The PJ Tatler

Let's Move (Away From The Office of First Lady as a Power Center)

The Harvard Crimson quite correctly notes the disturbing way Democrat First Ladies seem to view their jobs–as yet another power center. To illustrate, the author notes our own busy mom, fashion icon and food guru, Michelle Obama. I think he has a point:

Perhaps it is a little crass to lament the tendency of fashionistas across the land to behave as if they were coerced at gunpoint into a compact to swoon over Mrs. Obama’s every outfit, no matter how tawdry or undignified (sleeveless may or may not be trendy—hell if I know—but it is not puritanical to value decorum). And perhaps it is a little crass to bemoan such national embarrassments as the scuttled attempt to fund Mrs. Obama’s pet project by cutting food stamp funding or her preposterous assertion that obesity is a matter of national security (if obesity is a national security issue, then quite literally anything can be a national security issue). Perhaps it is a little crass to engage in ad hominem attacks against someone whose only crime was to marry a future president. But was that really Mrs. Obama’s only crime?

Shorn of a real job since her husband’s election but eager to maintain the guise of productivity, Obama has busied herself with her “Let’s Move” initiative. Perhaps it can be forgiven that every First Lady arrives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with the expectation that she is to jettison any erstwhile frumpiness in order to fulfill her new role as the nation’s flagship fashion icon while fruitlessly championing some innocuous initiative. The fulfillment of this expectation is little more than a public nuisance. But when the First Lady begins to dabble in legislative activism, it contributes to a more nefarious phenomenon—the institutionalization of the Office of the First Lady as a power center in American government.