Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz caused a little stir on Friday by questioning the excess of media goo over Michelle Obama. But when he tried to assemble a panel for his CNN show Reliable Sources on Sunday, everyone agreed that Michelle goo was great fun to watch. Liberal blogger Keli Goff and liberal BBC journalist Matt Frei were not surprising. But sadly, the "conservative" on the panel, Danielle Crittenden of NewMajority.com (Mrs. David Frum), was enjoying the fawning over Michelle as much as the liberals:
KURTZ: Danielle Crittenden, she's been compared to Jackie O., to Princess Diana. Isn't the coverage getting a little breathless?
DANIELLE CRITTENDEN: Well, it's probably a little breathless, but it's fun. I happen to enjoy reading it. I think it's more actually the analogy is that this -- they are like the Brangelina of politics right now. We call them Barchelle -- go to Europe.
She's also, I think, the first post-feminist first lady we've had in that she seems to really be embracing her role as first lady. She finds it fun. It's a great job.
Crittenden actually echoed the liberals again when Kurtz tried to ask about the crowding out of substance on the G-20 summit:
Friday’s CBS Early Show continued its fawning coverage of Barack and Michelle Obama in Europe as co-host Harry Smith gushed over the First Lady: "I mean, there's a kind of just raw realness about her. That session with the schoolgirls yesterday...People were in tears." Smith made the comment while talking to executive editor of thedailybeast.com, Tina Brown, who had her own words of praise: "Michelle is so authentic, and so real, and so today, and so, you know, J. Crew, and the whole price point thing and not designer clothes..With Michelle, you can almost feel those warm arms. You know, there's a kind of real red-blooded feel to her. But there's also -- I mean she's almost like overtaking Oprah, I think, as the kind of inspirational 'it' girl at this point." [audio available here]
Later, Smith dismissed criticism that Michelle Obama had broken protocol when meeting Queen Elizabeth: "This whole touching of the Queen and everything else, in the end, the Queen says, 'let's please stay in touch.' Whatever affront, or perceived affront, was completely trumped by the fact that those two people charmed the Queen's socks off." Brown agreed: "They completely charmed them. And the Queen wouldn't have taken any offense at that...she's also, I think, getting a kind of almost Princess Di-like empathy going at this point. You know, when she went to that school yesterday and you saw this tall figure bending down to embrace these kids wearing those pearls, it was like, ‘oh, my God, it’s Di time all over again.’"
Former Democratic political operative-turned journalist George Stephanopoulos appeared on Friday's "Good Morning America" to tout what a "star" Michelle Obama became during the trip to the G-20 summit in London. After being asked by co-host Chris Cuomo about the decision by the President to take his wife, the "This Week" host effusively responded, "That turned out to be a no-brainer, didn't it, Chris? I mean, Michelle is a star."
Comparing the First Lady to another family much-loved by the liberal media, he continued, "Again, much like Jackie Kennedy on her first trips overseas with President Kennedy, she is doing so well for the President, for the country right here." Speaking of how the President did at the summit, he opined, "But the President did a good job of managing expectations going into the summit. So, that what they came out with seemed like a victory." Isn't that essentially saying that journalists allowed themselves to be spun by the President and his team?
"Good Morning America" reporter Yunji de Nies continued to fawn over Michelle Obama on Friday, lauding how the First Lady shared her "Cinderella story" with a girls school in London. An ABC graphic for the segment opined, "Michelle Wows Europe: First Trip Big Hit." Recounting the positive reception the speech received, de Nies cooed, "But it was her personal touch that made the biggest impact."
Tina Brown, liberal commentator and former editor of the New Yorker, was featured to rhapsodize, "I don't see any misstep from Michelle Obama on this trip. She really excited everybody. She's done it right." Of course, de Nies made no mention of Brown's left wing political views. Sounding more like a PR representative, the GMA correspondent asserted, "She [Michelle Obama] leaves the U.K., no longer a stranger, but, now, a friend."
“People are looking for something to criticize.” Yes, Barbara they are. And you were once among them.
Barbara Walters took exception to complaints from some that the Obamas made a royal mess of British protocol when meeting the queen of England. However, just over a year ago, Walters herself sniffed at the Bush White House for sending her a Christmas card containing [gasp!] “Scripture.”
On the April 2 episode of “The View,” the co-hosts discussed the murmurings that the president and first lady broke protocol when meeting the queen of England. Walters got visibly upset, waving her hands and speaking in a high, mocking tone saying, “And then people criticize because you know people are looking for something to criticize,” she said. “It makes me unhappy we are always looking for something to criticize, ‘Why did she put her arm around the queen?’.”
The broadcast networks continued their infatuation Thursday night with Michelle Obama as ABC anchor Charles Gibson teased: “Center stage. With substance and style, the First Lady steps onto the world stage, becoming something of a mega-star.” He soon equated her popularity with Jacqueline Kennedy, the last First Lady to so enchant the press. On NBC, Dawna Friesen trumpeted how “she has dazzled Britain with her style and her substance. From the palace to the streets, she has taken London town.” Highlighting the First Lady's appearance before a largely-minority group of school girls, Friesen hailed: “To such a diversity of girls from such an inspirational woman, the message couldn't have been more powerful.”
Two noteworthy quotes from the CBS Evening News:
> In a wrap-up piece on the G-20 summit, anchor Katie Couric decided it was relevant to stress: “The people of London treated the Obamas like rock stars, the kind of reception an American President has not received in some time.”
> CBS reporter Chip Reid, over video of many waving raised hands from journalists trying to catch Obama's attention, pointed out how excited Obama made the press corps during his news conference: “The President continued his charm offensive with the nearly two thousand members of the international press corps who literally begged to ask questions.”
Two journalists appearing as guests on CNN on Wednesday and Thursday praised “mighty Michelle” Obama for being “stylish,” “successful,” and for showing “an interest in wanting to reach out to people who may feel they’ve been disenfranchised or held at a distance from the power structure.”
Eighteen hours later on Thursday’s American Morning, the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan tried to sell how Mrs. Obama could aid her husband on the international stage: “[She] helps people to get more of a human sense of the administration. And also, I think that for many people, there was, to some degree, a sense of being closed off to the rest of the world or closed off to those who are kind of outside of the mainstream by other administrations. And I think this is a way of trying to build those bridges in a way that is very non-confrontational.”
Thursday’s CBS Early Show offered non-stop gushing over Barack and Michelle Obama in Britain as co-host Julie Chen spoke with royal watcher Ingrid Seward: "Well, what is the buzz so far about Michelle Obama, and is she overshadowing her husband's presence over there?" Seward replied: "No, she's not overshadowing her husband. I think we all find him very charismatic, very handsome, and almost with the responsibility of being a savior on his shoulders...And people are excited to see him, very excited to see him." Chen added: "As they should be."
Later, Chen asked about the Obamas’ gift to Queen Elizabeth, an ipod loaded with show tunes: "Now, what are people saying about the First Lady and President Obama's gift of an ipod to the Queen?" Seward declared: "Actually, an ipod is a perfect gift for the Queen because in the cellars of Buckingham Palace, she has so many unwanted gifts, sort of trophies and unattractive pieces of jewelry. I mean, she couldn't be more thrilled with something useful like an ipod."
NBC's Dawna Friesen, reporting from London on Thursday' "Today" show relayed how "Michelle's Magic," has "dazzled everyone," in the United Kingdom and co-anchor Matt Lauer joined in, as he loved the tacky gift of an iPod to the Queen: "I like this idea. I think it's a, it's a very creative idea to bring her the iPod." Friesen also played down Michelle Obama's gaffe of contact with the Queen, "There was no curtsy, but plenty of easy charm, and it seems Mrs. Obama made another new friend, never mind that royal protocol forbids touching the Queen." This despite the fact that just yesterday, her colleague Keith Miller made a big deal out of past presidential gaffes with the Queen like when George W. Bush winked at Her Royal Highness.
The following is a complete transcript of the full segment as it was aired on the April 2, "Today" show:
"Good Morning America" reporter Yunji de Nies on Thursday gushed over Michelle Obama's appearance in London for the G-20 summit, thrilling about the First Lady's fashion and the fact that "Mrs. Obama hasn't lost touch with her sensible chic American roots." In contrast, GMA ignored the controversy over Mrs. Obama touching the Queen of England during her visit, which many consider a breach of protocol. Similarly, the show's hosts and reporters downplayed the fact that the Obamas gave Queen Elizabeth II an iPod loaded with Barack Obama's speeches.
This is despite the fact that the very same de Nies filed a report on Tuesday on the history of overseas presidential trips. She insisted, "But one unlucky misstep and everyone remembers." She then proceeded to feature supposed gaffes from Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Two days later, however, de Nies ignored the missteps of the Obamas and filed an absolutely laudatory segment on the First Lady. She rhapsodized, "The First Lady showcased her signature sleeveless style, her bare arms reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy, the last First Lady to cause such a stir across the pond."
“There is so much to cover on this day,” ABC anchor Charles Gibson announced Tuesday night from London as the network anchors and reporters reflected their awe over how, as NBC anchor Brian Williams put it, “In a marathon, the President meets with the leaders of Britain, Russia, China, then the Queen, and the summit hasn't started yet.” NBC's Chuck Todd then admired how “the President was able to do a diplomatic decathlon, packing in a week's worth of international diplomacy into 12 hours,” before he hailed how “America's unofficial royalty, the President and First Lady, reconnected tonight for more ceremonial duties, including a private audience with actual royalty, the Queen herself.”
CBS and NBC devoted full stories to what the CBS Evening News dubbed on screen as “Michelle Mania.” Katie Couric teased: “The British give America's First Lady a welcome fit for a Queen.” On NBC, Williams echoed: “There is no denying the Obamas from America are receiving a rock star reception on this trip. One London paper today called them 'American royalty.'”
From London, Williams opened the NBC Nightly News with a list of President Obama's “marathon day” of activities:
CNN correspondent Alina Cho loaded the regal language into her report on Wednesday’s American Morning about Europe’s “apparent love affair” with Michelle Obama. Besides the obligatory Jackie Kennedy references, Cho gave a preview of the first lady’s tea with Queen Elizabeth II: “On today’s schedule: tea with the queen, and insiders say the queen and America’s queen bee will be fast friends.” The correspondent even compared Mrs. Obama to Princess Diana. She also referred to the Obamas as the “royal family of the United States.”
Cho began her report by hyping the first lady’s popularity, how it apparently isn’t exclusive to the States, and how it could overshadow her husband the president: “Tina Brown, as you know, joked about an hour ago that Sara Brown is a beautiful girl but, you know, everybody sort of knows that right now, at least, she pales in comparison to Michelle Obama. Of course, the big question is, could she overshadow the president?...So, you know, there’s no denying that Michelle Obama is a rock star in America, but how is her style and personality playing abroad? Well, the early reviews are very good. The apparent love affair with the U.S. first lady is flourishing in Europe.”
Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," admitted Barack Obama, along with his wife Michelle this time, gave him yet another "thrill." The MSNBC host gleefully described his feelings at seeing the Obamas arrive in England for the G20 summit this way [audio available here]:
Well there is something cool when they were both - there's a nice ‘60s term. When they were both walking to the helicopter the other day, Marine One, there was something like, when he looked at her, you could just tell he said, "Isn't this something?" You know you could tell like they were experiencing the-, the, I'm getting old here. The grooviness, the excitement of being this First American Couple heading towards Marine One, which is cool in itself, heading from there to Air Force One, to a quick flight across the Atlantic, on your own plane. And to meet with the world leaders as like the centerpiece of the world. What? I get-, I'm saying it again, I'm getting a thrill.
Matthews, who invited the Washington Post's Lois Romano and the Independent Women's Forum Michelle Bernard to join in on the Obama-watching fun, also giddily admitted: "We girls agree. I don't mind saying that. I'm excited. I'm thrilled. Any way I like it all! I like the picture, I like the substance. "
The following is the full exchange Matthews had with his panelists on the April 1, edition of "Hardball":
NBC's Keith Miller, on Wednesday's "Today" show, was caught up in a moment of simultaneous Obama-mania and Kennedy nostalgia as he reported about the Obamas' arrival in Britain for the G20 summit as he declared: "What the Obamas bring to Buckingham Palace is a charisma not seen since the Kennedys, when the First Lady, Jacqueline, dazzled the royal court." Miller, of course, wasn't alone in his cheeriness as he included two soundbites from other members of the press, including Victoria Mather of Vanity Fair, who wondered if the Queen herself will be able to contain herself: "This is gonna be the most exciting encounter of her long and successful reign. I think she'll be absolutely fascinated." And the New York Times' John Burns was so starry-eyed he was reduced to making astronomical comparisons: "There is a lot of stardust there, and my guess is that the Obamas will attract the sort of adulation in Europe that the Kennedys did."
The following is the full Miller piece as it was aired on the April 1, "Today" show:
"Good Morning America" reporter Yunji de Nies on Tuesday touted supposed gaffes of past Republican presidents in a segment on Barack Obama's trip abroad. De Nies intoned, "But one unlucky misstep and everyone remembers." As she said this, video of George W. Bush's 2005 trip to Beijing appeared onscreen. (In the footage, the then-President can be seen trying to go out the wrong door.) More Republican footage followed.
First, 1992 video of George H.W. Bush throwing up in Japan was highlighted and then a 2006 picture of George W. Bush rubbing the neck of German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared. De Nies described these two events as "the upset stomach of a President" and an "awkward moment between two world leaders." Introducing a clip of veteran ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson, she continued, "Sam Donaldson remembers watching Ronald Reagan fight to stay awake at the G7 summit in Venice."
As the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," played over slow-motion video of Michelle Obama, NBC's Dawna Friesen, on Tuesday's "Today" show, eagerly awaited the arrival of the Obamas in London, for the G20 summit, as she gushed: "Yes, her husband is, of course, the big star of the show, but this is Michelle Obama's first foray on to the global stage as First Lady. And you can bet that her every move, her every fashion decision will be dissected and analyzed, especially when the couple go to meet the Queen. But she's got a lot of good will on her side." (audio available here)
Friesen then played soundbites from random British fans cheering Michelle:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh I think she's really cool. She's got a lot of really good styles. It makes a change from politicians' wives to look good.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She looks supportive and that's what a man needs in life.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN#2: I have been totally stunned at the awesome nature of Michelle Obama.
In the 8:00AM EST hour of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show correspondent Elizabeth Palmer gave a gushing report on Barack and Michelle Obama’s upcoming trip to Europe, particularly focusing on the popularity of the new First Lady: "In 1961 when Jacqueline Kennedy came to Europe, she enchanted even the crustiest of world leaders. And she's remained a tough act to follow for every First Lady since. But Michelle Obama looks more than equal to the task of impressing and delighting even the grandest of them...To be honest, most Europeans were going to like whoever replaced President Bush. But there's no doubt Michelle and her husband have an extra je ne sais quoi."
Palmer cited French journalist Agnes Poirier, who declared: "Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are a very alluring and very sophisticated couple, and that plays well with the French. They like seeing, you know, sophistication at the helm of power." Palmer concluded her report by adding: "And this sophisticated lady hand in hand with power looks poised to do wonders for America's image abroad."
He may not have healed the planet and made the oceans recede yet, but Barack Obama has definitely brought sexy back for some fawning lefty writers. Just check out these headlines: “Have the Obamas Spawned a Sex Frenzy?” and “How long has it been since a first couple seemed to want each other?”
The American left – particularly women writers on the American left – have conjured up the idea that the relationship between President Barack Obama and his wife is somehow novel. Stacy Schiff of New York Magazine writes “…only now are we discovering what a functioning marriage between equals actually looks like.”
Seriously? The marriage between Barack and Michelle is the best and most recent example she can come up with? Schiff is obviously smitten, but before she reached for her smelling salts, she did manage a swipe at the Bush administration.
NBC's Meredith Vieira was so excited about White House social secretary Desiree Rogers' decision to honor St. Patrick's Day by having the White House fountain spray green water, that she exclaimed: "You're doing a fantastic job." But if the new social secretary, indeed, was doing such a "fantastic" job where was she when the decision was made to give the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown the tacky gift of 25 DVDs?
Vieira, on Tuesday's "Today" show, interviewed Rogers as she stood in front of the green fountain and cooed that the Obamas: "Want this White House to be more accessible to the folks around the country. They call it the people's house." and asked, "How much input do they have in all of these decisions, Desiree, that are made?" Rogers responded that "we talk weekly about these decisions." However Vieira never questioned if it was the Obamas or Rogers that decided a box set of DVDs was a proper gift for Brown, considering the British Prime Minister delivered, as Newsbusters' Warner Todd Huston pointed out, the more thoughtful gifts of a: "Pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of that which gave the wood to create the famous ‘Resolute Desk,' the desk that has been in America's charge since 1880. He also gave Obama the framed commission for that famous ship, the HMS Resolute. His third gift was a seven-volume biography of one of England's greatest leaders, Winston Churchill."
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the March 17, edition of the "Today" show:
Did you know that no presidential couple ever "wanted each other" until the coming of The One and his Michelle? Well Stacy Schiff of New York Magazine knows, blurting out like a star-struck 13-year-old at a Jonas Brothers concert the question, “How long has it been since a First Couple seemed to want each other?” What about George W. and Laura's love? Must have all been a head fake. H.W. Bush and Barbara, it's all a sham I tell you. Nancy and Ron? Fuggedabout it. Bill and Hillary... OK, you might have something there. None of the rest really care about each other who can doubt? Not Schiff, anyway. No, as far as Schiff is concerned, love's been reinvented by Michelle and her beau, The One.
It’s either a sole example of love in the Oval office… or it's just another appalling exercise in Old Media sycophancy that takes slobbering devotion to a new level. I guess this is what passes for "reporting" these days, but it still seems like maudlin hero worship to me. It causes one to wonder what crackerjack box Schiff found her mind reading cap in to enable her to learn that no other presidential couple "want each other"? Still, Schiff has divined the fact for us like a late-night informercial psychic, nonetheless.
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts conducted a two part, almost 11 minute interview with Michelle Obama on Friday that avoided tough questions and consisted almost entirely of softballs. This included reading e-mails from the audience, such as "What does she [the first lady] do for relaxation in the evening, away from the public?" and also "...How can she stay so positive about the economy?"
This is quite a contrast to some of the queries Laura Bush had to deal with when she was first lady. On October 22, 2007, the very same Roberts quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Mrs. Bush. She challenged, "Desmond Tutu went even farther, saying the generosity of Americans, that's what we should export instead of our bombs." She also informed Mrs. Bush of the assertion by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that America "should export hope instead of fear."
New York Times reporter Rachel Swarns, former Johannesburg bureau chief for the Times, is now working hard on the Glorify Michelle Obama beat, pumping out four flattering pieces in the last month.
Her latest entry is a brief in Thursday's edition, "A White House Effort to Aid Women and Girls," celebrating an executive order from President Obama creating a White House Council on Women and Girls. Swarns didn't challenge the liberal myth about women being paid 78 cents for every dollar men make (in that case, why don't companies only hire women and reap the savings?).
Swarns "reporting" could have come straight off a press release:
CNN correspondent Randi Kaye gushed over the “dynamic duo” of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, whom she heralded as “a powerful duo -- a duo women want on their side.” The two first ladies had made a joint appearance at President Obama’s announcement of the new White House Council for Women and Girls, and Kaye’s report, which aired on Wednesday’s Anderson Cooper 360, made it seem like it was the best thing since sliced bread. Kaye saved her most laudatory language for the two at the conclusion of her report: “Today was a good day to be a woman.”
Host Anderson Cooper introduced Kaye’s segment by labeling the two first ladies as “two of the most visible champions, perhaps, of women’s rights in the country.” A graphic accompanying Cooper on-screen proclaimed the “dynamic duo” of Obama and Clinton. During the rest of the report, another graphic applauded the “Obama-Clinton power duo.”
President George W. Bush had a female First Lady and a woman as Secretary of State, but NBC's Brian Williams on Wednesday night hailed, as the fulfillment of President Barack Obama's promise of “change,” how he has a “power duo” in a woman First Lady and a female Secretary of State. Williams cooed, with “Women of Distinction” as the on-screen heading:
President Obama won the presidency promising change. There was more evidence of that in Washington today. His wife, now First Lady, Michelle Obama, and his former rival, now Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady herself, joining arms, joining forces. A study in style, substance and power, really.
Pegging her story to Michelle Obama's visit to the State Department, reporter Andrea Mitchell touted “two strong women coming together of after a tough campaign” and how “two of the world's most powerful women” are now “both role models.”
On Tuesday's "Nightline," ABC gushed over Michelle Obama with the enthusiasm and objectivity usually reserved for "Access Hollywood" reporters. Correspondent Yunji de Nies lauded the "rock star" first lady for her fashion sense and for speaking openly about balancing work and family. "Nightline" co-anchor Cynthia McFadden asserted that "with her muscular arms and outfits, she's become, well, a model first lady."
De Nies talked with liberal Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, who has written for years about D.C. style. Asked about a recent Michelle Obama spread in Vogue magazine, Quinn enthused, "Well, for one thing, I think she's a sexual person. The pictures are attractive. They're womanly. They're sexy, but not in an overt way." She then went on to assert that Washington has often tried to force women to downplay their sexuality. This prompted de Nies to breathlessly wonder, "Is Washington and the world ready for such a modern first lady?"
During the 8:30AM EST half hour of Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Russ Mitchell introduced a fawning news brief on Michelle Obama’s first 50 days as First Lady: "In the seven weeks since the new President was inaugurated, the new glamorous First Lady has found her place in a glamorous world. Thalia Assuras has a look at Michelle Obama's successful new life." Assuras began her report: "Everyone wants an invitation to her parties. She's graced several magazine covers. Even Oprah is giving up a slice for the first time. She's the focus of fashionistas, those buff arms igniting commentary, and websites produce constant chatter."
Assuras went on to describe how Michellle Obama had surpassed other First Ladies: "Michelle Obama has created a stir like no other First Lady...Style watchers caution that all new First Ladies cause excitement, but Mrs. Obama is a celebrity who embodies a new generation...That thing, that polls show, produces more positives than recent First Ladies at the outset of past administrations."
Assuras spoke with Washington Post gossip columnist Amy Argetsinger, who exclaimed: "People are sort of reacting to her the way they would to a movie star...She's the youngest First Lady we've had in a while, but she's also got a charisma about her. She's got the height of a fashion model, she looks great in clothes. And, you know, there's kind of that Jackie O thing going on." Following Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal giving the Republican response to Barack Obama’s address to Congress last week, Argetsinger remarked about Jindal: "I found his [pyschotic killer Charles] Manson eyes disturbing."
Oprah Winfrey's been resoundingly in the tank for Barack and Michelle Obama for several years now. On her show the other day, she touted how the Obamas would show the nation how to have family dinner together each night (as if they accomplished that on the campaign trail). On her show Friday, Oprah announced that someone else would share the cover of O Magazine: Michelle Obama, of course.
It's not going to be a hard-hitting story. Oprah's website promises:
Our new First Lady on the surprises of life in the White House ("If you want pie, there's pie! If something breaks, it's fixed. In an hour")...
For all the majesty of the White House, the First Lady has already infused it with a palpable ease; her presence makes the place feel open and approachable. When we sit down to talk, she seems as relaxed as she did when I first interviewed her and her husband in their Chicago apartment in 2004. "This room has the best light in the house," she tells me as we settle in, shoes off, on a comfortable sofa. "And there's pie here, too. The pie in the White House is dangerously good...."
The Obamas, Barack and Michelle both, pretty much diplomatically botched the recent visit of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his wife. Oddly enough, the U.S. Old Media seems uninterested in the story that is a hot topic in England, a story that's left many Brits a bit miffed.
As the visit of the national leader of our closest ally began, the President informed the Brits that he wouldn't be attending the joint press conference that was planned to be held once PM Brown's plane touched down. This threw the visiting delegation into a tizzy leaving them scrambling to explain the sudden change in plans to the folks back home. Still, meetings were had and things smoothed out. Eventually the visit seemed to right itself... then came the Obama's gift gaffes.
CNN commentator Jack Cafferty flat out admitted in a CNN.com commentary on Tuesday that he is “developing a crush on America’s first lady,” Michelle Obama: “Michelle Obama is more compelling than her husband. He’s good, but she’s utterly fascinating....Mrs. Obama has blown away the stale air in a White House musty from eight years of the Bushes. It’s like the sun came out and a fresh spring breeze began wafting through the open windows.”
Such high praise for a member of the Obama family isn’t something new for Cafferty. Almost a week earlier, the CNN commentator gushed over President Obama’s seeming calm in the midst of all the serious issues that the country faces: “...[O]ur president seems remarkably unruffled by all of this, serene in an inner confidence that he’s got what it takes to lead this country back into the sunlight.”
Teasing a fawning segment on First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric declared: "And the lady of the house feeling right at home." Couric later introduced the segment: "And finally tonight, ever since Abigail Adams moved into the White House in 1800, every First Lady has brought her own personal touch to the executive mansion, and the city of Washington. As Bill Plante tells us, the new First Lady is busy making her mark."
White House Correspondent Bill Plante gave a glowing review of the First Lady’s first month: "For Michelle Obama, welcoming famous Americans to the White House seems effortless...But the new First Lady goes from traditionally elegant and formal to relaxed and casual with ease. Just days before this tribute to Stevie Wonder, she charmed culinary students in the White House kitchen, talking about how tough it is to get her kids to eat vegetables...Michelle Obama's been to all the usual places around Washington -- the Kennedy Center, Fords Theater, and nationally, she's been on the covers of Vogue and People magazine...After a month, it's already clear that Michelle Obama won't be content to stay behind these well-guarded gates at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
Plante concluded his report by observing: "She's also been touring government agencies, but it's her message to local children that seems most important to her. As she tells them over and over, you, too, can be President or First Lady...And it's her ability to connect that could make her mark as First Lady."