated, it has to be a PIA.

The difference is that the rest of the First Ladies didn't shoot off their mouths about it, "manned up" and did the job. They didn't stomp around with sour expressions and denigrate the Country.

Michelle is a whiny bitch who wants to tell US all what to do.

So NO....I don't give her a pass.

Freeman Hunt said...

I would assume that being First Lady would not be a fun job. Why would anyone care that Michelle said this no matter what the context?

Can you imagine? Nearly constant forced meetings. Every. Single. Day. Who likes meetings?

Freeman Hunt said...

I wouldn't care if Michelle publicly said, "What am I, the Queen? I'm not doing these meetings anymore. I'm going to go to my study and read. Maybe have some friends over. Whatever. But no more brunches with strangers. And no more forced speeches."

She's the President's wife. I don't see why she should be forced to do PR things all the time. Maybe she has her own life.

deborah said...

That Queen of the Dust Bunnies is a hard one.

Hee hee.

MayBee said...

I don't think she's forced to do anything. The First Lady is set up to not have to do one single thing she (and her husband's political people) doesn't want to do.
There's nothing she has to run, she doesn't have to cook, she doesn't have to clean, she doesn't have to drive. She has a pool, a gym, a tennis court and a budget to hire her friends.

Anything she does beyond "loaf" is self-imposed.

1jpb said...

I don't know about queens, but this princess pal of hers works for me.

Also, these photos make it look like Carla really "brought it" to stick w/ the princess, but she, relatively, "phoned it in" for Cameron. She's a saint.

Freeman Hunt said...

MayBee, I don't think that's true. I think that the First Lady is expected to be a public relations surrogate for the President.

The key would be finding things you actually care about to focus on. I don't think that's what happened with Michelle though. I think the political advisors have pushed her into channeling her energies into issues that they think are popular, such as organic food, childhood obesity, etc. How boring.

She should just break from all of that.

deborah said...

"So it's about a national obligation to disbelieve the French? From Freedom Fries to Freedom Lies."

No, you big silly. It's about trashing the French taking precedence over trashing Michelle.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, I agree with Freeman. If Michelle doesn't want to do anything, she shouldn't have to.

I have never understood why First Ladies have to have some sort of "cause". In Michelle's case it seems to be 'not fat kids behinds' and telling the rest of us what to eat.

It's like all the really good causes have already been taken and she got stuck with this. No wonder she is sour and pissed off.

As the President's wife, I guess she should act as sort of hostess and supporter of her husband's job when there are offical functions.

How is that going to work for the First Dude, when Palin is President. Does he have to have a cause d'jour too? (ha ha joking. I just want to hear some liberal's heads explode).

I would respect her more if she just said. Screw one voted for me. I'm just going to quilt and play with my kids.

Pastafarian said...

1jpb, having looked at your photos, I now agree with Mike at 12:47.

The funny thing: That photo on the right is cropped. In the original, there's someone else walking up those steps with them to their right:

Scroll down a little.

Who is that vision of beauty, that fashion icon on the right end? Is that Jackie Kennedy, having time-traveled to appear in this photo? Check out those arms. Divine.

deborah said...

"Also, these photos make it look like Carla really "brought it" to stick w/ the princess, but she, relatively, "phoned it in" for Cameron. She's a saint."

I think you may be as nutty as me. That magenta(?) horizontally pleated(?) number blows me away.

k said...

Deborah - you do know that Bruni is Italian, don't you?

Pastafarian said...

Here's a better shot:

That's a classic right there.

I hate to be mean to a woman because of her appearance, but having been inundated for the last two years with incessant over-the-top praise heaped on Michelle Obama for her appearance, and her fashion sense...this is pure schadenfreude.

Pastafarian said...

Yes, Deborah, but what do you think of the daring pink horse-blanket and white tablecloth in on the right in my photo?

Who else could pull that off? It's like Grace Kelly and Catherine Deneuve rolled into one person (and conservation of mass applies).

deborah said...

Yes, k, good point. But she's also the French first lady, and French by marriage, I would assume. But I don't know the French laws of citizenship.

deborah said...

Pastafarian, that is indeed a most unfortunate picture. I'm glad you had such a bright spot in your day.

1jpb said...


After the first link I was sure you knew that was shopped. But, now that you've added another, I'm less sure.

Why two links to a shopped picture?

Also, why do cons spend time creating this sort of image?

Kirk Parker said...


"Maybe she has her own life"

Indeed. I feel kind of funny saying something nice about Howard Dean, but this is mostly about his wife, so here goes: it was totally and completely refreshing to see that she didn't go on the campaign trail with him, and when asked about it said, basically, "I'd rather just keep doing my job".

MayBee said...

Freeman:She should just break from all of that.

DBQ:Actually, I agree with Freeman. If Michelle doesn't want to do anything, she shouldn't have to.

I actually agree with both of you. The only thing really forcing her to be the PR person for the admin is public expectation (and the admin).
In reality, there are no requirements to the job. If she is going to take some on, they should be things that really interest her.

I think she got hemmed in by her own publicity- the idea that she's a strong (schtrong), modern, powerful woman who is only satisfied making a DIFFERENCE.

But yeah, I'd love it if the difference she made would be to tell the American People that she realizes we don't need the first family in our faces all the time. Then she could go read, quilt, play with her kids, and occasionally hang out in Chicago with her friends.

1jpb said...

And pasta,

Maybe you can invite those commenters to migrate to Althouse. Presumably you think they're interesting, so why wouldn't Althouse?

Pastafarian said...

1jpb -- so you mean that these 3 women were never at the same function; and so it's shopped by splicing two shots together.

Is the image of Michelle Obama distorted in any way that you can tell, in your (apparently expert) opinion?

If not...what's your point, dude?

Deborah: I take these little bits of sunshine when they come my way. Cold comfort in this Obama economy.

1jpb said...


That altered photo and your repeated motivation to post it are, imho, lame. What is the point of finding an especially unflattering picture of the FLOTUS and shopping it next to an ultra flattering picture of these other two?

Is the point to suss out comments such as: "Gorilla-girl…..hunched over….kinky-haired….knuckles dragging….legs bowed and splay footed…..whats not to like ? Maybe a “wide load” sign and a back-up beeper will help. Does she look a little chalky in the elbows ?"

Whatever floats your boat...I guess.

Trooper York said...

I think it is a rule to never listen to anything that a broad who banged Mick Jagger has to say.

But I have to admit she is smoking hot.

Just check out this photo of the very hot first lady of France!

Hot stuff let me tell you.

Pastafarian said...

1jpb said: "...why do cons spend time creating this sort of image?"

Gosh, I guess they get tired of hearing how beautiful the quite ordinary Michelle Obama is. And how magnificent her (rather beefy) arms are. And how she's such a "fashion icon" (when she's really quite dowdy).

To quote the immortal Jeremy: Duh.

Not that there's anything wrong with being a somewhat plus-sized, rather stern-looking woman. More than anyone, Michelle Obama reminds me of my own grandmother. That woman could throw an eighty-pound bale of hay into the haymow flat-footed. And that requires a little counterweight.

Of course, I doubt that Michelle has ever done anything with hay. Or thrown much of anything heavier than a tantrum. Or really done any hard physical work ever. So the comparison ends with physical appearance.

And there's nothing wrong with looking like that. Just don't tell me how beautiful and graceful and elegant she is.

Pastafarian said...

1jpb said: "What is the point of finding an especially unflattering picture..."

Jesus, you're a thick one. I'll try again: Because it proves (almost in the mathematical sense) that the press has been blowing smoke up our asses for the last two years with this "fashion icon" nonsense.

But you're right: Putting those two images side-by-side is clearly a racist thing to do. I must be comparing Michelle Obama to a gorilla; that's the only possible conclusion. That's what I meant when I said that she reminds me of my grandmother. Because I'm just two generations removed from the lower primates myself.

What the hell is the matter with liberals? Why does the topic of lower primates invariably come up when discussing race? (Yes, I know, you found it in some odious comments at that other blog; but you chose to repeat them here, and you picked them from hundreds of comments. Interesting choice.)

1jpb said...

"Interesting choice"

Don't blame the messenger.

deborah said...

Pasta, your little bit of sunhine is photoshopped. Compare to 1jpb's link and you'll see a male's arm where Michelle would be. But don't despair. With the click of your little mouse, I'm sure you'll find myriad bad shots of her.

Pastafarian said...

Deborah -- has her image been distorted? Have wrinkles been added to the horse-blanket skirt? Has she been made...wider?

Or are you saying that the act of placing one image next to another is somehow deceitful? That we can only compare these women if they were actually there at the same place and time?

deborah said...

"Deborah -- has her image been distorted? Have wrinkles been added to the horse-blanket skirt? Has she been made...wider?

Or are you saying that the act of placing one image next to another is somehow deceitful? That we can only compare these women if they were actually there at the same place and time?"


Chip Ahoy said...

Hahahahaha, stop it, you're kill'n me over here.

Big Mike said...

I can sympathize -- with a $400,000 family income, you'd think she'd be able to jet off anywhere she likes anytime she likes without attracting media scrutiny. And she can't. And that sucks.

traditionalguy said...

Michelle's job is to take care of Barry like his abandoning Momma used to. But if he hates his Momma's role and therefore Michelle's role, than she will be in purgatory for 4 years (God forbid another 4).The way Barry hates his everyday job, he must see White folks as his abandoning Momma too.

Pastafarian said...

Deborah said: "wow".

Good comeback, Deb. Thanks for playing.

ADogzilla2 said...

@MayBee, interesting quote from People magazine re: lack of salary...They're millionaires according to their most recent tax return, so she's probably scraping along...

But this is the same Michelle Obama who, during the campaign, scoffed at the $600 tax refund from the Bush administration saying, "What can you buy with $600?! A pair of earrings?"

Reading that, I thought I could fill the oil heating tank in my home a couple of times over the winter.

People's POV is suspect, IMHO. We've yet to see any proof of her "bargain hunting" if articles about prices of shoes & bags, clothing, vacations are to be believed.

Even if Carla is fabricating, there is enough photographic evidence available to suggest FLOTUS is somewhat unhappy. I've never seen so many scowls. Even if this is just an abundance of bad timing by the world's photographers, she looks angry a lot.

Cedarford said...

If she said it, she shouldn't get a pass because the White House gig is even cushier than her "no-show" job with U of Chicago she got paid 180,000 then 300,000 after the Annointed One was elected Senator and Michelle and he busied themselves on global travel junkets.
She only had one part time staffer while she was in her Crown, Pritzker, and Klutznik billionaire family sinecure. She has 28 assistants or courtiers now. When she and Barack were being feted by Chicago's elites and then as a Senators wife, she was only treated like a Nubian Princess. As 1st Lady, she was upgraded to Queen-like status.

It would be one thing if she was like Hillary, once reputed to be one of the smartest lawyers in the land (before we found she failed her DC Bar exam and most of her Arkansas biz was as "spouse of Bill".
But Michelle, despite the affirmative action credentials she got, was a mediocre at best performer at Sidley. She too failed her Bar and required a years coaching to get up to a level to pass the Illinois exam. Then after 2 years of nothing to show, permanently dropped her law license. That was almost 20 years ago. Since then, she was in prestigious, well-paying, but low skill "executive" jobs her and Brack's mentors set her up for with the Daley Machine and Valerie Jarrett, then through the 3 billionaire families at U of Chicago.

This woman should kiss the ground every day for her present good fortune and status over what she actually accomplished in her life. Maybe only Randy Jackson on American Idol, paid 8 million to say "Yo! Yo! Check it out! Pitchy!" for 87 hours of work a year - has a sweeter gig at getting plenty of something for nothing.

If one cares to psychologically project...this is a proud even haughty woman who knows she got into Princeton despite average grades and sub-par test scores ONLY because her brother was THE basketball star there. Who struggled at Harvard, failed the bar and who had to be humiliatingly tutored by a coach hired by Sidley to get her on track. Then didn't pan out and held a series of municipal and U ofChicago jobs only because she was black elite and "Spouse of The One."

Her biggest contribution to life is bearing the Annointed One's children.
If you think highly of yourself, and Michelle Obama certainly does, and know you failed to deliver the goods all your life, then each day syncophants line up to butt-schmootch - it may make her feel like a fraud, playing a charade.

One of the bitterest people I knew was a black diversity hire placed well above their abilities in a series of jobs. You would think there would be something other than rancor, but other than her groveling gratitude to the head of HR and the "diversity" part of the Board of Trustees that pushed her advancement - sourness, ingratitude, and anger. Because each well-paid day was a humiliation for her because she had the titles, but all her work was done by vastly more competent underlings that knew how inept she was. And people outside the company figured it out in short order. Her reaction was to be more imperious, aloof, and confrontational with other employees. The day we heard a competitor had somehow been gulled into hiring her at at even more significant level of being beyond her, as a hiring coup for them and their diversity dept was a happy day. She "moved on" very soon after that, and now works for the Federal Government as some regulatory Dept head..

Michael said...

Cedarford: I think you have it exactly right.

AllenS said...

Right on, Cedarford.

Ten said...

granted, this is all viewed from the lens of a sick mother and a pending foreclosure, but FUCK the Obamas. Damn straight, they'll be minting money after this 4 year debacle is over. Good riddance mother fuckers.

The Crack Emcee said...

"I'm giving Michelle a complete pass on this one."

Which would mean something if I'd ever seen you nail her for anything in the past. I dare you:

Show us a previous post where you seriously take her to task.

holdfast said...


That rant needs more Jewish conspiracies, but is otherwise pretty much on point.

I read an interview a while back with a former supervisor at Sidley - she was one of those PITA jnr. associates who wanted to do something "important" and "meaningful" without putting in time in the trenches. And of course if her assigned work did not meet her standards (newsflash! most 1st and 2nd year work in BigLaw is shite. Often important shite, but shite nonetheless) she would sulk and blame it one....

.....wait for it..

...racial discrimination!

Be said...

You know, I never much got into "Desperate Housewives" even when it was new and fresh.

Mary L ou said...

Look at Michelle's record of the things she has said in public during the time Obama was running for president. What do her words say? What does her body language and facial expression say? What does she believe in? Who are her friends? Not only that, she wears her heart on her face. Need I say more?