Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe:
ON THE website of the Tennessee Republican Party is a short video in which residents of Nashville talk about the pride they feel for their country.
In an interview on ABC, Obama growled that Republicans "should lay off my wife," and described the inoffensive Tennessee video as "detestable," "low class," and reflecting "a lack of decency."
If Republicans "think that they're going to try to make Michelle an issue in this campaign," he added ominously, "they should be careful."
Ooh, very fierce. But unless Obama is prepared to emulate Jackson - Old Hickory defended his wife's honor by fighting duels, in one of which he killed a man - he stands no chance of putting his wife's remarks off-limits to criticism. As long as he keeps sending her around the country to campaign on his behalf, everything she says is - and should be - fair game.
Mrs. Obama seems to say with grim regularity is that America is a scary, bleak, and hopeless place.
Here she is, for instance, in Wisconsin:"Life for regular folks has gotten worse over the course of my lifetime, through Republican and Democratic administrations. It hasn't gotten much better."
And in South Carolina:America is "just downright mean" and "guided by fear . . . We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day."
And in North Carolina:"Folks are struggling like never before . . . When you're that busy struggling all the time, which most people that you know and I know are, you don't have time to get to know your neighbor . . . In fact, you feel very alone in your struggle, because you feel that somehow it must be your fault that you're struggling so hard . . . People are afraid, because when your world's not right, no matter how hard you work, then you become afraid of everyone and everything, because you don't know whose fault it is, why you can't get a handle on life, why you can't secure a better future for your kids . . . Fear is the worst enemy. It . . . creates this veil of impossibility, and it is hanging over all of our heads."
There is also her creepily authoritarian vision of life under an Obama administration. From a speech in California:"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone . . . Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual - uninvolved, uninformed."
This woman scares me.