November 9, 2018

NIKKI V. MICHELLE 2020:

In 'Becoming,' Michelle Obama Mostly Opts for Empowerment Over Politics (Jennifer Szalai, Nov. 9, 2018, NY Times)

[I]t's the moments when Obama tries to make sense of what she's seeing now, in the country, that are among the most moving -- if only because she's so clearly struggling to reconcile the cleareyed realism of her upbringing, brought about by necessity, with the glamorous, previously unthinkable life she has today. During her entire time in the White House, she says, "I had lived with an awareness that we ourselves were a provocation." She unequivocally calls the new president a "bully" and a "misogynist," watching him do everything he can to roll back her husband's legacy and replace "carefully built, compassionate policies" with what seems to be brazen cruelty. "I sometimes wonder," she writes, "where the bottom might be."

"My grandfather lived with the bitter residue of his own dashed dreams," she recalls; like many African-American men of his generation, she says, his stymied aspirations left him with "a basic level of resentment and mistrust." Her life has been different, filled with possibility, wealth and achievement. She insists on enumerating the gains the country made in the eight years before 2016, however incremental, because it would be too easy, she suggests, to succumb to despair. "Progress is slow," she tells young people nowadays; they need to rely on "their persistence, self-reliance and ability to overcome."

For all the attempts by conservatives a decade ago to paint her as a radical, Obama seems to be a measured, methodical centrist at heart. 

Posted by at November 9, 2018 6:20 PM

  

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