One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk. In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”
Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »
I love this photo mostly because of the absolute stars in Malia Obama’s eyes as she gazes at Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl targeted by the Taliban for her activism on behalf of girls’ education. So what did Malala and the President talk about? In a statement, the teen said:
“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”
Such a brave, wise soul in so many ways. Be sure to pick up her memoir, I Am Malala, when it comes out this Tuesday. [The Washington Post] [Photo: Getty Images]
Sure, Syria might have released chemical weapons on its own people this week. BUT I WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT THE WHITE HOUSE’S NEW PUPPY GAAAAAAH! Here’s President Obama in an exclusive interview with CNN, talking about the new puppy Sunny (a Portuguese water dog like their four-year-old dog, Bo) and her accidents around the White House. Don’t worry, Hillary. They’ll be cleaned up by 2016. [Huffington Post]
It’s the day of bros bashing bros: President Obama has had a somewhat tortured relationship with Kanye West, at least as reported in the media. He memorably called the rapper a “jackass” in 2009, then later explained that he “liked” the “smart” and “talented” Kanye … though adding “he is a jackass.” Now Kanye’s name has popped up once again, in a Kindle Singles Interview about “the economy and the increasing need for government programs that [Obama] believes can make a difference.” Wait, wha? Yes. Read more at Newser…
Beginning less than an hour ago, President Barack Obama held a impromptu press conference in the briefing room to share his thoughts about the death of Trayvon Martin and the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. (This is on top of the brief statement he released earlier this week.) For nearly 17 minutes, the President gave what I would call an extraordinary and unprecedented speech that touched on the verdict itself, the need to review Stand Your Ground laws, and what it’s like to be a black boy/man in America, going one step further than he has in the past by saying, “Trayvon Martin could have been me.” I am so glad to see our President address this in such a thoughtful, nuanced way, especially given how many people would like to believe that his Presidency is indicative that we live in a “post-racial” world. You can watch the full briefing above (in two parts) and read a few of his most notable quotes after the jump. Keep reading »
Ending a years-long losing battle against making the morning-after pill accessible to all, the Obama administration has finally conceded to the wisdom of the masses and will stop fighting against emergency contraception. Keep reading »
He did not have sexual relations with that Asian/Pacific Islander “auntie.” Did you hear that, Michelle? [YouTube]
Time magazine released never-before-seen photos of President Obama attending his 1979 senior prom at the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. The photos were released by Kelli Allman (the one in the peach-colored dress), who attended the prom with her boyfriend Greg, Obama and his date Megan Hughes. Despite the fact that polyester was the fabric of choice in the ’70s, the group looks pretty great.
Allman also shared the sweet message that Obama left in her senior yearbook:
Kelli, It has been so nice getting to know you this year. You are extremely sweet and foxy, I don’t know why Greg would want to spend any time with me at all! You really deserve better than clowns like us; you even laugh at my jokes! I hope we can keep in touch this summer, even though Greg wil, be gone. Call me up and I’ll buy you lunch soemtimes. Anyway, good luck in everything you do, and stay happy. Your friend, Barry Obama.
And he sealed it with a heart! [Time]
Daniel Day Lewis is famous for really inhabiting his roles. On the set of his latest film, “Lincoln,” Lewis lived as Abraham Lincoln 24/7, and the same goes for his characters in ”There Will Be Blood” and “Last of the Mohicans.” So it makes total sense that in Steven Spielberg’s latest biopic, “Obama,” Lewis would really go overboard to play the president. So lifelike! [Mashable]