How the Obamas Feel About Attacks Against Michelle



Walt Baker's email gave Pith a creepy feeling of déjà vu. Gutter attacks on the Obamas are becoming a Tennessee tradition.

There was Bill Hobbs' "Anti-Semites for Obama" press release, Chip Saltsman's "Barack the Magic Negro" CD, and Sherri Goforth's "spook" picture. Coincidentally, what should come up last night in Game Change, the book we're reading about the 2008 presidential campaign? That's right, the state GOP's posting of that Web video mocking Michelle Obama over her "proud of my country" remark.

The book sheds new light on the Obamas' feelings about the video and other attacks--potential and real--against the future first lady:

Barack was in no mood for jest. He expected that the fall campaign would be ugly, and told himself he was ready for the freak-show attacks on him. I'm a big boy, Obama thought. I can take it. What he wasn't prepared for, what he wouldn't countenance, was seeing his wife in the crosshairs. "They're coming after Michelle," he told [his friend and adviser Valerie] Jarrett. "I want to shut it down."

On May 18, while campaigning in Oregon, the Obamas taped a segment for the next day's broadcast of Good Morning America. When the interviewer brought up the Tennessee Republican Party Web video, Obama pounced. "If they think that they're gonna try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign, they should be careful," he said, fairly growling. "For them to try to distort or to play snippets of her remarks in ways that are unflattering to her, I think is just low class." Obama added, "These folks should lay off my wife." ...

After the interview, Jarrett asked Michelle what she thought.

"Look at my husband," she said, beaming. "That's my husband."

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