Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

All The Things That Women Are Interested In.

(cross posted at kickin it with cg)

Back in June, I observed that political machinations reverted into the oldest stereotypes – namely that women should ONLY be depicted as wives or mothers.  Unfortunately now that the transition is in place it would appear that we are headed back in that direction with Michelle Obama’s recent visit to the White House with Laura Bush.

In an interview with CNN’s WH Correspondent Elaine Quijano, Bush describes the meeting:

QUIJANO: The role of the First Lady is certainly something that I’m sure you discussed with Mrs. Obama earlier this week. How did that visit go? And could you tell us any anecdotes?

BUSH: Well it went great. It was very private, really. It was really much more, I think, two mothers talking about home more in this visit, because of course I showed her the rooms that are our girls’ rooms now that I think are the perfect rooms for her girls when they move there.

We talked more about really making the White House a home for a family. And what I know from having lived here and from visiting my mother-in-law when she made this family a home and from reading about all the other families that have lived here is this house really can be a home. And I know that they’ll make it that way for their little girls.

QUIJANO: Certainly, there must be some increased pressure, a lot of scrutiny, of course, living in the White House. I was wondering, did you share any advice with her as a mother who has been through it, having had two daughters spending some formative years?

BUSH: Not really. I think I showed her the closets, I showed her all the things that women are interested in. But I didn’t try to give her a lot of advice. I know she knows that she can make it home.

And that’s what she wants to do.

QUIJANO: Last question then. Your husband, the day after the election, talked about it being a stirring sight to see the Obamas because of the historic nature of having the nation’s first African-American president. I wonder if you could share your thoughts on that, as well?

BUSH: Well I also think it’s very, very important. I think it’s important for American history. I think it’s a message to everybody in the United States of what’s possible. But it’s also a message around the world because I know, because I heard from them, that there were leaders in the — around the world who didn’t think the United States would elect an African-American man. And so, I think it’s a really important message about our own democracy to people around the world.

QUIJANO: Mrs. Bush, thank you so much.

BUSH: Thanks a lot. Thanks a lot.


And because its Friday and I cannot think of something positive to say about the meeting, or how pathetic this sounds in the year 2008, I’d like to think that the end of the meeting went something like this:

Maybe her and Michelle burned one in the Rose Garden and then Laura showed her where she grows her own.

Laura: The Secret Service NEVER comes in here. I tell George it’s where the government keeps Noriega and only Cheney is allowed in there. He just nods and pretends he knows it. HEY! Why don’t I just leave the equipment and sh*t for you?

Michelle: Girl, SOLID!

(fist bump between the two)


  1. Hollede

    was the go to girl back in the day for weed. Maybe the stories are true. I am not so sure Michelle was as familiar with the issue, but it might help relax her a bit.

  2. spacemanspiff

    or womAn?

    Unfortunately now that the transition is in place it would appear that we are headed back in that direction with Michelle Obama’s recent visit to the White House with Laura Bush.

    I don’t think that’s fair.

    All I see is Mrs. Bush acting like …


    Mrs. Bush!

    I’m thinking Michelle will be a lot more similiar to Hillary as a first wife than Laura Bush.

    So in that respect, I believe we are headed in the right direction.

  3. and that’s the only role Michelle has in the White House.

    When I voted for Bill Clinton I was not voting for Hillary.  When I voted for Barack Obama I was not voting for Michelle.  If Hillary and won the primary and I was voting for her I would not be voting for Bill.  Anyone voting for Sarah Palin in 2012 (and she will be there) sure as shit isn’t voting to give Todd Palin any power whatsoever – and if he ended up with any I would expect every single person to shout their dissent.  It has nothing to do with sexism and nothing to do with whether anyone likes the First Spouse or not – they have no authority and should not.  If a First Spouse wants to have an official role in government they should run for office or get appointed to the cabinet (which would, of course, be open to accusations of nepotism).

    Michelle is First Lady, she’s the president’s wife, she’s Sasha and Malia’s mother, she’s had interesting jobs and if she wants another she can no doubt get one.  But as far as government goes she’s just a person more affected by the presidential election than most, not an elected nor appointed official.  There is a reason we don’t give special powers to those related to the people we elect – we didn’t elect them.

    Sorry, but I’m in a really foul mood and the “everything is hatred towards women” meme is wearing on me.  If anyone wants to actually try to do anything constructive about gender inequalities I’m all in, but the endless offended commentary is pointless and counterproductive.

  4. NavyBlueWife

    There has to be room for women to CHOOSE what they want to do.  Laura Bush is her own woman, I’ve always believed.  Of course, I wanted her to be a more prominent role model for women as First Lady, but she apparently didn’t make that choice, and I am NOT going to impose my desires on her life.

    I’m glad that Michelle can sit down with Laura and talk about something OTHER than politics.  It is clear to me that they both take their roles as mothers and wives seriously.  I honor that.

    Maybe CNN took the interview too far, I don’t know, nor do I really care.  But it’s okay to be a woman and be interested in stereotypical women things like clothes or whatever.  I don’t think anyone is relegating Michelle Obama to a back seat because she and Laura talked about something other than politics, and that something happened to be what Laura called “all the things that women are interested in”.  Who cares?  In some ways, she is right.  My husband doesn’t give a damn about closet space or clothes or decorations or whatever–most men I have met aren’t.  That doesn’t make them sexist or me sexist either.

    I have many good friends that are stay-at-home moms, who focus all on their children and husbands.  They don’t feel that there is a place for them in the Democratic party because of conclusions drawn like these.  The Democratic party would provide better benefits for them and their children, but they always feel personally slighted by characterizations like these.  I want them to feel welcome, and I want a different language to start developing here on the Moose.

  5. by the tone of this diary. I saw that as Laura Bush being Laura Bush. I’m sure none of us think Michelle Obama and Laura Bush are the same. Michelle will be Michelle. She is the wife of the President-elect. Laura is the wife of the President. Michelle was a guest in Laura’s home for this meeting. The tone would have been set by the First Lady. Michelle would have been very ungracious to try to change that tone or to upstage Laura.

    In addition to what I stated above, what’s wrong with two mothers discussing family life in the WH? Michelle is a mother. And, from everything I’ve seen, a very good mother. Why wouldn’t she be interested in the topics they discussed? Did anyone think the two of them were going to discuss the effects of global warming on amphibians in the Amazon Basin?

  6. rfahey22

    Presumably she is a well-being but intellectually incurious person who has no trouble playing the traditional role of a First Lady.  I imagine that Michelle Obama will be similar to Hillary Clinton, in that like Clinton she is an Ivy League-educated lawyer who was more career-oriented than Laura Bush.  However, to the extent that she plays any role in policy, my guess is that it will be behind closed doors.  Some people did take issue with the “two-for-one” approach that the Clintons had, since only one of them was an elected official, and moreover Michelle Obama has already been portrayed as a black militant during the campaign, so she is a little boxed in in those regards.

  7. KLRinLA

    It really does seem to be a disguised attack on Michelle, and for what, being a house wife?  Being a mother?  Being affable and polite at a photo op meeting with Laura Bush?  

    And by the way, how do you know that they didn’t have a deep long debate on foreign or domestic policy?  I am sure they both have the couth to not trash each other to after a meeting to the journalists by exposing the weak position of the others argument.  

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