I was happy enough to criticize Barack Obama when his presidency disappointed me, or in the times he failed to live up to the delicious promise of hope and change. But even after watching Michelle Obama own the Democratic National Convention stage in a far better speech than Hillary Clinton gave after her, tarnishing an already tarnished nominee by comparison, for me Michelle Obama is wrapped in the gauze of happy memories. I liked her so much. First Ladies don’t owe us like presidents do, but there are differences in what each brings to the White House, and how they subtly redefine American life for us simply by being icons living at the address every American knows. Michelle Obama brought fresh vegetables to the forefront, and taught Washington school children how to grow food for their families, and made sure that after a sample of her garden’s produce made it onto the White House table, most of it quietly went to homeless shelters, which often have more canned food than fresh. [Melania’s keeping the garden btw]. She exuded achievable health, an interesting echo to Obamacare, exercising frequently with kids joyous to bounce around with her. She was unstuffy, elegant, academic-minded, and entirely herself. Fierce. And for eight years she lent us our two stellar girls, and they emerged from their eight years from all accounts normal and accomplished, due to both their parents and Michelle’s mother Marian Robinson, who lived upstairs on Pennsylvania Avenue.
I miss her. So, apparently does Meryl Streep – who is claimed by Summit, Bernardsville and Basking Ridge – enough to carry her around wherever she goes.
Michelle Obama will be in Philly in October at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, it was announced today. In case anything going on now makes you nostalgic for what used to be. In case you need a fix.