January 9, 2009

Mother-in-Law in the White House.

Obama will be surrounded by women. Wife, 2 daughters, and, now, mother-in-law, keeping him grounded and human. I'm seeing this as some sort of structural safeguard.

55 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

Why can't he just bag an intern like a normal person?

Methadras said...

Grounded and human? How do you come up with this shit? What the hell does that even mean?

chickenlittle said...

Obama will be surrounded by women
I'm seeing this as some sort of structural safeguard


Yes, almost an instinctive reflex. It all rhymes

Paul Zrimsek said...

She means that being surrounded by hyperemotional chatterboxes whose incessant demands are impossible to satisfy is excellent practice for being President of the United States.

Original George said...

Harry Truman's mother-in-law, Mrs. Wallace, also lived in the White House.

She always thought he was a failure. He could never live up to her expectations. PBS video..."She didn't think Harry was good enough for Bess, but she didn't think anyone was good enough for Bess."

To give a sense how much times have changed, one Christmas his wife went back west to be with her mother. He was alone in the White House and miserable. He didn't want to spend the money to fly home on Air Force One, because he knew Republicans would slam him. But he did it anyway.
Politicians cared about our money then.

Simon said...

A wife, two daughters, and a mother-in-law is certainly almost as good as the first female President. It's certainly a moment feminists can feel proud of - telling their daughters "if you work hard, you can be anything you like - even the wife or mother in law of a President!"

Lem said...

So, Michele will be the lefts eyes and ears after all.

Irene said...

There will be a "Mrs. Robinson" in the White House!

David said...

Grounded? Hey, my parents grounded me when I was 17 for going to see a (slightly) older woman they did not approve of. (She lived in Philadelphia and I lived in Pittsburgh, and I was gone for four days.)

What has Obama done to get himself grounded?

Trooper York said...

No wonder he was holding on to his balls in that photo in the Oval office.

J said...

"keeping him grounded"

Is he in some sort of trouble? This isn't the faculty lounge; speak English.

UWS guy said...

At Roman Triumphs, the victorious general while being paraded through rome on his chariot always had a slave with him whose job it was to whisper in his ear every so often, "You are mortal."

Henry said...

Bully for him!

Isn't this part of Obama's pragmatic attraction? That whatever else he is, and whatever fantasies he must project to his fans, he's still a family man.

I suspect this is one reason why he and Bush 43 seem to get along so well.

Michael H said...

A wife, two daughters, and a mother-in-law.

This is good for national defense. There will be days when he will just have to blow something up.

Duscany said...

When you have a lot of women living together don't their periods tend to synchronize? For three weeks each month Obama will cut defense spending. Then for the fourth week he'll launch a dozen cruise missiles.

Ron said...

Being surrounded by women worked out so well for Bill Clinton after all!

XWL said...

I'm seeing this as some sort of structural safeguard.

Funny, I'm seeing this as more likely to be a case of having an emotional eunuch in the White House.

(can a man have that much feminine influence in his home life and have his balls intact, as well?)

XWL said...

I suppose I could turn that around some and make it a question for this blog's host.

Did living so long in a masculine-dominated household help give rise to your blogging persona, which is far more 'ballsy' than most female bloggers?

Synova said...

I was under the impression that Michelle's mother already lives with them and has for some time.

The grounded and human thing makes me cringe.

It depends on an assumption that men are neither grounded nor human, and I find that outright sexist.

XWL said...

Did anyone make the same case for Pres. Bush?

He has a strong-willed wife, and two daughters, also.

Having older daughters who were already on their way to college when Bush became President makes a big difference, also no Mother-in-Law moving in, which suggests an entirely different dynamic than what was going on between President Bush and his family.

Plus, there's Michelle's habit of deprecating her husband regarding domestic issues (familially speaking, that is, like the not putting the butter away, and stinky comments) in interviews (something I don't recall Laura ever doing regarding her husband).

heywoot said...

His manhood will be in Al Gore's lockbox. He is a weak man and just living in an estrogen poisoned environment like that will make him even weaker. I, for one, welcome our new girly-man, grounded-lightning-rod, idol-of-all-women, junk-hiding, cigarette-smoking, able-to-guard-a-harem overlord.

Hector Owen said...

The Oprah Presidency, coming right up. If Sanjay Gupta needs to retire, for whatever reason, it will be Dr. Oz who follows him as Surgeon General.

Jake said...

"Wife, 2 daughters, and, now, mother-in-law, keeping him grounded and human."

Ya, because of course men aren't "human".

Jennifer said...

Good thing the comments tell me that Althouse has the sexist input on this thread. I'd never have guessed it.

Lionheart said...

Gobbledegook, as my old man used to say when presented with nonsense.

former law student said...

keeping him grounded and human.

I'm guessing not in the "no man is a hero to his valet" sense, but in the leading an everyday life sense. Going home every day to see your kids playing and your mother-in-law crocheting while she keeps an eye on them keeps you grounded.

chickenlittle said...

It all rhymes

What I meant was that he has never depended on men though out his life. What have they done for him-with the possible exception of his grandfather? His real father abandoned him; his male mentor(s) betrayed or deceived him; pink male voters like me rejected him at the polls (which, btw I do not regret). What have men done for him, besides what he tragically doesn't realize?

save_the_rustbelt said...

One word:

Whipped

Beth said...

When you have a lot of women living together don't their periods tend to synchronize?

Not if three of the four are either too young or too old for menses.

Paul said...

God help us we're so screwed. America (and thus the world) is headed for a postmodernism driven crackup of epic proportions.

Maybe those Mayans and Nostradamus really were on to something.

Meade said...

Joking aside for just a moment, if I may... I think it's a class act move my Mrs. Robinson, leaving her home in Chicago to be there for her granddaughters.

Her daughter and son-in-law will be seriously occupied and those two little girls will need the structural safeguard of familiar consistent parental presence - in this case, grandparental.

Great example of strong family values.

cubanbob said...

I did not vote for him, will never vote him but honestly some of the criticism is beyond the pale. The guy hasn't even been sworn in yet. Cut him some slack and if/when he screws up rip him one for policy issues and not for for these irrelevant items.

Politics aside, Obama and his wife appear to be excellent parents and are providing to the maximum extent possible a normal family life for their children. They should be applauded for this and the mother in law living with them does help in providing a strong grounding in the children's life especially where both parents have so little time with the kids.

On the human side, as a father I feel for him knowing he will never be able to take his kids trick or treating again, or to the mall to buy mom a birthday or mothers day gift or even to see a movie. No family outings to a beach or amusement park, the myriad little things that families do together.
Again rip him for policy errors but keep in mind for all the power and glory, he will pay a huge price in terms of his real life, his family life for the privilege of being president.

Meade said...

Also, how is it sexist to say that having good wives, daughters, and mothers around helps to keep men grounded in their humanity? It isn't sexist, it's generally true.

I won't name names but just take a look at the men who try to live without women. They become lost and tend to devolve into lower forms of themselves.

Hector Owen said...

"devolve into lower forms of themselves." Like the Pope, Meade? For instance?

That wasn't what I meant to say. What I meant to say was something about the mother-in-law's head out the window, shouting "BAAARRRYY! It's LUNCHTIME! Where ARE YOOOOOU!"

Will she have a microphone? Of course she will.

Palladian said...

"I won't name names but just take a look at the men who try to live without women. They become lost and tend to devolve into lower forms of themselves."

Fuck you, Meade.

Palladian said...

"Again rip him for policy errors but keep in mind for all the power and glory, he will pay a huge price in terms of his real life, his family life for the privilege of being president."

That was his choice. He wasn't drafted into the office. He chose his path, just like any other man (or woman) who has run for that office. If he cared about normalcy for his family, he wouldn't have made the decision he made.

Meade said...

"Fuck you, Meade."

Ha ha! See what I mean?

This is a man's world but...

chickenlittle said...

Palladian: I'm shocked. Meade wasn't speaking of the exceptions, only the rule. :)

chickenlittle said...

Palladian: I'm shocked. Meade wasn't speaking of the exceptions, only the rulers. :)

chickenlittle said...

There, fixed that.

Meade said...

heh heh heh. Nice save, chicklit.

chickenlittle said...

Meade: I just hit the 7:50 mark on In Memory of Elizabeth Reed off the Fillmore East album, just when Duane takes over--I'm peaking now.

Synova said...

Also, how is it sexist to say that having good wives, daughters, and mothers around helps to keep men grounded in their humanity? It isn't sexist, it's generally true.

No, not really.

The idea that women are uniquely civilizing is absolutely sexist by any definition because it assumes that men need civilizing *because* they are men.

What our culture often means by that is that men need to be made into women... solve problems the way women think they ought, and generally defer to those who know better. Women.

What it doesn't mean is that men (like women) function best with strong family relationships with those of the opposite sex, with mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, role models; and all of the various family pressures and responsibilities that hold it all together... isolated humans do not do well.

Curiously, in the "bad old days" when society was more patriarchal men created amazing things, art and culture. Men's brains are as suited to deep thought on the processes of humanity and the philosophy of civilization as any one else's; just as suited to self-sacrifice and the pursuit of spiritual service or profound meaning in their lives.

It's only lately that women have decided that it was really the women all along who made civilization happen, that men and women are so different that without women (as opposed to, say, all men in a monastic order or a farmer supporting his aged father and sons) men would be content to live in caves, unbathed, and throw rocks at each other.

Those nasty pink men.

Still, the statement is true as far as it is also true that a husband and sons keeps a woman grounded in her humanity. That a woman without that stabilizing factor is missing something important and necessary.

But I don't think that's what anyone means by it.

A woman without sons might be very like a man without daughters in that it makes it a bit hard to hate all men or objectify all women.

Would it be sexist to suggest that a woman's humanity can't develop well unless she loves a good husband and a son?

Synova said...

A woman without sons might be very like a man without daughters in that it makes it a bit easier to hate all men or objectify all women.

Meade said...

Oh come on Synova, darling...

are we gonna argue
or are we gonna make love?

chickenlittle said...

Would it be sexist to suggest that a woman's humanity can't develop well unless she loves a good husband and a son?

Synovia: it just took me 23 minute to get through your Whipping Post. :)

It wouldn't be sexist, but it might be humanizing to suggest that. My wife was humanized by having a son (she grew up with just a younger sister)--Lord knows I couldn't do it for her.

chickenlittle said...

P.S. We have daughter too--and she humanizes me on a daily basis.

Ralph said...

men would be content to live in caves, unbathed, and throw rocks at each other.
Curiously, I remember a brave feminist (Paglia?) saying they'd still be living in grass huts without men. Sex really does make the world go round.

rightwingprof said...

"keeping him grounded and human"

This is a joke, right?

rhhardin said...

Obama wants admirers.

traditionalguy said...

Someone once said, "It is not good for a man to be alone". For a man Female Companionship is an end in itself.We really would have been better off if Pres. Clinton had found his wife and child good enough companions that he spent less time searching for women and more time being President. Even JFK was too distracted by his unmet female companionship needs to accomplish very much. So I am encouraged that Barack has his act together.

Michael H said...

Being grounded shouldn't be a problem. The White House staff no doubt includes some really good electricians who keep everything grounded.

When's the last time someone was inadvertently electrocuted in the White House? See, no problem with grounding.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Grounded and Human or hen-pecked and sissified? When it is movie-night, he will be watching "The Piano" instead of "Kelly's Heroes".

When there are world conflicts the vote will be for "both of you stop fighing" not "who started it?".

Yeay.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

PS Aren't black families matriarchal? So with a senior female in the house (not to mention the perpetually pissed-off and dissapointed wife) will we not actually have a puppet president, fronting for two dominant black women?

AllenS said...

Instead of the president having some buddies over on Saturday night for a couple of beers and maybe some quarter limit poker, Oprah is going to show up.