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!

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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?