Yesterday was a series of respectful, low-key events.
First our moment of silence:
As you can see, Lady M wore a semi-military coat, as we first showcased in our Fall Fashion Notebook, only minus the pockets and with the belt built-in.
We continued low-key thru lunch with the lovely Carla, thus avoiding a crisis in photo-journalism:
Monday's great photo-op that never happened: Michelle Obama and French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. The glamorous duo had a private lunch together in the White House while their husbands held a bilateral meeting, but the visit was kept very low-key in the wake of the Tucson shootings.
I wonder how long we’re going to be able to use this excuse to impose the photo embargo when we don’t feel like squeezing into our containment systems? The Secret Service did a pretty thorough sweep of the lunch room. Even little Mo got shuttled out, and he’s usually under everyone’s radar.
Butt the ladies enjoyed a nice little lunch of shaved veggie thingies on watercress while discussing the politics of fashion.
I loaded up my language pack and was looking forward to enjoying a mellifluous conversation in French. Butt I forgot that French wasn’t included in the price of either of Lady M’s ivy league college educations. That’s OK, Carla’s French accent was still fun to listen to.
Meanwhile, the boys were talking business:
There was a lot of finger-pointing,
and, finally, sharing of secrets. I hope it wasn’t about the first ladies. I think Nicky' has lips as loose as Dezi’s.
The two of them didn’t really accomplish much, because Big Guy was pretty intimidated by Nicky’s Finance and Economics Minister, Christine Lagarde:
Christine Lagarde and Toes
He’s really wishing he hadn’t sent Rhambo back to Chicago, where he stored all his sweaters in the basement.
The chattering class was very busy yesterday. Eleanor Clift at The Daily Beast was ruminating on the First Ladies. I don’t know how accurate she was on her description of Carla, butt she so nailed Lady M:
Each has had to adapt in her own way to the reflected glory of marriage to a president…
Michelle Obama was well along on her career path as a top lawyer when she was assigned to mentor Barack Obama, and a former administration official who worked closely with the first lady says that early on, she had bouts of resentment over the realization that her life will never again be the same. It must also be maddening for her to stay clear of any visible role in policymaking when she is so smart and competent. But she seems to have made peace with it, carving out issues of work-life balance and taking a leadership role in combating childhood obesity.
And Eleanor even mentioned me in her article! “Each has had to adapt in her own way to the reflected glory of marriage to a president.” That was so nice of her. So I won’t bother to correct her on that part about Lady M having “made peace with it.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Alter over at what I thought was the defunct Newsweek, offered Big Guy some suggestions on how to not let this current crisis go to waste: Can Obama Turn Tragedy into Triumph?
This horrific event offers the president a chance to show leadership qualities that he’s inexplicably hidden away in some blind trust…
…Conservatives like to argue that these are isolated incidents carried out by lunatics and therefore carry no big lessons (unless the perpetrator is Muslim, in which case it’s terrorism); liberals view them as opportunities to address various social ills. Obama is in the latter category and should act accordingly. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008. The same goes for a shooting spree that gravely wounds a beloved congresswoman.
So it’s simple: just explain to the folks that conservatives are reactionary, liberals are enlightened. With all this helpful free advice, I wonder why we have so many paid advisors around here? If this approach works out for Big Guy, Jon might be given the nod as the official biographer.
Both of the O’s have cleared their schedules for today in order to fly to Arizona to follow Mr. Alter’s advice.