Archive | 12:49 am

Maturity, Refinement and Class for (Political) Dummies

18 Feb

How often do we watch interviews where we see or hear someone in the political arena address their rehearsed and overstated talking points, daftly debate with the interviewer, then slay and bad mouth their political adversaries or those who simply chose to have a different political philosophy than they?

It almost seems as if journalists, news networks and politicians nationwide all have this singular template from which they develop these overly generic and “done to death” exclusive interviews.  I mean seriously, whether it’s John Kyl or Nancy Pelosi, Scott Brown or Al Franken, we can expect to hear from them, their support/opposition to healthcare reform, the necessity/extravagance of the Corporate Bail Out Plan and any number of other opposing views based on party-specific initiatives/legislation which seems to continually divide the United States.  Seldom do we get to hear politicians who amicably agree to disagree, or who assuage the concerns of the American people by pledging to find common ground for the advancement of this nation not only within their own party, but across party lines as well.

…Then there’s Michelle Obama.  She isn’t a politician per se, but she certainly finds herself in the mother of all contemporary political relationships as the better half to this country’s commander-in-chief. Know however, that this attorney-turned first lady is not some shrinking violet who is decked out in an apron and pearls, fluffing pillows in the Lincoln Sitting Room or meandering through the North Lawn on a lazy Monday afternoon with Bo in tow. She is a mother, career woman, a support system for the president and a fierce advocate for military families and causes aimed at enriching the lives of America’s youth.  But it is not her professional prowess and resume I want to discuss in this post, but instead her grace and prudence, even in the face of obstinacy, and situations where she would be totally  justified in “dressing down” her detractors.

On a recent installment of Larry King Live, the Suspendered One welcomed Lady O to the show to discuss the life and times of a first lady, as well as her new campaign against childhood obesity.  For a while, King asked the requisite questions that most reporters and journalists would inquire of the first lady, and Michelle patiently responded in kind.  It wasn’t until King focused his questions on one of the current administration’s harshest critics, that I perked up and secretly hoped ‘Chelle from the Chi would emerge from the depths of the polished woman sitting before the American people with an Ochocinco-esque “chile please!”

But alas, with sophistication and composure well intact, the first lady instead answered King’s inferences about the ever-hungry-political-media-hog, Sarah Palin pragmatically:

“I think it’s wonderful to have strong female voices out there, but I don’t know her…Democracy is about critique and the president is not immune to criticism…I [however] think he’s doing a phenomenal job.”

See politicians, was that so hard?  It stands to reason that Michelle probably can’t stand Sarah Palin (and for the sake of Sasha and Malia likely prays that she never catches old girl in a dark alley for the way that the woman insults her husband) but what does Mrs. Obama do?  She takes the high road, indirectly applauding Palin’s talking head aspirations while issuing a veiled dismissal of the Alaskan loon before finally proceeding on to uplift her husband.  It just goes to show that even in politics, you are entitled to dislike anyone and everyone to your hearts content, but for the sake of the American people and the political process, it would do everyone well to play affably in the political sandbox. 

Let’s hope that CNN will convert this interview into a “How to Be Civil in Politics” tutorial and make it available at the next DNC and RNC Spring Meetings. 

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