Monday, 14 May 2012

When two O's collide - Obama, Oprah and a question of ownership

The latest kerfuffle in the White House is about the supposed rivalry between Michelle O and Oprah W. It’s reported that Mrs Obama is stomping around the corridors of power and walking in unannounced to the Oval Office so that she can keep an eye on  her husband.

The fact that he is President of the world’s most powerful country appears to be lost on her. Perhaps his Presidency is a challenge to her spousal and domestic power. In a recently published book – “The Amateur” Ed Klein alleges that Michelle is fuming about the attention that her husband pays to Ms Winfrey.

In Vogue
Mr Obama is known to have interrupted important meetings  in order to take calls from Oprah. She has unlimited “access, input, influence and power” to his re-election campaign.

Of course she does, Oprah is the champion of ordinary folk, the ones that matter in political campaigns. Her rise from humble talk show host to billionaire entrepreneur took guts and hard work. Her talk show and cable TV company connects her to people in every corner of the earth. There is no place on earth where her name is not known. Oprah’s fame and power will live on long after Barack Obama’s name has faded on the presidential hall of fame plate. 

Barack ,being the man he is, knows he has to chase power if he wants to retain the top job. Oprah is the power house and without her support his chances are shaky. This is a critical time for him, and Michelle should be understanding and supportive. If she charges around checking up on him it’ll be the fastest way to push him into the arms of a gentle and listening ear, masquerading as a White House intern.
Who's in charge?

Michelle O is an educated woman but lags behind in the wisdom stakes, if these reports are true. She is a rational woman but once in the grip of the green eyed monster her rationale appears to desert her. She’s complex and territorial but didn’t anyone tell her that a husband is not a possession?

Jealousy  is ugly because it reduces people to the level of objects. It makes you “own” and feel “owned” and that’s demeaning. Insecurity in the First llady is a surprise when she travels around the US and all over the world inspiring young women to be their own person – ambitious and aspirational. Michelle is the power behind the presidential throne so why the anxiety about who her husband’s spending time with?

Perhaps it’s due to the negative track record of previous presidents, notably JFK. He and Obama have much in common – young  and skilful orators. JFK’s libido keeps him in the headlines but so far Obama is as clean as a whistle. Michelle, no doubt, wants it to stay that way but is it up to her?
In the shade

First Ladies, bar Hilary Clinton, stay in the political background; think Laura and Barbara. The Bush ladies were happy to enjoy the perks but they remained out of the limelight. Michelle is not Jackie O, who smiled in all the right places and suffered in silence. Michelle is a forthright woman who is prepared to do whatever it takes to keep her husband on the straight and narrow.

It’s disturbing how many married couples appoint themselves as each other’s “keepers”. The marriage vows clearly state  “will you keep her in sickness and in health?” and I guess people take it literally. The only keepers I know are in zoos! Some cynics might say that marriage is a zoo and menagerie when offspring and in-laws come home to roost.

A confident woman doesn’t stoop to jealousy. A woman whose self worth is high overrides the twinges. A woman married twenty years (to the same man) knows her marriage is solid….or does she? I'm not her biggest fan as I think she tries a little too hard. She makes trite statements about family values quite forgetting that her husband is the product of a "broken home". 

Twenty years is a watershed. It’s make or break time and the Obamas are fast approaching this marriage milestone. After this length of time your feelings are either weary or warm or even a combo of the two.

Every marriage has to go through some soul searching and maybe Michelle’s on a fact finding mission to test the soundness of the partnership. Has she met her "Waterloo" in Oprah? 
Stiff upper lip

Obama needs his personal and professional co-pilots. He can’t drive this monster of a campaign if one of them bails out. It’s said that behind every successful man is a woman, perhaps two. If these two women join forces they’ll be a potent force.

Emotional intelligence and biting one’s tongue will assist the campaign. Let the White House put on the best show of unity and then three O’s will not be a crowd…and that’s a change we can believe in.



At 4 August 2012 at 06:33 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read your article. Klein's book is nonsense and you've based your entire article on his rediculous assetions. Too bad, because I wanted to enjoy your website but I won't be visiting again.

At 5 August 2012 at 09:07 , Blogger Wisdomona said...

Thanks for your input. Negative comments are as appreciated as positive ones!


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