Marcus complains that while we almost had Hillary Clinton, an Ivy League-educated lawyer, in the Oval Office, we now have Michelle Obama, an Ivy League-educated lawyer who might restrict herself to the more traditional role of mother. She seems highly disappointed by someone who in terms of educational pedigree and professional success could be (if only) another ambitious, career-driven woman in the White House. But that’s as irritating as the statements that heralded Palin as a second coming for female voters. There is nothing empowering about playing replace-a-woman, especially with one who never ran for office. If Marcus wants to write about her frustration that Clinton did not win the presidential office, then she should direct her energies toward 2012 and the arena of political candidacies.

But to compare Hillary Clinton’s high achievements (and what she could have done in office) to Michelle Obama’s high achievements (and what she might do as First Lady) is to compare apples and oranges. And face it: the national spotlight being a crucible pot for familial stress, the duties of presidential spouses (whether First Lady or First Dude) may always be a little bit out of touch with the cultural climate of parenting roles. Why not just come to terms with the fact that being cowed into a traditional role isn’t the same as choosing to take it on?

If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.


More in Campaign Desk

Michelle Obama, Mother

Read More »

Jane Kim is a writer in New York.