Provided by Fox News
February 19, 2008
Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, is under fire for leaving the impression that she hasn’t been proud of her country until now, when Democrats are beginning to rally around her husband’s campaign.
Speaking in Milwaukee, Wis., on Monday, she said, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”
Greeted with rousing applause after making the comment in Milwaukee, Obama delivered an amended version of the speech later that day in Madison, Wis.
“For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country … not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change,” she said. “I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.”
Obama was born in 1964, meaning her adult life began in 1982. Critics quickly seized on the newfound national pride.
“I am proud of my country,” John McCain’s wife, Cindy, said at a campaign stop in Brookfield, Wis., Tuesday. “I don’t know if you heard those words earlier … but I am very proud of my country.”
Peace and Freedom Thought:
Knowing that the Republican front runner was a former military man and POW alone should have forced Mrs. Obama to think through her remark a bit better. This was a gigantic gaffe for a liberal who will now be branded, and maybe appropriately, by many as un-American.
By Greg Pierce
The Washington Times
February 20, 2008
Comments uttered by Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, in Wisconsin on Monday have led some conservative bloggers and pundits to question her patriotism. The Obama campaign said her remarks were misinterpreted.
During a rally in the Milwaukee, Mrs. Obama said that “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am proud of my country, because it feels like home is finally making a comeback.”
Later in the day, during a rally in Madison, Mrs. Obama altered the phrase’s meaning by adding the word “really” — “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country.”
A spokeswoman for Mrs. Obama said any assumption that Mrs. Obama hasn’t always been proud to be an American is false.
“In the context of her remarks, her point is clear — of course Michelle is proud of her country,” Katie McCormick Lelyveld told reporter Sean Lengell of The Washington Times.
“What she meant is that she’s really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who’ve never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grass-roots movement for change.”
Political strategists and pollsters contacted yesterday said the incident will have little or no negative impact on the Obama campaign.
David Winston, a Republican strategist and pollster, said because Mrs. Obama had made no controversial statements previously, voters will pay little attention to her comment.
“Once is an incident; twice is a pattern,” Mr. Winston said.
Bud Jackson, a Democratic media consultant, said only political foes of Mr. Obama will infer that his wife is not a proud American.
“They are going to agree with the spirit of what she is saying that they are especially proud that the country appears more engaged than ever and ready for a change,” Mr. Winston said.
“Michelle Obama [on Monday] said that ‘for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction,’ ” John Podhoretz notes in a blog at www. commentarymagazine.com.
“Really proud of her country for the first time? Michelle Obama is 44 years old. She has been an adult since 1982. Can it really be there has not been a moment during that time when she felt proud of her country?” Mr. Podhoretz asked.
“Forget matters like the victory in the Cold War; how about only things that have made liberals proud — all the accomplishments of inclusion? How about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1991? Or Ruth Bader Ginsburg‘s elevation to the Supreme Court? Or Carol Moseley Braun‘s election to the Senate in 1998? How about the merely humanitarian, like this country’s startling generosity to the victims of the tsunami? I’m sure commenters can think of hundreds more landmarks of this sort. Didn’t she even get a twinge from, say, the Olympics?
“Mrs. Obama was speaking at a campaign rally, so it is easy to assume she was merely indulging in hyperbole. Even so, it is very revealing.
“It suggests, first, that the pseudo-messianic nature of the Obama candidacy is very much a part of the way the Obamas themselves are feeling about it these days. If they don’t get a hold of themselves, the family vanity is going to swell up to the size of Phileas Fogg’s hot-air balloon and send the two of them soaring to heights of self-congratulatory solipsism that we’ve never seen before.
“Second, it suggests the Obama campaign really does have its roots in New Class leftism, according to which patriotism is not only the last refuge of a scoundrel, but the first refuge as well — that America is not fundamentally good but flawed, but rather fundamentally flawed and only occasionally good. There’s something for John McCain to work with here.”