January 19, 2019

Michelle Obama Succeeds where Hillary Clinton Failed

“A former first lady, senator, and secretary of state can barely fill up half of an arena as she tours with her husband across the continent. Meanwhile, a subsequent first lady who never really wanted the job is selling out tickets for her book tour at rock star style magnitudes and prices. And her memoir, Becoming, just became the best-selling book of the year.

The differences couldn’t be starker between Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, who just two years ago were sharing a stage in a failed bid to keep the White House blue. But Obama’s star on the rise and Clinton’s favorability rating sinking below that of Donald Trump’s tell a far more interesting story about American womanhood than American politics.

The Clinton genre of staid, working womanhood and standing by your man, no matter how persistent and unapologetic the humiliation, it seems, is finally going out of fashion. Obama isn’t popular simply for her past as first lady, but it seems more her willingness to embody so many contradictions.

Obama is a two-time Ivy League grad who gave up a successful career to become the most glorified housewife in the country. She underwent in vitro fertilization twice to have children, but will honestly lament the pains of parenting. She’s spending the most powerful part of her career engaging in radical vulnerability, not the stoicism so many in her position embrace. And she’s never been more popular.”

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