Nitpicking the News Vol. III: The First Marriage

I am am captivated by this New York Times magazine article on the marriage of our President Rocky & First Lady Shelly. It's been a while since you guys heard those nicknames I gave them during the campaign, huh? I'd almost forgotten about them! This post doesn't necessarily fit into the nitpicking category since I heart this article by Jodi Kantor. As magazine articles are so relentlessly long, I excerpted here my favorite passages with my comments (if any) following denoted by an asterisk. I also rearranged some of the passages to make them flow better because I've omitted such huge chunks but unless denoted by an asterisk, the words are from Kantor's reportage. Enjoy.

"I’m married to the president of the United States."
*There's nothing special about this other than I'm excited that a black woman can say that! :)

Campaigns often prove toxic to participants’ personal lives, but [presidential adviser Valerie] Jarrett says the Obamas’ relationship improved in the crucible of the race. “They both rallied to each other’s defense and support,” she says. “By having to work hard at it, it strengthened their marriage.”

“If my ups and downs, our ups and downs in our marriage can help young couples sort of realize that good marriages take work. . . .” Michelle Obama said a few minutes later in the interview. The image of a flawless relationship is “the last thing that we want to project,” she said. “It’s unfair to the institution of marriage, and it’s unfair for young people who are trying to build something, to project this perfection that doesn’t exist.”

“What do you think you could accomplish that other candidates couldn’t?” Michelle asked, according to [consultant David] Axelrod. The question hung in the air. Clearly, an Obama agenda would not look very different from that of Hillary Clinton or John Edwards.

“When I take that oath of office, there will be kids all over this country who don’t really think that all paths are open to them, who will believe they can be anything they want to be,” Barack replied. “And I think the world will look at America a little differently.”
* Le sigh.

When cable shows, bloggers and opponents fixated on her — on her supposed lack of patriotism, her supposedly angry streak — Barack was irate.
* Tell me how much you loved this!! I was SWOONING! I was working in news and didn't necessarily consider it news but as a person? LOOOOOOVED!!

The Obamas mix politics and romance in a way that no first couple quite have before. They also seem unusually willing, for a presidential couple, to kiss, touch and flirt in public. It may be that they are broadcasting their affection to the rest of us, an advertisement of their closeness. Or they may simply be holding tightly to each other as they navigate new and uncertain terrain. “Part of what they provide each other with is emotional safety,” Jarrett explained. Photograph after official White House photograph has shown the Obamas gazing into each other’s eyes while performing one or another official function.
* The pictures are soooo cute!

Marian Robinson, the first lady’s mother, has settled in (unaccustomed to being waited on, she won’t let the staff do the laundry). Last spring, according to Sher, well-meaning White House residence staff members tried to give the girls cellphones, so their parents could always reach them; the first lady stepped in to refuse.
* Clearly part of the reason I love them as a first family is because they seem so down to earth, so normal, so attainable. They make it look like something our children really can have if they so desire.

The equality of any partnership “is measured over the scope of the marriage. It’s not just four years or eight years or two,” the first lady said. “We’re going to be married for a very long time.”
*Let the church say, "AAAAAAMEN!"


DaniColoredGlasses said...

I saved the article to my bookmarks...It's like a fantastic short story....hmm...I hope once he's out of office that they do a his/her book on marriage...Counterpoint, hilarity, honesty...Love it

Ladynay said...

They are a super adorable power couple hands down. Love it!

Rashan Jamal said...

I was really pleasantly surprised to read this post after the title. I was expecting a bad article.

Rocky and Shelly are awesome!!!

Momisodes said...

I have to say that I loved her response of not wanting to project a flawless marriage, that it is unfair.

Such an honest and true response.

It's been wonderful watching their dynamic couple.

Adei von K said...

they are awesome!

abd to piggyback Rashan, I was expecting a bad post too. 'nitpicking the news' conjures up you slicing and dicing idiots who call themselves journalists.

Jameil said...

dani... it really is. that is a GREAT idea! they should totally do that. bring in some more money! lol. i'd buy it!

lady... yep! me too!!

rj... i know. THEY ARE!!

momisodes... EXACTLY!! i can't help but smile when I see them together!

adei... usually slicing and dicing but this time, nope!