First Lady, Michelle Obama recently said:
The one thing that people don’t realize is that we can’t do little things like open windows. I look forward to getting in a car and rolling down the window and just letting the air hit my face.
Some Conservative pundits have latched onto this saying that Michelle is a whiner, a complainer, an ingrate. I mean, after all, she’s living in the White House. Certainly there must be perks to living in the White House?!
I’m not so sure that she’s complaining. Maybe she is. She’s certainly complained about other things in the past. But lately, I find myself sticking up for her. This one, I’m on the fence about.
People who are thrust into the limelight are known to lament the loss of simple freedoms that us average folks take for granted. For instance, it’s probably hard to just run down to the local mall to try on shoes without being mobbed by adoring fans and haters all at the same time. Does anyone really think she’d be able to enjoy a nice peaceful outing alone? No way.
Likewise, being First Lady not only puts her in the limelight, but also puts her at risk. There are plenty of State’s enemies and just plain crazy people who’d love nothing more than to take a potshot at the First Lady or snatch a First Daughter out of an open White House window (and don’t even try to tell me how secure the White House is!) Hence, the closed house and car windows. It’s a matter of National Security!
And while I feel for her a little bit, my empathy only goes so far. She and her husband signed up for this gig willingly. In fact, they exerted a lot of effort to attain it. It wasn’t without forethought. There are prices to pay for every choice we make. A little loss of freedom in exchange for the opportunity to shape the greatest nation in the world and influence other nations… it’s a small price to pay.
But I do wonder, sometimes, if she’s not doing some of this “complaining” to try to be more relate-able to us average folks. From the outside looking in, it would seem that she lives quite the carefree, glamorous life. Maybe she’s just “keepin’ it real” and letting us know that it’s not all a bed of roses? But seriously, if not being able to hang her head out a car window is the biggest thing she has to complain about, she doesn’t understand the plight of millions of Americans!
She went on to say:
“I just want some wind in my face,” joking that when the couple leaves the White House she plans to “spend the first year just hanging out the window.”
I hate to be the one to break it to her… but that probably won’t be an option even after she leaves the White House. I guess no one told her about that Secret Service detail who’ll be with her… forever.
Photo credit US Department of Agriculture