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We’re Taking Our “Attitude” on the Road

Greetings from London! It’s been a busy and exciting trip—we met the Queen and gave her an ipod, which was pretty cool. She’ll probably use it on the elliptical. And Michelle is on a high—according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News survey, her favorability ratings are up to 76%, and she has made great gains with Republican in particular. We love that—biceps are all for bipartisanship.

But she hasn’t made inroads with every Republican. In the same Washington Post story, one Maxine Furlong is quoted saying that Michelle has a ways to go before she will be a “great first lady.” The problem, according to Ms. Furlong, is that Michelle has “this black woman’s attitude…” Note the ellipsis. The reporter, Lois Romano, freaking left it at that! Hello, Lois? The obvious followup is “What do you mean?” Because 99.9% of us think it means “She’s an uppity, angry black lady,” and if that is what Maxine Furlong meant, then put it out there, by all means. Don’t put an ellipsis in there to cover up the ugliness. It just makes you complicit.

Romano goes on to quote Furlong saying, “White girls have more insecurities, which is why they care more about being ingratiating. I’m not saying this is a bad thing—I like that about her—but she is just a very strong woman and that can come off as condescending.” So secure black women who aren’t being ingratiating are scary and condescending. Apparently, being a strong woman is a bad thing, at least if you’re Michelle Obama. If you are sassy old Barbara Bush, no problem. Remember how people used to say she was secretly pro-choice? Radical!

Michelle’s rise in the polls is, we believe, due in part to a necessary and calculated response to the racist and sexist smears that have been directed at her since she came to national attention. Barbara Bush’s rumor was that she was secretly pro-choice. Michelle’s were that she calls white people honkys and hates America. To counter this, she announced her intention to be the “mom-in-chief” and considerably softened up her image. (Though we must point out that we did not soften up.)

So we greet this poll with mixed feelings. Can Michelle be more than the First Mom? How much soup do we have to dole out before her attitude is considered acceptable? We are getting a little bored here in England, being all covered up and having to change outfits three times a day so that the networks and news outlets can cover Ms. Obama instead of the protests or the summit. People like Maxine Furlong and journalists who fail to call out the truth from them make our view of America a little bleak.

But please, attribute that quote to us and not Michelle. We wouldn’t want her to slip in the ratings.

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