Dear Carla Bruni-Sarkozy: You're Wrong About Michelle Obama
There's no way Michelle Obama would speak out of school and blab about hating being first lady. She's just not that kind of woman.
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Until now. The Daily Mail, a right-wing U.K. tabloid, released details of the book this week, gleefully dropping that little tidbit, which is sure to provide fuel for Tea Party fire: See, that [black] woman doesn't want that job anyway! I told you. What an ingrate. We knew we should've never elected those people in the first place. And on and on.
(Michelle Obama's spokeswoman released a statement categorically denying the book's claims, as did the French Embassy in Washington. Bruni-Sarkozy is now "completely distancing herself from the book.")
Even if the Tea Party attempts to use this to say, "Here's one more example of the first lady blundering and saying what she really means and then trying to cover it up" -- e.g., the "really proud of my country" brouhaha -- I don't think it will work.
Michelle Obama is smart. Quick. Grounded. Tough. And smooth. All at once. She learned from her mother when she was a child not to worry about what other people think of her. She lives by that credo. She also learned to love her family and her country above all else.
The vision and the commitment that she has brought to the White House and to the nation through her attention to nutrition, her focus on eradicating childhood obesity, and her promise to honor veterans and their families prove that she is in this game for the long haul.
Her added, not-so-secret weapon is her steadfast connection to her husband, who happens to be president of the United States. She is a modern-day, stand-by-your-man kind of woman. And while Michelle Obama didn't start off wanting this job for herself or her husband (as she openly stated at the beginning of the campaign), she stepped into the role full-on. Michelle Obama is not a quitter. That doesn't mean she hasn't had her days of feeling weary. But trust that not even in a weak moment would she have confided something so personal to someone outside her inner circle.
So, Mrs. Bruni-Sarkozy, heaven only knows where you got those "quotes" that found their way into your biography. My guess is they came out of your own head.
A previous version of this article misstated the marital status of French president Nicolas Sarkozy prior to marrying Carla Bruni.
Harriette Cole is the president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. She is a life stylist, a best-selling author and a nationally syndicated advice columnist. She has also served as the editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine, the founding editorial director of Uptown magazine and the fashion editor of Essence magazine.