Why Michelle Obama is my gal

I am a chump for a good love story. For a rational human being, I have the most irrational way of choosing whom to vote for – I vote for the person who loves their spouse the most. I realize most people don’t think about that stuff, unless there’s a scandal brewing. But are we not most vulnerable and exposed when it comes to who we choose to spend a majority of our lives with? [I gathered an updated roundup of Huffington Post’s Photos of the four candidates and their spouses at the end of this post, so you can judge for yourself!]

I was a Hillary supporter. In fact, the birth of this blog was that I would not shut up about how Hillary was My Gal and Sarah Palin was NOT my gal. I said it enough times that my annoyed friends finally said “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.” So I did, and here we are. And while people might say all sorts of things about Senator Clinton, she’s still my gal. She stood by her man, love her or hate her for that. It breaks my heart that a woman so dedicated to helping others didn’t win. But she cracked that ceiling, and inhabits a place in my heart forever.

Michelle Obama is most definitely my gal, too. In fact, she helped me heal when Hillary lost. So I’ll cop to a weakness. Every once in a while I’ll “accidentally” buy Us Weekly at the grocery store. This was right after the primary, and the cover story was about Mrs. Obama, about her personal journey, her family. How can I not look up to her? Our upbringing shares a lot of common themes, and I admire her drive and her focus. She was my first step to supporting Senator Obama. This woman fulfills her potential with a style and grace I can only hope to emulate.

The picture above just slays me, every time I see it. Despite the ugliness that we’ve seen, and will see, I see this picture and I am moved in such a profound way. The ugliness recedes into thin air. Isn’t it time that we had leaders who we could look up to? Who live their authentic voice through their actions and their words? I was just my usual late self in waking up and realizing that the old way of doing things – the hyper-manicuring of public image, the affectation, the spin – is over. You cannot fake the quiet strength and love between these two people, the bedrock of their partnership. Watching Senator McCain and Cindy McCain interact is downright painful to watch, in comparison.

So in this last week, when we are all – on both sides of the aisle – ridiculously tired, strung out and thoroughly exhausted, I am at peace. While I was late to the party, my heart is filled to bursting to vote the way I will. I can’t wait to live in a country where our leaders finally inspire us again, where we look up to people who live an authenticity we hope to express in our own lives. Who love their wives and husbands and children in a public way. Isn’t that what being a feminist is? To be with someone who let’s you express your whole being, without caveat?

Only one week left. Let’s make the most of it.

{UPDATED}

The Huffington Post has been putting together an excellent collection of PDA moments, at a level even US Weekly and People Magazine would envy. The Obamas spurred a Greatest Hits of Team Obama PDA. There is also the Obamas Wedding Anniversary album, and not only have they both aged gracefully, if not at all, it’s so clear Barack is just giddy around Michelle. There’s also their 16th anniversary slideshow.

Then you have the Post-Debate PDA which is kind of sad, since clearly it’s a hugfest for Michelle and Barack, not so much for the McCains. There is also a Senator and Cindy McCain PDA moments slideshow, but, um…. how do I say this? There isn’t much in the way of PDA.

For the Vice Presidents-to-be, we have Team Bidens PDA moments (they are a good looking couple for their age), and a collection of Team Palin PDA moments. The Palins look happy, although they sorta give off the High School King and Queen vibe. But who will ever really know, except them?

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  1. Glennette

    I can not think of a better role model for the American family. Every time you see the two of them together love just pours from the screen. It is evident that these two people truly love each other. More than that, they respect each other.

  2. I agree. You can’t fake that. And while it’s not the reason I’m voting for Sen. Obama, it reassures me greatly. I think Michelle Obama will (please, please) make a phenomenal First Lady. I’m so tired of the Stepford Wives.

  3. I have to say that 1) I don’t know where the photo came from – a friend sent it to me and seems to have forgotten where we got it from — so would love to properly cite it. 2) I was torn on captioning it, because it is such a gorgeous pic. But it’s appropriate to the post, and I made the text as small as I could 🙂

    Glennette — I can’t agree more.

    Becki — of course there are so many good reasons to vote for Obama-Biden. I’ve had an interesting journey in the last year and half, and I have to give credit to Michelle Obama and her strength for helping me wound a very broken heart, campaign-wise.

  4. Michelle Obama and Jill Biden both rock. What amazing women.

  5. I saw the picture above last night before I went to bed, and it stuck with me for quite some time. It’s really a beautiful picture. I was so happy when you posted more today.

    In defense of the McCains, when you aren’t a part of the relationship, its hard to judge what happens on the inside. They are older and of a different generation. When I look at the McCains, I’m reminded of PDAs that I’ve seen from my grandparents. Very discrete. When they are alone or with family, they may be very different.

    What I do see clearly in the pictures is the role that the women play in their husbands’ lives. For the McCains, Mrs. McCain looks like she wants to be any where else. On the other hand, for Sen. Obama, his wife is clearly an important equal partner who supports his role yet has thoughts and ambitions of her own. Each of the pictures where they are together say, “I’m glad that we’re here together. We’re achieving our dreams.”

  6. Kate, yes I agree, these are fair points. The McCains are from a different era. In some ways, I do think the Palins appear to be more partner-based, like the Obamas. However, I think the Bidens manage to, while being closer to Sen. McCain’s age, exhibit a fair amount of affection.

    No one can ever really know what goes on between these people, behind closed doors. Which, in my opinion, is how it should be. It’s just really, really cool to see such a very healthy relationship in the public eye. 🙂

  7. I just wish we could vote for Michelle for president.

  8. Yeah, me too. Someday. Hopefully sooner than later.

  9. My main criticism of Obama, although I voted for him already, is that he advanced in his career at the expense of Michelle’s career. I listened to Obama’s book on tape when I made an 11 hour road trip and he talked candidly about how Michelle took care of a majority of the caregiving duties so that he could go forward in his career. This is the typical way that men have been advancing themselves for centuries. That is NOT my definition of a feminist. Sure, he is better for women than McCain, but we are still in the role of indirect power. That’s why I wanted Hillary to win soooo badly. Why couldn’t Obama support Michelle’s career and let her run for president? Maybe she didn’t want that- but I would have loved to campaign for her.




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