Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Michelle suggests buying earrings, I'm paying property taxes

Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, THE ECONOMY

Last week Michelle Obama did it again. She said something that revealed who she is and how out of touch she is with the average American's economic circumstances.

The Washington Times reported that each campaign needed to rein in their surrogates:

The same day a John McCain surrogate dismissed economic woes from a nation of "whiners," Barack Obama's wife quipped that the $600 tax stimulus check could be used for a pair of earrings.

I would not classify Michelle Obama in the same "surrogate" category as McCain's economic adviser Phil Gramm, however. McCain can dump Gramm, but Michelle Obama is part of the package. She will be First Lady if Obama is elected. Whenever she says something controversial, an image of her serving tea to an important dignitary while making "small talk" pops into my mind.

Mrs. Obama does not come across as a happy camper. I think the first time I heard her interviewed was last February when the Obamas were in town before our primary. She talked about how women struggled just to get through each day, and she included herself in that group. I was surprised by her remarks because they sounded like those of an unhappy wife.

Michelle mentioned the usual complaints: husbands go off to work and leave all the responsibility of home and children to the wife. She spoke about how she is the one who must take the kids to the doctor or stay home if they are ill, etc. At the time I thought she was not painting her husband in a very good light. To hear her talk, you would think they were impoverished and had no options to hire a baby sitter, helper, or housekeeper.

As the campaign continued, I found out the Obamas lived quite comfortably. Comfortable enough to think nothing of $600.  

"You're getting $600 - what can you do with that? Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn't pay down every bill every month," she [Michelle] said. "The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings."

A reader's response to the Washington Times article summed it up well,

Someone who suggests spending the $600 rebate on earrings is not living the same way the rest of America lives.

We put our stimulus check in the bank, saving it to pay for our property taxes due in December. It required belt tightening now, but I am grateful we were able to do that. (Still wish we did not go down the stimulus road though.) 

As time has gone on and Michelle's list of controversial remarks has grown, more of her personality has been revealed. She just may be McCain's best campaigner. 


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