As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Michelle

Michelle AWOL as Obamacare Struggles

The Obamacare rollout is a mess, the White House is desperate for signups to inject cash needed to prop up the system, but one of President Obama’s best PR weapons – First Lady Michelle Obama – is nowhere to be found.

Calling Michelle Obama . . .
Calling Michelle Obama . . .

Mrs. Obama is more popular than her husband and has been deployed by the White House frequently as one of his most most attractive and effective surrogates. She campaigned tirelessly last year for his reelection and has represented him on countless other matters too. And yet she is not being used to help salvage Obamacare.

In fact, Michelle has hardly been seen in public at all for a month, making no on-camera appearances since a round of events during September’s UN General Assembly session in New York City.

Today she will host a tea for the wife of the Pakistani prime minister, but the event is closed to the press. Reporters will also be barred when she greets the USO “Volunteer of the Year” Friday. And the White House will allow only a single print reporter to cover remarks she will make Friday afternoon to a Democratic National Committee event focused on women’s issues.

Other outings in recent days have been similarly below the radar, including a parent-teacher conference at her daughters’ school and three hours spent dining out with friends at a swank DC Italian restaurant, Bibiana.

Michelle has been on the Obamacare beat before, speaking just last July to the Hispanic group La Raza to urge members to help get people signed up.

But now that the process is underway, she’s exited the stage, leaving it to her husband and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to make the pitch.

Here’s some video of President Obama going it on his own, imploring members of his political group, Organizing for Action, to “tell your friends, families, coworkers, classmates, neighbors and anyone else about what the Affordable Care Act can mean for them.”

Michelle Dances With Man in Drag

I don’t know. It’s kind of funny and she’s a good dancer. But, putting aside any notion of dignity for the positions of first lady and president –  those things went out the window a while ago, I know – what are kids supposed to think of this?

This is from Friday night’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Michelle: A Few Thousand Votes Could Decide It

First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the extent of the nervousness in President Obama’s camp over the upcoming contest with Mitt Romney, telling a group of Obama supporters in Naples, Florida that the election could be decided by a few thousand votes.

“This all could come down to those last few thousand people we register to vote,” she said, according to “It might mean just one more person … That one person could be the one.”

The first lady was campaigning and raising money in Naples following a trip with her husband to speak to the troops at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia.

Florida is viewed as perhaps the first or second most important battleground state. Its electoral votes could determine the election, as they did in 2000 when only a few hundred votes separated George W. Bush and Al Gore.

Florida is particularly important to President Obama, as polling suggests traditionally Republican states he picked up in 2008 against John McCain, like Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina, may revert to form and support the GOP nominee.

Michelle: Obama Works Hard, So Pony Up!

The Obama campaign has come up with a novel new reason for people to donate – President Obama works hard.

In an email sent to supporters today, the campaign offers up Michelle as a witness to Obama’s dedication to his job.

Every night in the White House, I see Barack up late poring over briefings, reading your letters, and writing notes to people he’s met.

He’s doing that for you — working hard every day to make sure we can finish what we all started together.

This week, I need you to have his back.

Will you donate $3 or more to support Barack before Saturday’s critical fundraising deadline?

Thank you.


The message also provides a link taking recipients to a page where they can reward the president for his diligence.

Michelle has frequently noted to audiences how hard she thinks Obama works.

Michelle Arrives in Hawaii, Disappears

With controversy raging over her decision to fly separately from President Obama at taxpayer’s expense to her Hawaiian vacation, Michelle Obama has been keeping a decidedly low profile since arriving on Oahu.

The first lady, who departing Washington Friday evening with her daughters, has barely been seen, and there’s been little in the local press about her activities.

From a brief report in the Honolulu Star Advertiser:

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha seem to have been enjoying a respite from the television cameras since arriving at their Kailua vacation home on Saturday, according to area residents.

Scott Miscovich, who lives down the street from the now-famous five-bedroom rental home on Kailuana Place, said media and security presence in the area has so far been “very subtle.”

The “respite from the cameras” is more likely a firm White House strategy to have the first lady keep her head low. Mrs. Obama’s visit has caused a stir because it cost probably well in excess of $100,000 to send her there ahead of her husband, who decided to remain in town until he and Congress agree to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut.

Last week, the Hawaii Reporter estimated the entire cost of the vacation for both Obamas – should he ever arrive – at more than $4 million.

Special Michelle Hawaii Flight Would Cost Thousands

President Obama’s decision to send Michelle and his daughters to Hawaii ahead of him if he is delayed by a fight with Congress could cost taxpayers tens of thousands of extra dollars to fund two separate vacation flights and related costs. The move would also violate the intent of an executive order he issued just last month urging federal employees to cut back on expenses like travel.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday that Obama told Senate Democratic leaders during a White House meeting that he would delay his scheduled December 17 departure for Hawaii to keep Congress in town until it extends the payroll tax holiday. Said Reid:

I’ll paraphrase it, but I’m pretty close. He said, ‘Michelle and the girls are going to have a great time in Hawaii. They don’t need me there.’

But sending his family ahead of him could easily cost taxpayers an added $100,000, and possibly much more.

Last year, when Obama was delayed by Congress, Michelle left early for Hawaii, and the cost of her separate flight alone totaled about $63,000. This did not include related security and staff costs or the money for a cargo plane that may trail the first lady’s jet on such a trip.

Obama joined Michelle a few days after she landed in Hawaii, and they extended their vacation past their scheduled return date to make up for the president’s lost vacation time.

Sending Michelle to Hawaii ahead of him this year would provide the first lady a convenience that Obama himself is trying to deny government workers.

In an executive order issued Nov. 9 titled “promoting efficient spending,” which was touted by the White House as a sign of Obama’s commitment to cut the deficit, Obama instructed agencies to try to avoid unnecessary plane trips.

. . .  to ensure efficient travel spending, agencies are encouraged to devise strategic alternatives to Government travel, including local or technological alternatives, such as teleconferencing and video conferencing.  Agencies should make all appropriate efforts to conduct business and host or sponsor conferences in space controlled by the Federal Government, wherever practicable and cost effective.

Perhaps a nice “strategic alternative” for the first lady would be to cool her heels at the lovely Camp David, just a short chopper ride from the White House.

Michelle: Obesity is a National Security Issue

Well, it’s not.

Only in the sense that EVERYTHING is a national security issue. For example, health care. If kids aren’t getting proper health care, how can they be good soldiers?

And how about getting enough sleep? If soldiers aren’t engaged in proper sleeping habits, they’re going to miss when they shoot, now aren’t they?

So of course, Mrs. Obama today is promoting her anti-obesity campaign at a MILITARY BASE to make the point that her efforts are part of her own private plan to safeguard the country. From the pool reports:

First Lady Michelle Obama arrived at Fort Jackson [South Carolina], the Army’s largest basic training facility, at 10:33.

She was wearing a black business suit and white blouse. She was introduced to the fort’s physical fitness professionals in a small conference room at the drill sergeant’s school.  Obama was flanked by Maj. Gen.James M. Milano, the fort’s, commander, and Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, the Army’s initial training deputy commander.

Hertling briefed Obama, using three giant flat screen television, on the lack of physical fitness in today’s youth and how it is making it more difficult to attract recruits that can pass physical fitness standards. Of the 129,000 recruits each year, about 40 percent are overweight. Obama, who is promoting the Let’s Move! Program to combat childhood obesity, said “It’s not just a health issue for children, it’s a national security issue.”

Obama said that obesity has to be battled across all groups, from parents, to schools, to the military and workplace.

“You can’t get at this problem with just one slice of it,” she said, “you have to get the whole country behind this because it’s affecting our ability to protect our freedom.”

If the military can’t whip these fatsos into shape, then there’s something wrong with the military, and we need more funding for the Pentagon to hire nastier drill sergeants who who will kick the lumpy asses of recruits caught sneaking an Almond Joy bar.

I like Mrs. Obama’s campaign, generally. But this is going way too far. The pernicious part of this is that once something becomes a national security issue, then it must be funded – a lot. Look for more demands for money to finance Mrs. Obama’s own line item when Obama FY2012 budget is released next month.