Why Wasn’t Mrs. Obama Proud?

Rick Hamada
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Wednesday - February 27, 2008

“What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback, and let me tell you something: For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic, common issues. It has made me proud.” - Michelle Obama

Instead of paraphrasing Michell Obama’s recent comments while campaigning for her husband, presidential candidate Barack Obama, I wanted to share her exact words with you. I have heard reactions on my radio program from anger to those who empathize with her sentiments. Some have opined that Michelle Obama is revealing her real feeling about America and others are delivering their own interpretations of what she was really trying to say. One thing is for certain, her comments are controversial.

Michelle Obama is 44 years old. In her lifetime, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have been president. Accomplishments include the Civil Rights Act, the first to land men on the moon, ending the Vietnam War, initializing true Middle East diplomacy, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, the repelling of Saddam Hussein and the reformation of our welfare system.


Is Michelle Obama not proud of these accomplishments?

The freedictionary.com defines pride as, “pleasure taken in an achievement, possession or association.”

One can conclude that Michell Obama does not take pleasure in the achievements of America nor does not take pleasure in her association with America. Is this an unfair assessment?

No.

“The reason is simple. Words mean something. The use of words allow us to communicate the intangible beliefs, sentiments and emotions we all possess. We rely upon the precise use of words to convey our positions and feelings. If one is a public figure speaking in a public environment, the words chosen to convey a specific message demands precision. You may believe one thing, but if your words fail in specificity, the audience must interpret your message themselves. The main culprit of misunderstanding is vagueness. If your message lacks specificity, the audience will reach their own conclusions.


Michelle Obama, in this speech, was not vague. She was specific. She was methodical and deliberate in her delivery. I believe her words are revealing of her sentiments regarding America. Until her husband’s candidacy, she was not proud of America. But she is now. Does that mean if Barack Obama loses the election, will she revert to lacking pride in America?

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