May 27, 2011

"Less than three years into the job, first lady Michelle Obama is on her third chief of staff and third social secretary."

"She is on her second communications director, the White House chief usher recently departed, and her press secretary’s last day is Friday."

But why? Politico delves:
Sources familiar with the East Wing, who asked not to be named discussing internal dynamics, described the first lady’s office as a challenging workplace, where grueling hours and the expectations of a formidable boss intensify the demands of managing a popular first lady’s schedule, image and agenda.

“The first lady is a lovely woman, but she’s tough as nails, and that can be hard for some people,” said a source familiar with the office. “She has really high expectations.”...

“For whatever reason,” said one source familiar with the office, the first lady’s staff just hasn’t “gelled.”

“You don’t take these sorts of jobs unless you love the principal [figure],” the source said. “And you can deal with a principal who has high expectations when you’re all gelling as a group, but that just wasn’t happening.”
Read between the lines.

115 comments:

madAsHell said...

She was the only woman at the dinner with Queen Elizabeth that had a dress exposing her arms.

I'll guess that was a gaffe.

Mary Beth said...

They take the job because they love the idea of her but find the reality less than appealing.

rhhardin said...

FBOTUS

Synova said...

Well, I did notice the popular romance novel feminist definition of "tough as nails."

YoungHegelian said...

Word on the street in DC is that the FLOTUS is a royal f**king pain in the ass to work for.

And this would come as a surprise to whom exactly I do not know.

Victor Erimita said...

Well, of course she is a demanding, harsh task mistress. I mean look at the high level of achievement in her own career, where for decades she (along with her husband, of course) has been required for deacdes to perform high level tasks with high standards of accountability. I'm sure, for example, that her performance reviews as head of "diversity" for UChicago hospital were a real bitch.

Trooper York said...

It's the same reason why Joan Crawford couldn't get baby sitters and Leona Hemsley couldn't hold on to a butler.

RuyDiaz said...

Well, I did notice the popular romance novel feminist definition of "tough as nails."

Translation? You know, this is a mixed-company blog, woman!

traditionalguy said...

My guess is that Michelle has been hiring from aristocrats of the Progressive camp... and those guys/gals do not see intelligent service for a boss as a job for them. They want to pose and brag to their friends, but they do not see doing diligent work ( like slaves do) to be their lot in life. They actually expect to tell lies for huge rewards like Al Gore does.

RuyDiaz said...

It's the same reason why Joan Crawford couldn't get baby sitters and Leona Hemsley couldn't hold on to a butler.

Joan Crawford needed an energetic babysitter and Leona Hemsley demanded forward-thinking butlers.

edutcher said...

I guess Affirmative Action hires feel they have to get back at all those people who earned their position.

Almost Ali said...

It's a wonder she has any staff at all - while the ones she does have seem intent on making a fool of her. And they've been pretty successful at it, especially the boss-lady's fashion adviser.

Lyle said...

Nobody loves Michelle. Eeeek.

Lucius said...

John Lukacs writes somewhere that Nancy Reagan had a larger staff than FDR's during WWII.

Since Michelle (supposedly) is a much less politically active figure than Hillary, how high-stress could her operation be-- unless she's a complete bitch?

It's not as if Barack's social staff is carrying the water too well for him. And Barack doesn't seem to mind how hard they let *him* down.

What does Michelle want? Someone to explain to her that rock-hard biceps don't magically make her *young*?

Patrick said...

Not being inclined to give anyone in the Administration a pass, but I would think that such positions would be extremely difficult under the best conditions. When "the staff hasn't gelled," I'm sure it's worse.

Of course, if the Boss isn't treating you like a human being, well, then...I guess that's how stories like this wind up in Politico. Pretty tame, but maybe a warning shot...

Jeremy said...

The Queen - "Read between the lines."

Instead, why not just read the rest of the article?

"Some of the nine departures from the East Wing reflect routine attrition. Press secretary Katie McCormick-Lelyveld, for example, leaves Friday after more than three years on the first lady’s staff, dating back to the 2008 campaign. Julianna Smoot left the social secretary’s office to serve as deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Robin Schepper, executive director of the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” anti-obesity initiative, is departing after less than a year on the job."
(Shepper is leaving to join the Bipartisan Policy Center, a position where she will continue to work on obesity issues but “allow more family balance.”)

Oh...and then there is this:

Former first lady Laura Bush saw a similar churn on her staff — after six years. By 2007, Bush was on her third press secretary, third social secretary and and second chief of staff.

Duh.

Jeremy said...

Patrick - "Of course, if the Boss isn't treating you like a human being, well, then...I guess that's how stories like this wind up in Politico."

So that's your assumption here?

That people weren't being treated like human beings?

Same assumption here?

"Former first lady Laura Bush saw a similar churn on her staff — after six years. By 2007, Bush was on her third press secretary, third social secretary and and second chief of staff."

Jeremy said...

What a bunch of creepy people you are.

Read the entire article, fools.

She's no different than any of the previous First Ladies.

*Other than being married to President Obama of course.

You all whine and bitch...about literally everything...with The Queen leading the way.

victoria said...

Here comes the bias against strong women. A "task master" "Tough as nails". Hey, people, that is not a bad thing. A lot of these people who come to work for her and for other first ladies are sweet little college graduates who want to get their social ticket punched. When the work starts, they are out of there. It is a tough demanding job, with the person who has the job has to be a tough person with goals and a strong work ethic.

Only a mysogynist would liken her(Michelle Obama, Oprah or other tough strong women)to Joan Crawford or people like her.

Duh

Vicki from Pasadena

AllenS said...

Read between the lines

Easy, it's all bullshit.

Trooper York said...

Oh thanks for clarifying this.

Michelle just wants to continue the policies of Laura Bush just like the jug eared Jesus is copying the playbook of W.

Good deal. Thanks.

nevadabob said...

And yet they still dress her in $2000.00 draperies.

I pity those with the task of making the First Klingon into something resembling attractive.

DADvocate said...

The first lady is a lovely woman, but she’s tough as nails...

I believe the second part.

Patrick said...

No, my assumption was that stories that have a potentially negative effect get printed because sources get angry at the subject. So, in this case former staffers say things like "the staff hasn't gelled," which is fairly mild, but leaves the implicit "warning" that if things don't improve, the stories that get printed won't improve either.

You seem a little defensive. Lighten up, the criticism wasn't that bad. It's a holiday weekend for crying out loud.

RuyDiaz said...

Jeremy;

I know that math calculations are tough on you, so let's go slowly:

Turnover at Michelle's staff in 2.5 years is similar to turnover at Laura Bush's staff after six years.

So, if the author is correct, 6/2.5 = 2.4

Therefore, the ratio at which people are leaving Michelle Obama's staff is 2.4 times the ratio at which people were leaving Laura Bush's staff.

Yours;

Matt said...

Let me read between the lines: This is a conservative blog so therefore it is a bad thing that Michelle has high turnover.

If she were a Republican then conservatives would say she is a good woman who has high expectations and too bad if people can't hack it.

I've known conservative and liberal woman who were nasty and tough to work for and I've known conservative and liberal women who were friendly and easy to work with.

The political side of the equation means nothing. It's like saying someone is a bitch because they have long hair or someone is easy going because they wear pant suits. There is no causal relation.

Synova said...

Ruy, there is a certain "strong woman" trope in women's entertainment that essentially takes behavior that would define a male person as an asshole, and presents it as a woman not being subservient or too conciliatory.

See... few people would use the term "tough as nails" to describe a male employer that was hard to work for. He might *also* be hard to work for, but it would be a separate thing.

It's a pet peeve of mine that this "strong = not subservient" meme doesn't actually require competence, only a refusal to put others first.

chickenlittle said...

vicki from Pasadena said: Duh

Jeremy and vicki sittin' in a tree...

RuyDiaz said...

The political side of the equation means nothing. It's like saying someone is a bitch because they have long hair or someone is easy going because they wear pant suits. There is no causal relation.

Wrong. Those are empirical questions, whether you realize it or not. Getting the self-righteous on doesn't mean that reality goes away.

David said...

Michelle Obama, a lawyer who left a high-powered executive career at the University of Chicago Medical Center before coming to the White House, told reporters at a lunch in February that she sets a high bar for her staff.

That inaccurate sentence is the key to the article.

Michelle got a mid level and not very demanding job at U of C after Barack was elected to the Illinois legislature. When Barack was elected to the Senate, she got an elevation in title and a big raise, almost doubling her salary.

She was not high powered and she was not really an executive. She was married to a man of increasing influence and power, and in Chicago that is enough.

The people at U of C who dealt with her know the score, and the score was promotions by connection.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

MamaM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mesquito said...

I have no doubt that the First Lady is just as nice as she looks.

kcom said...

My guess is she's never been proud of any of her staff in her adult life. With a boss like that, who wouldn't look elsewhere.

DADvocate said...

If she were a Republican then conservatives would say she is a good woman who has high expectations and too bad if people can't hack it.

Elect a Republican and let's find out.

Laura Bush and Barbara Bush were known for their kindness and congeniality. While I couldn't stand Nixon, Pat Nixon was also well thought of. Mamie Eisenhower was well loved.

Mary Todd Lincoln was apparently a psycho bitch, though. Many speculate she was physically abusive to Abe.

Fred4Pres said...

Maybe Lady Macbeth is hard to work for?

Synova said...

"If she were a Republican then conservatives would say she is a good woman who has high expectations and too bad if people can't hack it."

I honestly don't know if they would.

Oh, they might *avoid* the subject... but that is different.

I remember when Pelosi became Speaker, and I think it was Elenor Clift who described her first actions, which seemed to me to be outright bullying to get her own junior members to toe her line or else, and then gushed about how *strong* a leader Pelosi would be.

No.

And I don't think it's any sort of double standard where a male bully would be admired and the woman criticized because she's not acting womanly.

But maybe it's because my view of the care and feeding of subordinates is strongly influenced by my long-ago military experience. I just don't get the point at which the "leader" is not responsible for maintaining the "team" or where "high expectations" can exceed the ability of able and motivated staff without this being laid at the feet of the person in charge.

chickenlittle said...

Many speculate she was physically abusive to Abe.

I heard she used to coerce him into shaving the upper part of his beard and refused to kiss him otherwise!

Sixty Grit said...

Does "formidable" translate to "mean as hell, ignorant, foul mouthed and has a huge ass" to the rest of us?

William said...

The wonder is not that she has a lot of turnover but that none of them have written a Michelle Dearest memoir. Palin should be so lucky. Time spent in law school is not necessarily wasted. Maybe Michelle really know how to draft a non disclosure document.....I wonder why none of the women who had an affair with JFK or MLK did not record their experiences for posterity.....

Trooper York said...

Hey nobody liked working for Lieutenant Worf either.

Klingons are notoriously tough to work for.

Ned said...

I CAN ONLY imagine!!! Un talented, un caring, "holier than thou" street thug "promoted" WAY beyond her skills...

PatCA said...

The FLOTUS doesn't really have any duties. She is making it up, like they all do, and her husband's people want her to help re-elect him. This leads to confusion and ever changing goals, which drives staffs insane.

Add the inexperience of her staff to her own, and the zealotry that I doubt she left behind on Election Day, and you have a volatile mix. I have worked for a couple female bosses in these types of situations, and it's hell. I can't wait for the first tell all.

Synova said...

"Here comes the bias against strong women."

No, not really. It's just an issue about the definition of "strong."

"A "task master" "Tough as nails". Hey, people, that is not a bad thing."

Not if it's accompanied by care and attention to the needs of your staff. Simple things like noticing if people don't get lunch or stay too late too often. Though "task master" sounds a bit autocratic, it could just mean being good at directing priorities. But I doubt that "task master" is often used as a compliment for a boss.

"A lot of these people who come to work for her and for other first ladies are sweet little college graduates who want to get their social ticket punched."

And who don't know how to assert themselves, to say no, or understand what is actually reasonable and what is not.

"When the work starts, they are out of there. It is a tough demanding job, with the person who has the job has to be a tough person with goals and a strong work ethic."

And someone is responsible for hiring the right person for that job. Saying that this person hired flighty college grads may not make your case as well as you thought.

Seven Machos said...

Michelle Obama has always looked like a real bitch to me.

In her defense, though, people who don't like the President tend to hate the First Lady. Probably something deeply psychological there.

Michael said...

I would guess they try and cram pals and fellow travelers into a role that requires higher energy levels and greater competence than pals and fellow travelers possess. These are very tough jobs and require the hours of first year associates at investment banks for about the same pay.

Lincolntf said...

How does was one say "howling she-demon" in Klingon?

Paul said...

So the question is... are they quitting HER or is she firing THEM?

I bet they quit after the real 'Michelle' shows through.

Synova said...

I'd be fussing over the "Klingon" thing except for the fact that the Klingon women in Next Generation were about the only awesome part of that entire show.

chickenlittle said...

7 Machos wrote: In her defense, though, people who don't like the President tend to hate the First Lady. Probably something deeply psychological there.

I noticed that about George and Laura Bush too--their detractors hated both--lots latent bigotry against Texans.

VanderDouchen said...

Matt,

You're a dumbass. And did you just call the First Lady a bitch?

WV: pujither:

The pujither continued his pilgrimage to Putuoshan.

Shanna said...

She was married to a man of increasing influence and power, and in Chicago that is enough.

He was useful, after all!

Saying that this person hired flighty college grads may not make your case as well as you thought.

Exactly. If the hiring sucks it the managers fault.

Seven Machos said...

Maybe the Obama administration should bring in Cousin Oliver for Michelle Obama's staff. That might help everything "gel."

ricpic said...

M: What do you think of my arms?

U(nderling): They are well toned.

M: Well toned? They are fuckin' fabulous beeyatch!

U: Yes'm.

edutcher said...

Someone needs to tell Jeremy a good boss, no matter how tough, does not lose people.

Witness MacArthur, Patton, Marshall, etc.

And Jeremy is the one who does the bitch, whine, bitch, whine.

Just read his comments.

Jeremy said...

edutcher "Someone needs to tell Jeremy a good boss, no matter how tough, does not lose people."

Yeah, good bosses never lose people. No matter what other job opens for them, no matter how big the opportunity, they never leave good bosses.

Kind of like:

"Former first lady Laura Bush saw a similar churn on her staff — after six years. By 2007, Bush was on her third press secretary, third social secretary and and second chief of staff."

Laura Bush: BAD BOSS.

edutcher: Teabagger Moron.

Jeremy said...

ricpic - You're actually whining about the woman's arms?

What a simple-minded dunce.

Jeremy said...

Seven Machos "Michelle Obama has always looked like a real bitch to me."

Her approval ratings among Americans are sky high, and I've never read a single negative article about the woman, via any publication.

And calling the First Lady of your own country is pretty disgusting...regardless of your politics.

Jeremy said...

Synova (To being a task-master): "Not if it's accompanied by care and attention to the needs of your staff."

How would you, or anybody else here, possibly know how she treats her staff?

Are you saying she and of course, Laura Bush as an example, must not pay attention to "care and attention to the needs of (their) staff?"

Based on what?

holdfast said...

That's just shocking, especially considering what a model employee she was as an associate at Sidley Austin . .

Oh wait, she was a pain in the @ss there too. And of course they bent over backwards to recruit her to boost their diversity stats.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2098582/posts

http://libertypundits.net/article/michelle-obama-s-law-firm-boss-she-was-an-insufferable-complainer/

Seven Machos said...

I've never read a single negative article about the woman, via any publication.

Nixon won? I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon!" -- Pauline Kael

Jeremy said...

William "The wonder is not that she has a lot of turnover but that none of them have written a Michelle Dearest memoir."

Or maybe they just don't have anything bad to say about the woman...right?

Duh.

Jeremy said...

Seven Nachos Short - Duh.

Nixon?

AJ Lynch said...

Let's see - she gave up her law license, had very little work experience in the private sector, got a 100% raise at a hospital to be the VP in charge of community relations? Have I left out any of her notable and significant accomplishments?

Jeremy said...

Holding Your Dick In Your Hand - You post links to comments the patriotroom.com as your evidence? From who the fuck knows who?

What?

Karl Rove, Limbaugh, Hannity not available?

Why do you suppose Laura Bush had such a "staff" problem?

("Former first lady Laura Bush saw a similar churn on her staff — after six years. By 2007, Bush was on her third press secretary, third social secretary and and second chief of staff.")

Seven Machos said...

Poor Jeremy. He's taken it upon himself to defend Michelle Obama.

Sad. Duh.

chickenlittle said...

Jeremy said "back then."

Thanks for the thoughtful and respectful comment about the President and First Lady.

Fucking hypocrite.

Jeremy said...

ONLY the asshole teabaggers here and on other nutcase wingnut sites would spend their day whining, bitching and denigrating the First Lady of the United States.

What a sad, creepy crew you are.

It's embarrassing.

chickenlittle said...

I'm glad Althouse archives are back.

DADvocate said...

...people who don't like the President tend to hate the First Lady.

Obviously, I don't like Barack as a president but I can easily picture hitting the bars or spending a weekend with the boys with him and enjoying it. Michelle, not so much. If you pay attention, her comments about Barack tend to be backhanded compliments.

Seven Machos said...

ONLY the asshole teabaggers here and on other nutcase wingnut sites would spend their day whining, bitching and denigrating the First Lady of the United States.

So, what kind of asshole nutcase whiner spends his day bitching and denigrating such people? ONLY a complete and total loser, I'd say -- a loser who talks about losers talking about a loser.

Sad. Duh.

Kansas City said...

We are all speculating. The story is intended to convey that she is very hard to work for. My own guess is that like some African American Women I have known who benefited tremendously from affirmative action, she is tremendously hard to work for. Everyone has been telling her how great she is for years and no one has ever demanded anything from her in terms of hard work. Barack and she seem to have a great sense of entitlement.

I think she has done an okay job as first lady. And, she is a very good dancer. I wish she would not show off so much. She probably weighs more than Barack, but no one comments on it.

One other observation. You read favorable PR stuff about her regularly. Have you ever seen a story of kindness or "niceness" by her that was actually personal and not choreographed?

DADvocate said...

What a sad, creepy crew you are.

It's embarrassing.


If only you knew how sad and (especially) creepy.

How are the comments others make here embarrassing to you?

If you ever made an intelligent worth pondering, I'd say stay, but save yourself the embarrASSment and go elsewhere.

Michelle makes Hillary seem warm and cuddly.

edutcher said...

Jeremy said...

edutcher "Someone needs to tell Jeremy a good boss, no matter how tough, does not lose people."

Yeah, good bosses never lose people. No matter what other job opens for them, no matter how big the opportunity, they never leave good bosses.


Not at the rate they're leaving Mrs Messiah..

Kind of like:

"Former first lady Laura Bush saw a similar churn on her staff — after six years. By 2007, Bush was on her third press secretary, third social secretary and and second chief of staff."

Laura Bush: BAD BOSS.


I can understand why Jeremy needs to ignore RuyDiaz. He'll find he's been out-mathed.

Turnover at Michelle's staff in 2.5 years is similar to turnover at Laura Bush's staff after six years.

So, if the author is correct, 6/2.5 = 2.4

Therefore, the ratio at which people are leaving Michelle Obama's staff is 2.4 times the ratio at which people were leaving Laura Bush's staff.


edutcher: Teabagger Moron.

He seems negatively obsessed with homosexuals. Maybe he's one of the people who told Gallup a quarter of Americans are that way.

And you'd think Jeremy, a good little Lefty, just loves the homosexuals.

As for morons, he's the one that gets his head kicked in every time he comes here.

Carol_Herman said...

Jackie Kennedy just got 3 years as First Lady. But the books, stories, and videos keep on flowing!

Heck, even the line spoken by her husband, when she was at the State Dinner in France, given by DeGalle ... is still remembered in lots of circles.

JFK said: "I'm the man who brought Jackie Kennedy to Paris."

Don't think we'll see any books, ahead, extolling how "fashion-wise" the current First Lady is.

Carol_Herman said...

Funny, but the first State Dinner had a couple who barged in without an invitation.

Do you remember the beautiful red sari dress this woman wore? Didn't that cause the first Social Secretary to get fired?

Gee, I remember that red sari dress as if it was yesterday.

LilyBart said...

Yes, I think the point bears repeating as well: Michelle has seen the same level of staff turnover in 2.5 years that Laura Bush saw in 6 years. What # chief of staff will Michelle be on after year 6 (in the event there is a year 6)?

I've heard working in the white house in ANY capacity is difficult - and hard on your personal life. But this woman seems rather tough to me. I'm not surprised to hear she has high turnover.

Henry said...

Maybe someone's already said it, but I bet the first lady hates her job. What would you think if your spouse decided to run for president? And then what would you think if the idiot actually won? First lady is up there with "princess" as one of the more dehumanizing jobs out there.

JAL said...

I just told hubby the other day that this woman was not worth the $300,000 that hospital paid her. And for which, I would wager a guess, she did very little that someone make less than a third of that could do.

But the, maybe her husband's jobs are what makes him useful to her.

The book out by the former Secret Service guy touched on the character of the first families. and how they related to the support people who make their lives possible.

Funny how the people the Dems love to portray as snotty uncaring rich were the ones the staff and support people felt most valued by. The O'Bamas treat the Secret Service like the Clintons did - like servants.

No excuse for this.

rhhardin said...

If she's been through three chiefs, imagine how many indians.

Synova said...

Synova (To being a task-master): "Not if it's accompanied by care and attention to the needs of your staff."

"How would you, or anybody else here, possibly know how she treats her staff?"

It was a general statement about how we interpret various terms. It didn't address the first lady at all. Vicky had said that someone being a "task master" was a good thing. I suggested a qualifier.

Nothing more than that happened.

"Are you saying she and of course, Laura Bush as an example, must not pay attention to "care and attention to the needs of (their) staff?"

Based on what?
"

Turn over, the suggestion of a lack of unit cohesion, and the "polite" words used to describe working for Michelle. "Challenging workplace." "Formidable boss" "She's lovely BUT she's tough as nails, and that can be hard..."

And since Michelle's turnover is TWICE that of Laura Bush's, I don't know why you keep on trying to say they are the same.

Milwaukee said...

traditionalguy said...

My guess is that Michelle has been hiring from aristocrats of the Progressive camp... and those guys/gals do not see intelligent service for a boss as a job for them. They want to pose and brag to their friends, but they do not see doing diligent work ( like
slaves do) to be their lot in life. They actually expect to tell lies for huge rewards like Al Gore does.

Racist!

Milwaukee said...

Traditional Guy, I'm sorry, I had this urge, once you used the "s" word, to blurt that out. What do we call them now, chattel?

Michelle got a mid level and not very demanding job at U of C after Barack was elected to the Illinois legislature. When Barack was elected to the Senate, she got an elevation in title and a big raise, almost doubling her salary.
I recall that when she left her position wasn't filled.

Michelle has been an Affirmative Action hire, and doesn't understand what it takes to be either a good worker or a good boss.

Didn't the G.W. Bushes take holidays at Camp David so the staff could bring their families? Hawaii probably isn't as much fun when it is work. Doesn't Michelle have the largest First Lady staff ever? Do all those pretty liberals she has hired know how to work?

exhelodrvr1 said...

The most common reason for people to quit a job is dissatisfaction with their boss.

bagoh20 said...

In a successful high achieving organization the boss is usually liked more after working for them and being a part of such a team. If numerous team members like the boss less after joining, then that organization is dysfunctional, and that's the boss's fault.

Remember this is a boss who has enormous resources to call on, and who can do pretty much what she needs, if she knows what that is.

Knowing what needs done is the important part. A failed boss is usually someone who gets that wrong, after which the rest just amounts to flailing in the deep end, and elbowing everyone around you in the process.

Jim said...

And let's not forget that Michelle Obama's job was SOOOOOO challenging and important, that when she left they had to hire TEN people to do it...

Oops...I mean they ELIMINATED it...

My bad....

I guess Barack did turn out to be "useful" after all....

Skyler said...

Popular? Lovely woman? Really?

I've noticed that often in advertising, the characteristic least likely to be associated with a produst is the one that gets most heavily pushed. Porsche makes its SUV look like a sports car, for instance when most people see it as a soccer mom carrier. Here we're being told that the president's wife is popular and lovely? How?

It's about time that we stop giving these women so much money and such a huge staff. If they want to accompany their spouse on a trip, that's fine, but they shouldn't get a staff to do it, nor should they work on legislation or fat kids. Stand to the side, look pretty, or as pretty as you can, and leave governing to those elected to govern. It's down right unamerican.

traditionalguy said...

Milwaukee...I used "slavery" intentionally. Africans from Africa have no problem being good employees serving another person. But African Americans that came through several generations under evil slave state social order and Jim Crow racism in the South find serving a boss to be a difficult thing to do. The latest generation of African American youth has gone on from the old ways of resisting giving full service to an authority figure. Both Obamas have helped in this transition and deserve our thanks for that.

MadisonMan said...

This is one of those "news stories" that makes me think "So?"

Milwaukee said...

Traditional Guy: I suspected as much. My attempt was sarcasm. Your comments
"My guess is that Michelle has been hiring from aristocrats of the Progressive camp... and those guys/gals do not see intelligent service for a boss as a job for them. They want to pose and brag to their friends, but they do not see doing diligent work ( like slaves do) to be their lot in life. They actually expect to tell lies for huge rewards like Al Gore does."
are spot on.

As are your 9:34 remarks. I once taught high school in a diverse community. Once two girls, one White, one Black, took to fighting because one had said to the other "I'm not your slave."

People who think they are entitled don't make very good employees, and I doubt they make very good employers.

A while back I saw a picture of an African-American male holding a picket sign that said "I deserve a job." Whoa. Grounds right there to Never hire him.

I do not ever recall hearing such stories about previous First Ladies. Perhaps if the press hadn't fawned all over her this wouldn't be such a topic of conversation.

The first comment, by madAsHell is also revealing. (No pun intended.) Something as simple as covered arms at a Royal State Dinner shouldn't have been so difficult. Except then all the world couldn't see those marvelously toned arms.

VanderDouchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

"Read between the lines."

She's a bitch.

Fen said...

Michael: I would guess they try and cram pals and fellow travelers into a role that requires higher energy levels and greater competence than pals and fellow travelers possess. These are very tough jobs and require the hours of first year associates at investment banks for about the same pay.

Good points.

FloridaSteve said...

So she's a bitch. Duh..

Synova said...

I understand what you guys are suggesting about people with a chip on their shoulder. And while I don't know about black people (though it's logical enough) I sure do know about *women*.

Too good to get the coffee.

If you know what I mean.

And it's sort of what I was saying earlier. There's this faux sort of assertiveness that is supposed to be admirable because the most important thing is not to take a typical female support role, not to be a "doormat".

But this is all based on a fantasy about what it's like to be male in the workplace.

And I suppose that works for minorities as well.

Gene said...

Victor Ermita: I mean look at the high level of achievement in her own career, where for decades she (along with her husband, of course) has been required for deacdes to perform high level tasks with high standards of accountability.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that Michelle has ever performed anywhere at a high level. She needed affirmative to get into college and she failed the reportedly easy Illinois bar exam the first time out.

dick said...

And God bless those who voted for her husband so we got stuck with this merry-go-round of people who run away as fast as they can.

Seven Machos said...

the reportedly easy Illinois bar exam

It's no walk in the park, pal.

David R. Graham said...

Drugs/Voodoo.

Charlie said...

She has toned arms and a vegetable garden. What is it that her "staff" is doing, other than promoting those two things?

gonetoworkbbackin5min said...

Didn't she have her eyebrow plucked to relieve her "angry eyes"

gonetoworkbbackin5min said...

Maybe Michele speaks to her staff like Sheila Jackson "you stupid motherfucker" Lee.

Richard said...

And, they called Reagan the "Teflon President."

RebeccaH said...

I once turned down a much-needed job with a lawyer when one of his staff told me, "He isn't mean, he's just dedicated". I assume this is what these unnamed sources mean when they describe the first lady as "having really high expectations" and "tough as nails".

For the record, she isn't the one in the family who wears the mom jeans.

gutless said...

The word on the street is that Mrs. Obama is a very nice lady with a heart as big as her butt. So why are all these ingrates abandoning her? Most likely just taking advantage of her to burnish their resumes and then bolt for higher pay. Sadly, Mrs. Obama is taken advantage of because of her kindness and mild disposition. Just look at her and you can see she is an easy mark for strivers on the make. I feel sorry for the FLOTUS.

Nate Whilk said...

Maybe she really is just downright mean.

wv: refiterb

orthodoc said...

"And calling the First Lady of your own country is pretty disgusting...regardless of your politics"

Google results:
"Laura Bush bitch:" 669,000 hits
"Laura Bush cunt:" 980,000 hips
"Laura Bush killed a guy:" 639,000 hits
"Laura Bush asshole:" 612,000 hits.

I wholeheartedly agree. Calling the First Lady nasty names is awful.

pumping-irony said...

I think this kind of story wouldn't matter much at all except the lamebrain media is obsessed with pushing the meme about how wonderful MO is. Truth of the matter is that MO herself apparently has no qualms about being a grasping, self-centered demanding woman. Why the media still tries to pretend differently, only those delusional morons can tell youl

Scorpius said...

"Gelling" what is this, a Dr. Scholl's commercial?

GIMP said...

All we have is a bunch of conjecture. I'll bet the hours are tough on anyone. Probably the most critical determinant as to whether staffs are willing to keep working like that is whether or not they see the boss doing it too. If they work 15 hour days, she better be working 16 hour day or the staff will bail fast. If the boss is doing the work too, maybe it's just too much for some people relative to the rewards.

Gene said...

Seven Machos: It's no walk in the park, pal.

May not be, bud. But 92% of law school graduates pass it on the first try. Compared to the bar exams of other states, Illinois ranks in the bottom 20%. The problem however is not the exam itself. Intellectually speaking, Michelle is a 40 watt bulb.

Clioman said...

A wookie is as a wookie does.

RonF said...

According to the article the First Lady has a staff of about 25. The two major things they remark upon as their projects are her anti-obesity initiative and her schedule for her husband's re-election campaign.

Why are we paying for this? Why is my tax money going towards whatever cause the First Lady decides is important for the nation to pursue? Why is my tax money going towards coordinating her appearances for her husband's re-election campaign?

We elected him, not her. If he wants to push anti-obesity policies with the Health and Human Services agency then fine. But her priorities are not what the electorate voted to approve or promote. And the Democratic party should be paying to coordinate her appearances for her husband's re-election campaign, not the tax payer.

If the First Lady wants to direct State events at the White House, fine. Give her the staff she needs to do that. Otherwise, she should have a social secretary and that's about it. Press secretary? Chief of staff? DEPUTY Chief of Staff? Fire them all. I do not give a damn if she thinks that the U.S. should fight obesity in children. I don't give a damn what she thinks about anything and I don't see why I should have to pay for her to promote any of her pet projects just because her husband is important.

Milwaukee said...

RonF: Spot on.

Obesity has lots of causes, and lack of exercise is not the only one. Why does obesity seem to be more of a problem among the poor than the rich?

Don't get between Michelle and a tamale!

abeer ahmed said...

visit us on lifeandstylemag.com
http://whois.domaintasks.com/lifeandstylemag.com