Michelle O: 'I Could Be Very Competent Putting in 70%'
Rush Limbaugh likes to joke that he has "half my brain tied behind my back, just to keep it fair." But there's no sign Michelle Obama [file photo] was anything but serious when she said something similar in a current People magazine interview, h/t Michelle Malkin. Mrs. Obama claimed she could be "very competent" on policy putting in only a 70% effort.
Throw in a few more statements from Mrs. Obama during the interview attesting to her own intellect, and a picture emerges of a woman either very sure--or insecure--about her smarts.
Excerpts [emphasis added]:
Ask Michelle Obama whether she offers her two cents on her husband's presidential campaign policies and she sounds a bit like Saturday Night Live self-esteem coach Stuart Smalley. "I guess I could," she says. "I'm smart enough, I'm trained enough."
Q. A friend of yours said you are purposely not engaged in policy because, as an attorney, you so over-prepare that if you can't master something you won't dive in at all. Is that true?
Michelle: On some level I view myself – as do many women in my position – as 120-percenters, meaning we feel good about what we're doing when we're doing it at 120 percent. So, I could be very competent putting 70 percent in, but I don't feel good about it. I feel like, if I'm going to master it, I'm going to master it. Where I've had to come – not just in this campaign, but in my life of having so much that I'm doing, my career, the role of mom and exercise and all these other things that I have come to believe are just as important – is I've had to sort of let go of that 120-percent thing and say, I can't do everything. I am not going to realistically be the policy expert on every opinion and position that Barack has because I don't have the time to do it, quite frankly. And I have to be okay with that.
Q. I'm not sure people will buy that. They see you as so strong and smart and assertive [NB: tough interview!], that it's natural to assume that you're weighing in on policy.
Michelle: That is the internal struggle that I, and a lot of women, have. You listen to the outside, which says you have an obligation – because you're smart and well-educated – to do this. And it's like, 'Yeah, but I also have these kids.
So, several times in a short interview, Michelle Obama works in references to her own smarts. Self-confidence, or doth the lady protest too much?
Note: See my related item from last year: Michelle Obama: Inferiority Complex Prevents Blacks From Supporting Obama