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“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.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
"Two new documentaries take on Billy McFarland and his disastrous music festival... the secret villain of this story all along: the subtle menace of social media marketing."
"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"