Sunday, March 08, 2009

I'm Down With Mo and Michelle O.



I'm With Maureen Dowd when she's protecting Michelle Obama's back arms.

In her NYT column, Should Michelle Cover Up? Ms Dowd writes that she was recently sharing a cab ride with David Brooks who presumed to comment on the First Lady's arms. To be sure, Mo set the Prince of Snark up by asking Brooks what he thought of Mrs. Obama's arms. Brooks took the bait. He said,
She’s made her point. Now she should put away Thunder and Lightning . . . Washington is sensually avoidant. The wonks here like brains. She should not be known for her physical presence, for one body part. . . .Sometimes I think half the reason Obama ran for president is so Michelle would have a platform to show off her biceps.
Brooks added that the policy crowd in D.C. would consider the dress ostentatious and made her daunting.

Like Sandra McElwaine who wrote in the Daily Beast that,
. . . . you can’t escape the subject—Michelle Obama’s unrelenting sleeveless look, and namely, her gorgeous, toned arms. In the midst of a conversation about the thorny issues of the day someone will mention those limbs.

. . . . Michelle has simply turned toned arms into a bold, new fashion statement. Anatomical discussions around the proverbial watercooler used to revolve around legs or boobs or butts or toes, or even a serious wardrobe malfunction à la Janet Jackson. Not anymore. Not since the high-gloss first lady started flaunting those glistening ab-fab Obama-arms, the body part du jour . . . .the firmest triceps, biceps, and deltoids in town . . . . she feels compelled to don a sleeveless frock and flash those lanky, flab-free arms.

. . . . what has captured public attention and caused all the brouhaha is not just Michelle’s choice to bare arms, but her obvious devotion to physical fitness . . . . Michelle pumps iron and works out with a personal trainer for 90 minutes, three times a week, sometimes as early as 5:30 am—with her husband.

. . . . In all seriousness, and with all due respect to her, someone should tell Michelle to mix up her wardrobe and cover up from time to time. I’m beginning to think she has an Arnold Schwarzenegger complex.
Ms. Dowd disagrees, saying that Michelle
... ignored that talk, thank heavens.

Let’s face it: The only bracing symbol of American strength right now is the image of Michelle Obama’s sculpted biceps. Her husband urges bold action, but it is Michelle who looks as though she could easily wind up and punch out Rush Limbaugh, Bernie Madoff and all the corporate creeps who ripped off America.

I love the designer-to-J. Crew glamour. Combined with her workaday visits to soup kitchens, inner-city schools and meetings with military families, Michelle’s flare is our depression’s answer to Ginger Rogers gliding around in feathers and lamé.

Her arms, and her complete confidence in her skin, are a reminder that Americans can do anything if they put their minds to it. Unlike Hillary, who chafed at the loathed job of first lady, and Laura, who for long stretches disappeared into the helpmeet role, Michelle has soared every day, expanding the job to show us what can be accomplished by a generous spirit, a confident nature and a well-disciplined body.
I'm with Mo. She brings on her own Thunder and Lightning.