I think this column is probably a bit too gushy, but I like the basic message of it all the same: The Obama Relationship: A Major Benefit Nobody’s Talked About
Imagine having a president who likes his partner and values her as an equal, a president who touches his wife affectionately in public and actually listens to her when she talks!
Fortunately we don’t have to imagine it, because we already have that potential at the tip of our voting fingers. For Americans, one of the most important aspects of an Obama presidency is being overlooked: the model of a healthy relationship. In the 28 years of our own marriage, we’ve worked with more than 4,000 couples in our office and seminars, so we have a reasonably good idea of what kinds of behavior one sees in a healthy relationship. For example, Michelle and Barack do something we’ve never seen before in a presidential couple: they actually look directly at each other when they’re speaking to each other. They also laugh at each other’s humor, and they allow their sexual attraction for each other to be visible. Contrast that with other presidential marriages, in which the sexual attraction to each other was not visible but their sexual attraction to others became highly visible. Michelle and Barack talk openly about their feelings for each other. They’re real.
Now, granted being “real” doesn’t preclude a couple from cheating on each other or being mean to each other or all sorts of other things. But I do agree with the basic message that this seems like a mature couple who love each other but haven’t built that love up to unsustainable heights. They love their daughters and are doing their best to raise them well. Obama’s mentioned how their marriage was strained when he was running for office and their children were very young. And I love how, in one interview I can’t find the link for, he said frankly that when the book money started coming in, that helped ease the strain somewhat although he also admits he could have done better.
I like a lot of things about Barack, and his wife is one of his biggest assets. She’s a strong woman, comfortable in her own skin and what seems like a good sense of humor. They got married in their late 20s, I believe, which I’m sure helped a bit because they had a good sense of self by the time they got together. And their kids are entirely too cute.
It’s never easy to sustain a marriage in the world of politics, but they seem to be handling it as gracefully as possible. They may not always be on the same page, but I believe they’re doing what they can to ensure that they’re at least reading the same book.
Having said that, if Obama wanders off to the Dumb Whore/Rielle Hunter section of the library, I reserve the right to take back all of the above and join the angry mob heading to his house to help Michelle take him down.
And first we have to win. So guys, don’t surrender. McCain is blundering and stumbling, yes, but the awful/brilliant thing about a Hail Mary is there’s still a chance of a TD, however slight.