Michelle and Mommy Wars

Michelle Obama's choices -- about where her kids will go to school or what her role will be in the White House -- are attracting as much attention at he husband's cabinet picks. Today in The Washington Post, Ruth Marcus worries out loud about what it means for the mommy wars ['the condition of modern women'] that Mrs. O has decided to call herself the Mom-in-Chief. It seems we are about to ramp up the debate about the quantity and quality of sacrifice in the modern American marriage. Go!


When Michelle Obama took to describing her new role as mom in chief, my first reaction was to wince at her words. My second reaction was to identify with them.

I was okay, actually, with what Obama said. But I worried: Did she have to say it out loud, quite so explicitly? Is it really good for the team -- the team here being working women -- to have the "mommy" stamp so firmly imprinted on her identity?

And most of all: What does it say about the condition of modern women that Obama, catapulted by her husband's election into the ranks of the most prominent, sounded so strangely retro -- more Jackie Kennedy than Hillary Clinton?