Michelle Obama, the conservative? How to keep big government out of your lunch(Read article summary)
Michelle Obama says that 'if you don't like government ... messing with your life,' you should make better eating choices. Is Michelle Obama starting to sound more like a conservative than a liberal?
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
How's this for a counterintuitive source on conservatism: Michelle Obama is now offering novel advice on how to keep the government from meddling in peoples' lives.
“If you don’t like the doctor, if you don’t like government, if you don’t like folks messing with your life, the best thing to do is make sure you’re healthy," Mrs. Obama told Cooking Light in a piece entitled, "The First Lady of Food." "Because that’s going to increase your odds for making sure that you don’t have to deal with the system.”
The interview was a first for Cooking Light – the first time in its 30-year history that it has featured a person on the cover. It was also a first for the "first lady," who has long been known as a determined crusader in the fight to promote quality eating.
This is, of course, the same anti-obesity crusader who rocked with a turnip to Lil John's "Turn Down for What." This is also the Michelle Obama who hosted the first-ever Kids' State Dinner at the White House to cap a nutritional recipe challenge, who started a White House garden, a Let's Move! campaign, and who has campaigned hard to change school lunches.
In other words, if not a change of heart, Michelle's latest comments appear to be a change in tactics: Promoting good eating habits by promising less, not more, government.
How are conservatives reacting to Michelle's newfound conservatism? What they aren't saying appears to be more telling than what they are. They aren't exactly applauding the her comments - the conservative Western Journalism writes, "So, essentially, Michelle Obama seems to be suggesting that if you do what she says, she’ll be more likely to leave you alone." That said, the kind of overwhelmingly negative coverage, as Mrs. Obama experienced for other eating policy initiatives, is largely missing.
In fact, it isn't the first time Mrs. Obama has turned, somewhat surprisingly, to the right. After the release of "American Sniper," the controversial film that served as a flashpoint for pro- and anti-war activists, as well as conservatives and liberals, the First Lady spoke out publicly in support of the movie.
"While I know there have been critics, I felt that, more often than not, this film touches on many of the emotions and experiences that I've heard firsthand from military families over these past few years,” Mrs. Obama recently, at the launch of “6 Certified,” an initiative toward accurate portrayals of veterans and military families in movies and television.
In singing the film's praises, Mrs. Obama publicly joined the conservative choir of Sarah Palin, Blake Shelton, and Kid Rock, all of whom have spoken out in support of the movie.
That said, are Michelle Obama's Cooking Light comments part of a larger Michelle-volution? Is this a deliberate move counter the portrayal as an "unpatriotic, angry, black woman," when her husband first entered office, one who was criticized for her designer taste and Oscar appearances, to an "American Sniper"-praising, government-distancing all-American patriot?
Not quite, but after more than a decade in politics, it is evidence that Michelle Obama is getting the hang of things.
As Breitbart reported, Mrs. Obama admitted that change is difficult, particularly when dealing with a personal issue such as eating habits.
“Change is hard for anybody. And when you’re talking about food, food is really personal,” she said. “So when you’re telling people to rethink their dietary habits that they’ve lived with all their lives, it’s really personal.”
Part of her strategy, Breitbart continued, was to be more “positive” and less “accusatory” without “making people feel judged.”
As with life, so with politics, as a famous food-centric adage goes: You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.