Alexander's Column

Michelle LaVaughn Obama

Mark Alexander · May 9, 2008

Until recently, not much was known about Barack Hussein Obama. Two of my three-part profile essays on Obama focus on those who have, by his own account, been his most significant mentors. (See Disciple of Hate and Another Marx brother.)

Still trying to discern who Obama really is, we turn this week to the person who is closest to him, his wife and self-proclaimed senior policy advisor, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama. Hillary Rodham Clinton may have butted her way into a few policy issues during her husband’s presidential tenure, but Michelle Obama will very likely be dictating policy from the closet if her husband gets elected.

Michelle Obama was born 17 January 1964 into a middle-income family on the South Side of Chicago. She grew up with a mother and father in her home, and an older brother. After excelling in high school, Michelle majored in sociology and minored in African-American studies at Princeton University.

At Princeton, she authored a senior thesis entitled “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” proclaiming that her college experience “made me far more aware of my ‘Blackness.’ I will always be Black first…”

She went on to complete her JD from Harvard Law School in 1988.

After law school, Michelle returned to Chicago to work for the law firm Sidley Austin, where she was assigned to mentor the only other black employee of the firm, Barack Obama.

The two were married by their now-infamous pastor, Jeremiah Wright, in October 1992. They have two daughters, Malia Ann (1998) and Sasha (2001), and their principal residence is a fashionable South Side Georgian mansion purchased with the help of good friend, and local gangster, Tony Rezko.

After their marriage, Michelle joined the staff of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, arguably one of the most corrupt mayoral dynasties in America history.

In 2002, a job was created for her as the University of Chicago Hospitals' first executive director for community affairs ($275,000 salary plus benefits) and, beginning May, 2005, she was appointed Vice President for Community and External Affairs ($350,000 salary plus benefits). When she departed that job to work for her husband’s campaign, the University eliminated that position….

So, who is this chief advisor to Barack?

She says her campaign role “is to give people yet another slice of who Barack is, making him even more multidimensional. People want to know not just about policies … but who are you? What do you believe in? Can I trust you?”


In her own words, like those of her husband, her “black first” indoctrination casts a pall over her vision for America.

“Fear creates this veil of impossibility and it is hanging over all of our heads,” she recently said. “Only Barack Obama can fix America’s soul. Only Barack Obama can fix America’s broken soul.”

Barack, our savior?

When not talking about fear and black victimhood, hope is a common theme: “What we’ve learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback, and let me tell you something, for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.”

Princeton, Harvard, Mayor Daley and a million-dollar mansion, but “for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country”? On that note, my colleague, Michelle Malkin concludes, “I believe it was Michael Kinsley who quipped that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth. In this case, it’s what happens when an elite Democratic politician’s wife says what a significant portion of the party’s base really believes to be the truth: America is more a source of shame than pride.”

Like Barack, his wife Michelle builds her stump speeches around the victimization script.

She repeatedly claims that America is “just downright mean” and whines that we are “a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day. … Folks are struggling like never before…”

Of her husband’s woes regarding his racist and Marxist mentors, she complains, “The bar has been shifting and moving in this race, but the irony is, the sad irony is, that’s exactly what is happening to most Americans in this country.”

Yuval Levin, a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, writes of Michelle, “By her husband’s logic, Michelle Obama must be a heavily armed xenophobic religious zealot, because boy is she bitter. … In Michelle Obama’s America, everybody’s suffering, no one has time to make any friends, no one earns enough to eke out a living anymore, and the bar of success is always being moved just out of reach.”

So, another wealthy “useful idiot” in the vein of Jean-Francois Kerry and Teddy Kennedy is going to save the proletariat from the czars? That dog won’t hunt in the general election.