Did Michelle Obama Make a Major Misstep with Beyonce?
12 months ago
How her Bootylicious BFF could hurt the Obama Campaign
Like an overwhelming majority of Americans I am a Michelle Obama fan.
For anyone reading this who just said to himself, well “I’m not one so how dare you say an ‘overwhelming majority’ of us are,” I have a newsflash for you: you’re very much in the minority. According to a recent poll the First Lady is the most popular political figure of any party and any gender in the country right now. She’s so popular in fact, that if things are looking really tight in the fall the president may want to consider asking the Vice-president to step aside in order to make room on the ticket for his Mrs.
As I have made clear before, I don’t consider a presidential ticket featuring the First Lady that far fetched, a sentiment that has previously gotten me into a bit of hot water. When I wrote a column titled “8 Reasons Michelle Obama would make a Better Presidential Candidate than her Husband,” I found out the hard way that President Obama’s most diehard fans can be a rather touchy bunch, particularly when it comes to outlining potential Democratic competition for him—even when it’s his own wife. (For the record, I did say “presidential candidate” not “president,” something the most outraged critics of the column seemed to miss, even though it was expressed clearly in the title of the piece, but I digress.)
Perhaps it will come as a relief then to some of those diehard fans of the president who felt so threatened by the inference that his wife might be less of a liability on the campaign trail than he is, that she, not he, just made one of the 2012 campaign’s more noteworthy blunders.
In an interview with People Magazine promote her new gardening book, when asked if she could be anyone in the world the First Lady replied “Beyonce.”
[Also Read: Top Campaign Gaffes of 2012]
While I thought it was a slightly odd response (after all, I couldn’t picture Hillary Clinton saying, “Lady Gaga” or “Madonna”) I assumed that maybe I was simply being too square. I then shared the article featuring her response with a family member and African-American friend, both of who are fans of the First Lady, and another friend who is not African-American but is a die-hard Beyonce fan. Without sharing my own thoughts first, I asked for theirs. They all reacted with varying degrees of horror.
They were not alone. A quick look at the comments on predominantly African-American news sites, where commenters tend to be fans of the First Lady, Beyonce, or both, made it clear that many found the First Lady’s response troubling, and some found it downright embarrassing. A quick sample of the comments: