Thursday, August 20, 2009

Suburban Mom's Political Fix: Obama's Shorts, Health Care Battle & Jenny Sanford Sounds Off

Obama's Shorts

I have a special request for the news media, plus every group or web site that now loosely qualifies as the "news" media: Please cease and desist with the Michelle Obama-wore-shorts-and-oh-boy-what-a-scandal stories. You aren't fooling anyone when you cover the "faux controversy" and try to convince us that you don't understand what all the uproar is all about, yet you're still reporting on it and then soliciting viewers'/readers' opinions on whether it's appropriate for a First Lady to wear shorts.

Michelle Obama is a healthy, active, youthful woman in her forties. It's summer time. She's got young kids. It's damned hot. Give her a break. Who cares that she wore shorts? This is so a non-issue.

Health Care Battle

On to REAL news stories . . . Now that White House sources have indicated that government-run health insurance option may hit the cutting room floor and (possibly) be replaced by subsidized, non-profit health care co-ops in an attempt to move a health care bill forward, President Obama (whose approval ratings have taken a precipitous fall amid the intense health care legislation debates) still has a fight on his hands . . . with fellow Democrats. Liberal Democrats want the government-run health insurance option to remain viable, while conservative "blue dog" Democrats, worried about costs and government "take over" of health care, seem to cotton to the co-op idea. If the Dems can't reach an agreement amongst themselves, there will be no health care reform at all and Obama will be handed a major defeat.

I'll be interested in reading the compromise legislation before it goes to a House-Senate conference committee, if it makes it that far. Then we'll get a better idea of what this'll really mean.

Jenny Sanford Sounds Off

It was serendipitous to discover this week that the new issue of Vogue includes an interview with Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina's Governor Mark "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" Sanford, looking fabulous and sounding strong. My new pop culture and politics column is about political wives whose husbands have conducted illicit affairs that inevitably devolved into full-blown public scandals, while the spouses and their children proved to be collateral damage.

My essay points to CBS's new fall show, The Good Wife -- starring Julianna Margulies as a devoted political wife whose husband resigned from office and is in jail after he frequented prostitutes and was accused of abusing the power of his office -- which seeks to offer viewers a peek behind the curtains of the homes of these wives (Sanford, Edwards, Spitzer) and show what damage has truly been wrought. Seeing Jenny Sanford pictured in Vogue and spouting off lines that make it sound like she's so unbelievably together, was a step toward reclaiming her life, and the lives of other devastated wives of pols. More power to her.

Image credit: Jonathan Becker/Vogue.

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