Tag Archives: Michelle Obama’s snot

“Monster” Michelle Obama terrorizes White House staff

National EnquirerThe latest Enquirer cover story on the warring Obamas

For months now, The National Enquirer has been reporting on Mooch’s rages and tirades, mainly directed against “her” husband but also against staffers in the White House. Her abuse and bullying have earned her the nickname of “Monster Michelle” from the staff.

I hesitated posting them because the Enquirer is a supermarket tabloid, although it must be pointed out that the Enquirer was nominated for a Pulitzer for its ACCURATE reporting on former U.S. senator and Democrat vice-presidential candidate John Edwards’ adultery and “love child” — news that the Enquirer alone doggedly pursued, when the non-tabloid “serious” media all refused to do their job.

Now, Mooch’s behavior is no longer just the stuff of supermarket tabloids. A White House insider has come forward with his personal testimony.

Reid Cherlin

He is former White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin.

In an article for the New Republic of March 24, 2014, titled “The Worst Wing: How the East Wing shrank Michelle Obama,” Cherlin describes the First Lady of the United States of America as a demanding perfectionist who doesn’t make clear what her standards are and who is as likely to upbraid her staff for putting out the wrong skirt for her to wear as for a serious policy error. All of which makes the White House a high-stress “miserable place to work.”

Cherlin’s account is all the more credible because he admires Mooch, describing her as “galvanizing”; possessed of “rare political gifts” of “charisma” and “truth-telling power”; “an accomplished lawyer with policy smarts”; and “an electrifying speaker, able to translate her husband’s lofty agenda into a grounded, commonsense morality.”

Here are excerpts from Cherlin’s article:

[W]hat Mrs. Obama’s hyper-motivated, highly accomplished staffers would never publicly admit—is that the first lady’s office can be a confining, frustrating, even miserable place to work. Jealousy and discontentment have festered, as courtiers squabble over the allocation of responsibility and access to Mrs. Obama, both of which can be aggravatingly scarce. Fueling these sentiments, according to former East Wing insiders, is the exacting but often ambivalent leadership style of the first lady herself. [...]

Mrs. Obama made it clear to her staff that—endless compulsory East Room receptions aside—her time was a valuable asset and requests to use it would have to meet an exceptionally high bar. Every event should focus on a concrete, achievable goal, like announcing a new corporate partnership. She would only be available for official duties two or three days a week; the remainder would be devoted to family responsibilities. One ex-employee observed, diplomatically, “It would take a really creative staffer to work within that environment and be successful.”

For one thing, the imperative to guarantee results could be paralyzing. “That was the pressure on us,” one ex-aide told me. “‘Don’t do it if it’s not going to be perfect.’” Staff knew that every event should produce positive coverage, and that all the angles had to be exhaustively researched and gamed out (not easy with a team of less than 30). But it was never completely clear what the standard of perfection should be. “There’s no barometer: The first lady having the wrong pencil skirt on Monday is just as big of a fuck-up as someone speaking on the record when they didn’t mean to or a policy initiative that completely failed,” says another former aide. “It just made you super anxious.” Another past employee described a common feeling of “how can we be the caliber that we’re expected to be with no attention and no resources and being an afterthought? And all that can make for sparks. Friction.”

Former staffers describe a high-stress, high-stakes workplace, in which Mrs. Obama scrutinized the smallest facets of her schedule. Aides in both wings of the White House say she insists on planning every move months in advance and finalizing speeches weeks ahead of time—a rigidity nearly unheard of in today’s chaotic political environment. [...]

All of this led to a culture of harsh internal judgment. Invitations to meetings with the first lady, in her office above the Jackie Kennedy Garden, became a vital status symbol, a way for staffers to measure their worth. “Every meeting was like an identity crisis, whether you got invited or not,” one former East Winger told me. Casual face-time with Mrs. Obama was coveted as a badge of insiderdom. “Everyone sort of stands at attention in a different way, or they try to make the joke, or they try to be the one noticed, or they try to get the smile,” says a former employee. “And that’s in part a yearning for acknowledgment that you’re part of this, something bigger, and that she knows who you are.” Another former employee put it more bluntly: “They don’t want to work for her; they want to be friends with her.”

Few have succeeded. Mrs. Obama has consistently shown a strong preference to be surrounded by aides with whom she has long-standing ties. “She’s the kind of person who, if you know her a long time, you get to the point with her where you’re loved,” says a former White House staffer, “but it’s really hard at first.” Within months of taking office, Mrs. Obama replaced her first chief-of-staff, Jackie Norris—who had overseen the campaign’s stellar Iowa operation—with an old friend, Susan Sher. When Sher returned to Chicago at the end of 2010, Tina Tchen, another Chicago lawyer who’d been working in the White House Office of Public Engagement, settled into the chief-of-staff job. Former employees say that Sher and Tchen both emphasized competence and conflict-avoidance over grand vision. Most important, both were comfortable taking orders from Valerie Jarrett, the first lady’s self-appointed enforcer and avatar. Let’s Move! saw its first two directors wash out—one a veteran political organizer and the next a pediatrician—to be replaced in 2013 by Sam Kass, the Obamas’ longtime chef and garden-master. [...]

the president’s advisers had long been suspicious of the seriousness of Mrs. Obama’s operation. [...] [The goal of] an initiative on education equality to the first lady’s agenda [...] is to encourage more young people, especially those from underserved populations, to achieve a college education. It’s a cause that Mrs. Obama is clearly passionate about and one that harnesses the power of her own life story. And yet insiders say that the program has so far fallen short of one of the strategic plan’s key recommendations—that it be supported with substance, like proposals for legislation or policy changes among higher-ed institutions. [...]

First Lady of SnotFor all the perfection that Mooch exacts from her staff, she managed to drip snot from her nose for a good 7-10 minutes when she gave a speech at the National Governors Association Meeting in the White House on February 28, 2011. (For the video of snot dripping from her nose, see “First Lady of Snot.”)

Her staff must be too frightened to let her know, and too bullied to pass her a tissue.

~Eowyn

Where have all the good Presidents gone?

Today is Presidents’ Day, a federal holiday that originally was a day to celebrate the birthday of one president — the first President of the United States, George Washington.

By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term “Presidents’ Day” began its public appearance. Although Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington’s Birthday observances as “Presidents’ Day”, “Washington and Lincoln Day”, or other such designations. In Washington’s home state of Virginia, however, the holiday is still legally known as “George Washington Day.”

By changing Washington’s Day into a generic Presidents’ Day, America has diluted and forgotten this day’s significance. Today, Presidents’ Day is better known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales.

This post is a reminder of what Presidents’ Day originally was about and of the kind of man America’s first president was.

In a letter to Dr. Walter Jones in 1814, Thomas Jefferson, America’s third President (1801-1809), wrote this about the first President of the newly independent United States of America:

“[H]is was the singular destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quite and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example.”

George Washington was the commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 to 1783. He never used his command for his own advantage. Washington even rebuked his men when they suggested that he be king or that the army assert its control over the civilian authorities. As Commander in Chief, Washington demonstrated his respect for the rule of law by his consistent deference to the elected Continental Congress.

When he ended his service at the end of the war, he resigned his commission in 1783 and retired to private life at his plantation in Mount Vernon, thereby proving King George III wrong. George III had asked what Washington would do after the war and was told of rumors that he would return to his farm, prompting the King to state, “if he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”

Washington presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787. Washington was elected the first president, unanimously by the Electoral College, something that has never been repeated in American history.

Washington belonged to no political party and served as America’s first President from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. After two terms Washington thought it was important that he step aside. He believed that a peaceful transition of power to a newly elected president was necessary before his death. He feared that if he died in office and the vice-president ascended to the presidency, it would appear too much like an heir ascending to the throne after the death of a king.

Washington’s farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars. When Washington stepped aside at the end of his second term, George III said that Washington’s retirement from the presidency along with his earlier resignation of Commander in Chief, “placed him in a light the most distinguished of any man living,” and that his relinquishing power made him “the greatest character of the age.”

Washington died in 1799. Henry Lee, delivering the funeral oration, declared Washington “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”. Historical scholars consistently rank him as one of America’s greatest presidents. [Sources here and here.]

prayeratvalleyforge

Tears streamed down my face as I wrote this post.

We the People are political orphans. Where have all the good presidents gone?

In their place is a man who picks his nose on live T.V. and a First Lady who lets snot dribble from her nose while delivering a speech to America’s governors.

I will not sully this remembrance of George Washington with those images. Click here to see who we now have in the White House.

~Eowyn

Everything’s falling apart, but we can still play Caption Contest!

This is the 40th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!

Here’s the pic:

First CoupleClick image to enlarge!

On the left is a closeup of the screenshot I took of the shiny snot dribbling from the First Lady’s left nostril at the 14:20 mark in this White House video of a speech she gave on February 28, 2011, at the National Governors Association Meeting. (See my post “First Lady of Snot,” Feb. 1, 2013.)

On the right is a screenshot I took at the 0:18 mark of the President of the United States of America shoving his right thumb up his right nostril on live T.V. (Click here for the YouTube video.)

You know the drill:

  • The winner of the Caption Contest will get a fancy Award Certificate and a year’s free subscription to FOTM! :D
  • FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
  • Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered. :(

This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Saturday, February 23, 2013.

To get the contest going, here’s my caption:

“The First Couple of Snot.”

For the winner of our last Caption Contest, click here!

~Eowyn