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If Okay to Give Ann Romney a Pass, Then how about Same for Michelle Obama?

Posted on: March 7, 2012

  • Should Ann Romney, wife of multimillionaire Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, get a pass for her recent political gaffes? Was such a consideration given to Michelle Obama when her husband, now President Obama, first ran for office in 2008?
    These questions have become a source of wide-range debate recently, particularly following Mrs. Romney’s remarks on Monday suggesting that she does “not consider myself wealthy.” Earlier this month Mrs. Romney also joked that she “could just strangle” the press, a remark that received little push back.
    The mainstream news media, including prominent newspapers and major TV networks, have urged the public to put Mrs. Romney’s latest remarks in context. Former CBS News Anchor Dan Rather suggested giving Mrs. Romney a pass because she is only the “spouse” of a presidential candidate and not herself a candidate running for office. The Washington Post suggested reading Mrs. Romney’s remarks in their full context before passing judgement.   But what if it were Michelle Obama who made either of those remarks?
    Some critics–particularly on Twitter–say the spouse of Mitt Romney should not be given a “pass” by the news media since First Lady Michelle Obama was not given EQUAL TREATMENT when her husband first ran for President.  Before becoming the nation’s African American First Lady of the United States and since serving in that role for the past three years, Michelle Obama has faced intense scrutiny by the mainstream news media (MSM), Right Wing critics, and even some liberal Democrats. She has gotten very little public support from prominent women’s groups as the victim of intense criticism and  crude name calling.  In 2008, she was accused of being unpatriotic for comments she made about being “proud of my country for the first time…”  At that time, the news media made very little effort to put Mrs. Obama’s words in context.

    And the scrutiny has not stopped.  Since becoming the nation’s first African American First Lady, Mrs. Obama has been booed by some fans at NASCAR. The news media recently gave credibility to a European newspaper that falsely criticized her lavish purchase of lingerie. When she   vacations or goes on trips with her husband as other First Ladies have historically done, she is called out and even sometimes equated to being Marie Antoinette.
    Following Mrs. Romney’s remarks on Monday, an conversation ensued on Twitter comparing how Mrs. Romney has been treated by the news media  to how First Lady Michelle Obama has been treated.   Here are two excerpts taken from two Twitter discussions on the subject.

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