Friday, January 9, 2009

Don't the Obamas have enough pressure?

Yesterday President-elect Obama unveiled the basic details of his proposed economic stimulus package. A one trillion dollar package that many have said is the most ambitious legislative package since the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. As he is working his way through the process, even before his inauguration, there have been additional burdens placed upon the soon-to-be First Family, which I believe is unnecessary.

First, the children. Malia and Sasha Obama were hounded by the press on their first day of school at the exclusive Sidwell Friends, the same Quaker-run school that Chelsea Clinton attended while her parents were in the White House. Now it was expected that there would be some coverage, but announcing what dolls they had in their backpacks and what their lunch menus would be, that is a bit much. They are children, whose parents just happen to be the next President and First Lady. Hopefully, the rest of media will follow the lead of Brian Williams of NBC News, including his colleagues on MSNBC, and end the media blitz on them there.

Next, Michelle Obama has been given a new task that she definitely did not ask for. One newspaper has declared her a "one-woman bailout" of America's fashion industry. Her penchant for off-the-rack clothing has now put in her in the unenviable role of reviving an industry hard hit by the current recession.

It is amazing that only a year ago, these same fashion experts were saying that Mrs. Obama needed a makeover to a "softer" image. Now her fashion sensibilities are the new rage and she is a role model for working moms in America. Amazing what winning an election can do. Since I am not in the fashion industry, I do not share the same enthusiasm about Michelle Obama's attire. What I am excited about is the way she has and will continue to carry herself as a beautiful, strong, intelligent and professional African-American woman who epitomizes all those sisters out there who make a living and a home for their families.

She is being compared to Jacqueline Kennedy, but I would rather make the comparison to the Bethunes, Angelous, Winfreys and Berrys of our community. Beauty. Grace. Strength. Faith. Wisdom. Nurturing.

Michelle, Malia and Sasha will get attention for their activities, but the real focus should be on Barack. The majority of the American people entrusted their support to Barack Obama to be the leader this country needs at this particular time in our history. That is enough pressure for anyone at any time.