An Interesting Read: ‘The Obamas’

An interesting story involving Barrack Obama and Johnny Depp came to light in January. A lavish
Halloween party was thrown at the White House in 2009, in which Johnny Depp welcomed guests in his Mad Hatter costume, alongside “Alice in Wonderland” director Tim Burton. This over the top event began receiving publicity shortly before the release of Jodi Kantor’s book, “The Obamas.” The book would contain further details about the party, and even those who did not follow politics were eagerly anticipating the release of “The Obamas.” The book is quite enjoyable, and covers some of the stories that did not make the news, like the “Alice in Wonderland” party. “The Obamas” touches on most of the important and controversial events that have been part of Obama’s presidency.

In “The Obamas,” Kantor does an excellent job in illustrating what makes Obama an unusual
president. Kantor suggests that he continues to associate with controversial figures like Reverend
Jeremiah Wright, due to a sense of loyalty. Because of his own abandonment issues, Obama tends to see those close to him in a positive light. After the beer summit debacle, Obama has generally stayed clear of public discussions of race. Obama and his advisers believe it is best not to present unfair racial treatment as a grievance.

Michelle Obama is really the star of the book. She is clearly strong, opinionated, and also admirable.
Michelle is someone who does not accept excuses. She does not speak about it often in interviews, but Michelle’s father has multiple sclerosis and is disabled. Her father’s disability seems to have been a factor in forming Michelle’s personality. Her father had to navigate around Chicago in a wheelchair, and this required some careful planning on Michelle’s part. She would describe herself now as a highly organized person.

After becoming the First Lady, Michelle fought hard not to turn into a “lady who lunches”. Michelle did not wish to speak to graduating classes at Ivy League schools, but strove to find underprivileged schools and groups to visit. She also wanted to interact with these groups and really connect with them. Kantor also talks about the years Michelle spent working with the Chicago chapter of Public Allies. Some of the participants fondly remember their experiences with Michelle. You did not cry on Michelle’s shoulder. Michelle would try to find actions the participants could take in order to handle their problems.
At first glance, Kantor’s book seems very fair. This is because she touches on some details that are less than flattering to the first couple. For instance, Kantor addresses Michelle’s Spain trip, and very briefly touches on the events leading to the “beer summit”. While Obama was serving as a Senator, he still identified himself as a writer, not a politician. Interestingly, the President and First Lady have never been fans of the American government system. They find it to be ineffective.

On the other hand, there are some glaring omissions. Very little is said about Vice President Joe Biden, whose gaffes may be an embarrassment to the President at times. Another problem for Obama is Attorney General Eric Holder. Now that the Fast and Furious scandal has come to light, it seems likely that Obama will be criticized for his appointment of Holder. Holder is also barely mentioned in the book.

Kantor’s book is engaging and interesting, but is it fair to Republicans? The answer is no. One example of this is Kantor’s coverage of the Gabby Giffords shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Kantor covers the fear that the shooting instilled in Michelle. She provides specific details about the President’s speech in Tucson, given a few days after the shooting occurred. However, Kantor also takes this opportunity to slam the Republican party. She compares Giffords to Obama,stating: “…they had both been attacked with the ugliest possible rhetoric by Republicans”. Kantor seems to have conveniently forgotten about the horrible comments that have been made about George Bush, Sarah Palin, and other prominent Republicans in the past. Not only have Bush and Palin been called stupid, let’s not forget Kanye West’s and Sandra Bernhard’s negative comments about these two, respectively. Some of the ugliest rhetoric has often come from prominent liberals.

It seems that the main goal of Kantor’s book is to help Obama get re-elected. Even though the
book does not always present a fair viewpoint, “The Obamas” is an entertaining, worthwhile read.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *