Zoltan Newberry, an older Princeton alumn, commented on Michelle Obama’s Princeton career on Quora.
Like Michelle Obama, I was a very fortunate high school student who got into Princeton. When I visited for my admissions interview I couldnâ€™t believe how beautiful the campus was and how smart all the students looked. It just got better and better once I was there, and as I discovered nooks and crannies and trails and fields and meadows which made the campus a wonderful place to relax under a tree with a book. My family refused to apply for a scholarship and went without vacations, dining out and even went without butter for four years. I had a job selling tickets for Princeton games, and worked every summer in restaurants or on construction crews. I wasnâ€™t well prepared for the academic rigors of a top university. My freshman year, a professor told me I couldnâ€™t write, so I learned how to organize and write a serious essay, junior paper and even scored honors on my Senior Thesis about the Russian emigre author, Ivan Bunin. The best part was making friends with so many bright people at Princeton and at â€˜sister schoolsâ€™ like Vassar. Some of my friends came from wealthy families and were graduates of great prep schools like Groton and Andover. Most of my friends were middle class like me or very needy scholarship students who sent their dirty laundry home because it was cheaper that way. Many of them were expected to work for their scholarships at exhausting jobs serving meals at our dining commons. They had to get up super early to serve us breakfast and then go on to class.
About 20 years after I graduated, along came Michelle Obama on a full boat scholarship which came with spending money and no campus work requirements. Her first thought upon arriving at that beautiful campus was not, â€œAm I a lucky kid, or what?â€ Instead, her first thought was, â€œWhere is MY trust fund?â€ It went downhill from there. Her social life was confined to only the kids she met at â€œThe Third World Clubâ€ . She made no effort to get along with the many undergraduates who were sincere believers in civil rights, some of whom had parents like me who demonstrated for Civil Rights in the â€˜50â€™s and â€˜60â€™s. She took gut courses in â€˜Black Studiesâ€™ and Sociology, and according to the late, great and very liberal writer, Christopher Hitchens, her mandatory senior thesis was â€œwritten in SOME UNKNOWN LANGUAGEâ€â€¦. It was a long winded, word salad, complaining about how Princeton was such a terrible place for black kids who could never feel at home there.
Never mind how different and how pleasant her education could have been, had she only known how to be open and friendlyâ€¦ if only she understood how important it is to be grateful when other non related people do wonderful things for you.
She assumed the vast majority of her fellow students were irredeemable racists, and she still seems obsessed with race to this day. Instead of feeling very thankful about getting to go to one of the worldâ€™s greatest universities for free, she was bitter, and she remains bitter.
Now, she has public relations staffers, publicists, and image consultants who try to create a fake image of a wise and loving woman who really cares about all people. But her racialist and separatist slip keeps showing with the bitter things which slip from her lips in her speeches and interviews, especially at historically black colleges where she tells wonderful, aspiring young people that theyâ€™ll face endemic racism everywhere. This was especially evident in her weird trip to Target with a large entourage when she was our First Ladyâ€¦Shortly after maybe her first ever visit as an adult to a discount department store, (she and her girls are well known customers at J Crew), she went on one of those vapid morning TV shows, and complained bitterly about all the â€˜racismâ€™ she endured during her 30 minute visit to Target..
Maybe her sudden promotion to the elite and super rich in America can be some kind of lesson about how ridiculous this nonsense about â€˜racismâ€™ really is.. Sheâ€™s one of the super rich nowâ€¦ She owns great mansions in Chicago and D.Câ€¦. Yet, she still has no clue that her wealth and status would not exist without millions of white people who believed in her con man husband and her, voted for him, and sent her to Princeton on a â€œfull boatâ€™ scholarship when she was still a very ungrateful girl.
My posting, like Dinesh D’Souza’s tweet, was prompted by Michelle’s recent book tour remark: “I have been at every powerful table you can think of…They are not that smart”
Tim Mostert puts the Obama presidential portraits in the right perspective.
The recently unveiled Obama portraits are of a type that I have seen many times in my career as an artist and art historian. The poses are wooden, the compositions hackneyed, and both subjects have obviously been copied from photographs. To make up for the technical weakness of the painting’s execution, the artist relies on gimmicks to drag their image over the finish line, hoping that that will mask his limited technical abilities, or at least divert attention from them.
The official portrait is part of an old tradition perfected by Renaissance painters more than 500 years ago. The artists were generally painting powerful old men, who tended to be a bit ugly. To make up for what lacked in the sitter’s physical beauty, the artist would emphasize the internal. A great painting of a king or pope tells you something about the subject’s inner thoughts, his psyche. The image is more about what’s going on inside his head rather than the outer trappings of his position or status. Great paintings by Titian and VelÃ¡zquez show us the most powerful men in their world, but we feel we know them intimately. This is what a great artist can do with simple paint and canvas â€“ no copying photographs, no assembly line of assistants doing most of the work, and no gimmicks to hide their lack of ability.
The Obama portraits are a sad reflection on how bad a choice someone can make when given the opportunity to do something great.
Think of the position of absolute privilege you would be in, if you could choose any artist in the world to paint your portrait. No ceiling on the budget. You can choose any artist, and he will immortalize, knowing he will be paid handsomely, and his work will be prominently displayed in the prestigious National Portrait Gallery. Bizarrely, you base your choice on political affiliation and race rather than artistic ability. If we chose pilots and surgeons in the same way, most of us would be dead.
Rich Lowry adds another large one to the First Lady’s list of personal affronts.
Michelle Obama gave a commencement address at Tuskegee University that was a ringing call for the graduates not to be discouraged by her whining.
Much of the first ladyâ€™s speech was what is right and proper for a Tuskegee commencement, drawing on the story of the determination and skill of the Tuskegee Airmen. But she devoted a long passage to her own struggles that was off key and characteristically self-pitying.
Few women in modern America have been the focus of as much adulation as Michelle Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law School graduate who was making almost $270,000 by the time her husband was elected senator. She is routinely lionized for her beauty and her public spiritedness.
Yet, the first lady often strikes an aggrieved note when talking about her experience in America (her notorious comment in 2008 was that â€œfor the first time in my adult lifetime Iâ€™m really proud of my country.â€). Her gloss on the famous Wallis Simpson line is apparently that you can never be too rich, too thin or too easily offended.
At Tuskegee, she related a series of inconsequential gibes or perceived insults mostly from 2008 that, for her, loom large enough to share with graduating seniors years later.
The first lady cited a controversial New Yorker cover during that campaign of her sporting an Angela Davis-style Afro and a gun. The image was meant to satirize â€œmisconceptions and prejudicesâ€ about the Obamas, in the words of the publicationâ€™s editor, David Remnick.
The first lady said â€œit knocked me back a bit.â€ Give her this: Few of us know the pain of being featured on a cover of one of the nationâ€™s most respected magazines in a spoof meant to illustrate how our critics are mean-spirited loons.
(Remnick went on to further demonstrate his hostility to the Obamas by writing an admiring 672-page biography of the president.) …
In her Tuskegee address, at least Michelle Obama urged the graduates not to be daunted by slights (and more meaningful obstacles, like rotten schools). She commended to them the example of herself, â€œthe fully-formed first lady who stands before you today.â€
Even though Michelle Obama didnâ€™t mention the word, what she was discussing was â€œmicroaggressions.â€ It is the trendy term on college campuses for often inadvertent offensiveness, such as Barack Obama, once upon a time, being mistaken for a waiter when he wore a tuxedo at an event.
The idiocy of the concept of the microaggression is its underlying premise that only people who belong to certain select groups ever suffer indignities or humiliations, when they are, of course, endemic to the human condition. George Orwell once said that every life seen from the inside is a series of defeats.
The President of the United States bows before the Emperor of Japan
The LA Times reports that the Chosen One bent low again, this time to Akihito, 125th Emperor of Japan.
Obama’s bow to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last April produced widespread criticism as a violation of American Republican principle and protocol. Many Americans believe it is profoundly inappropriate for the President of the United States to render honors acknowledging the superiority of any monarch since the American Republic by its Declaration of Independence rejected monarchy and the claim of unelected rulers to reign on the basis of divine authority.
Oddly enough, Obama reserves, it seems, his gestures of supreme respect for Worthy Oriental Gentlemens. He merely nodded to Queen Elizabeth. In the case of Queen Elizabeth, Michelle Obama made gestures in quite the opposite direction, hugging the Queen and later even patting her affectionately on the back.
Last April’s obeisance to the “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”
(W)hat is happening is that through the â€œeconomic emergency,â€ Obama is trying to implement Randâ€™s fictitious â€œDirective 10-289,â€ which is what the the combination of â€œstimulus package,â€ unsupervised TARP bailouts, â€œCap and Trade,â€ and â€œHealth Care Reformâ€ equal when they are rammed down your throats without discussion (or even the reading of the details) by your supposed â€œrepresentativesâ€ in the national government.
He quotes none other than Michelle Obama herself, telling an audience at UCLA last year:
Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime.
Barack is more than ready. Heâ€™ll be ready today, heâ€™ll be ready on day one, heâ€™ll be ready in a year from now, five years from now â€“ he is ready.
That is not the question. The question is: What are we ready for?
Wait, wait, wait â€“ because we say weâ€™re ready for change, we say weâ€™re ready for change, butcha see, change is HARD.
Change will always be hard, and it doesnâ€™t happen from the top down.
We do not get universal health care, we donâ€™t get better schools because somebody else is in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be â€“ when they decide to roll up their sleeves and work.
And Barack Obama will require you to work.
He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.
Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual â€“ uninvolved, uninformedâ€¦
Who knows? Like the Khmer Rouge, he may decide to march urban populations out of energy consuming cities for resettlement at collective farm settlements in the countryside, too.
After Barack Obama became an Illinois state legislator, his wife moved up as well, scoring a job as ‘vice president of community relations’ at the University Of Chicago Hospital for a very generous salary of $121,910. When Obama became a senator in 2005, her ‘salary’ leapfrogged to $$316,962 for the same job…and one of Senator Obama’s first acts in office was to see to it that the hospital received over a million dollars of your tax dollars as an earmark.
And Steve Gilbert notes Michelle Obama recently resigned her job to take on the role of First Lady, having been on a leave of absence since May of 2007 to participate in the presidential campaign.
Despite being on leave of absence, Michelle Obama received $62,709 in compensation from University of Chicago Hospitals last year. Less than her full salary, but not bad for a no-show job.
Now that Michelle has moved on to bigger things, the University of Chicago Hospitals has found that it doesn’t really need a vice president of community relations after all, and has simply eliminated the position.
Isn’t it wonderful that we have such noble and disinterested people rising to the top in American public life?
The July 21, 2008 issue of the New Yorker features a cover cartoon of B. Hussein Obama and his wife Michelle in the Oval Office looking more or less the way some of us are prone to imagine they might some day.
The New Yorker’s intention was to satirize right wing images of the Obamas, but some people in politics have no sense of humor, and both campaigns were quick to get all pious and sanctimonious about it.
The Obama campaign, as well as the campaign of Republican rival John McCain, slammed the cover as offensive:
“The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama’s right-wing critics have tried to create,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement, reported by Politico. “But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree.”
“We completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement.
Transgressing the boundaries of convention is precisely what makes a lot of the best kind of humor funny. Besides, cartoonist Barry Blitt isn’t really endorsing the viewpoint of the Obamas depicted in the cartoon. He’s mocking it, and poking fun at people like me who think that image isn’t so very far off the mark.
Conservatives do have a sense of humor, though, so I am able to find it funny, even if I am one of the targets of the satire. Kudos, Barry Blitt.
Those looking for more laughs this morning need only to scan the Comments section of this posting over at HuffPo. A lot of the lefties are, as the saying goes, having a cow.