Let's Face It: Michelle 'Is Not Exceptional'

First Lady is 'extraordinary' but her defenders need to relax
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2009 4:50 PM CST
In this image released by Annie Leibovitz / Vogue, the March 2009 cover of Vogue is seen featuring first lady Michelle Obama.   (AP Photo/Annie Leibovitz / Vogue)
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(Newser) – Before Michelle Obama’s acolytes start enshrining her portrait next to Mother Teresa's and Mahatma Gandhi's, Robin Givhan hazards a word of sacrilege: “Obama is extraordinary, but she is not exceptional.” The Washington Post columnist chastises the first lady’s virulent defenders, who are “intent on keeping the path clear for her canonization" and resist even the slightest criticism.

Michelle deserves credit for highlighting “accomplished, stylish black women and their functional families.” But her "self-consciously relaxed" image constructs a “false sense of public intimacy," Givhan writes. Michelle needs to come back to Earth: “Tell the world that she doesn't put away the milk. That she skips the weekly pedicures. Debunk the mythology. Or at least try.”