If you believe former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama is a “hen-pecked” husband who is subservient to his wife, Michelle. Of course, Blago is currently on trial for federal fraud and bribery charges, so it might be best to take his assertions with a grain of salt.
From The Chicago Tribune:
Rod Blagojevich is not exactly emerging as a shining example of enlightened feminist-friendly rhetoric in the undercover recordings being played at his trial this afternoon.
An example is a conversation he held with chief of staff John Harris on Nov. 7, 2008, in which the two were still discussing Blagojevich’s plans to swap a Senate appointment for a post in the Obama administration or some high-paying job in the private sector.
The two were reviewing talks with union officials they perceived to be emissaries of Obama. Blagojevich said the emissaries didn’t seem to know exactly what to make of his swap request.
“Barack really wants to get away from Illinois politics,” said Blagojevich, laughing.
Eventually the talk got around to a suggestion that they try a different route to convey the swap idea to the president: through soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama.
“He’s a lot more hen-pecked than me,” Blagojevich said. “He listens to Michelle.”
You know, I don’t know what the hell Blagojevich’s problem is. It’s like he missed the whole “You don’t talk smack about other people because you never know who is listening” thing. Didn’t they have teenage drama at his school? “Rod Blagojevich said that Harry said that Patti thinks you like me.” Was that gossipy who-started-it thing somehow missing at Foreman High School in Chicago?
Family is clearly important to Michelle Obama, as are all American children (for example, she is tackling issues such as childhood obesity as First Lady). However, it’s important to remember that she’s an intelligent, confident woman in her own right — I mean, I can’t say that I graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School or gave a keynote at a major conference. Dismissing Michelle Obama as just a housewife hounding her husband is a slap in the face to her many and varied accomplishments, and that’s just sad. Is Blago jealous or something?
Zelda Lily has actually examined the Obama marriage before, referencing an article written by New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor. Politics Daily offers some additional insights about Barack and Michelle Obama, the couple:
– They exercise together in the morning and don’t start public events until 9 or 10 a.m.
– The White House residence has just been redecorated. Obama helped picked colors and patterns.
– The president privately mulled over Supreme Court appointees with Mrs. Obama.
– Obama’s wedding ring is “an intricate gold design from Indonesia, where he had lived as a boy.” Mrs. Obama’s ring is traditional.
– For Mrs. Obama’s 44th birthday — occurring during the presidential campaign — he asked one of her staffers, Melissa Winter, to handle getting her gift, a silver pendant necklace, properly wrapped.
– When Mrs. Obama was in a rough patch during the campaign, what with her patriotism being questioned and all, Obama “met with Fox executives Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes in part to insist that they treat her more respectfully.”
— White House residence staff last spring wanted to give Malia and Sasha cellphones; Mrs. Obama refused the offer.
It seems to me that the Obama marriage is full of ups and downs, differences and similarities, good times and challenges. In short, it’s like any marriage. For Rod freaking Blagojevich to slam Michelle Obama that way speaks to his lack of social graces, something Mrs. Obama by all accounts possesses in abundance.
Do you think Blagojevich was out of line here, or am I overreacting (again)?