OPINIONATRIX…because my opinions dominate

While fans across the country were busy debating who wore what to the Oscars on Sunday, the real “best dressed couple,” were busy entertaining the United States Governors in D.C.

Obamas at the Governors Ball

Could the President and First Lady be any more attractive, elegant and stylish?  I don’t think so.


{January 26, 2009}   Yeah, And My Name is Mickey Mouse

Malia and Sasha Dolls

Earlier this week our nation celebrated as Barack Obama was inaugurated as our 44th president.  Liberal or conservative, the country has come together and few would argue that we are all still basking in the glow of an Obama-nation!  Unfortunately some people can’t help but exploit the little people.

I’m not talking about another big company pulling a fast one on the common man (although lord knows that’s a frequent occurrence these days).  I am talking about the Ty company actually exploiting  “little People, as in Sasha and Malia Obama!  Apparently, Ty (famous for manufacturing beanie babies) thought no one would notice if they fashioned Sasha and Malia dolls and marketed them to young girls who crave a piece of the famous first daughters.

When pressed, a spokeswoman for the company said:

“There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls, It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not.”

Is anyone buying this explanation?! Do they really think I am going to believe that they just happened to manufacture two African American dolls named Sasha and Malia at the same time Sasha and Malia Obama stepped onto the national stage?  I don’t think so.  Apparently, Michelle Obama doesn’t buy it either, stating “it is inappropriate to use young private citizens for marketing purposes.”

Nice try Ty company, but next time… grow a conscience!

{November 9, 2008}   America’s First Kids


Barack Obama is in the spotlight.  All eyes are on him.  We want to know his every move, thought and decision.  It was surprising, with all the turmoil this country has to deal with, that one of the most focused upon questions during his first press conference as President Elect was what kind of dog he plans to get.  This has become one of the biggest stories in the past couple of days.  Blogs have been reaching out to give him advice, Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested that he think about a cat instead and animal rights groups are campaigning for a shelter dog.  I don’t know what exactly this intense interest means about us as a country.  Perhaps it just cements my previous belief that Americans on the whole are an animal loving people.  However, I think the real reason this holds so much interest for the public is because it pertains to Barack Obama “the father,” and by extension to his two young daughters Sasha (7) and Malia (10).

I almost feel sorry for these girls.  Their lives are going to change immensely.  Not only are they being uprooted from their home, school, friends and daily lives, but they will be under public observation 24/7.  A simple trip out for ice cream will now involve secret service security detail, paparazzi and most likely appearances on the evening news.  They will be forced to go through those awkward teenage years with all of us watching them, judging them and offering them “advice.” Makes me tired just thinking about it.

Already the dresses they wore on November 4th have sold out as the American public clamors for a piece of America’s first kids.  I recently heard TV pundits debating about whether or not the Obama’s will choose public or private school.  I’m sorry, but when did that become our business?  We are entitled to know what Barack Obama intends to do about domestic and foreign policy.  We are not entitled to inquire and comment on his personal family choices.

Many are focusing on the fun and positive things about moving into the White House.  A private bowling alley!  24 hour staff! Personal chefs! Maids! People Magazine has written an article about it.  I don’t know though. Isn’t some of the joy of living taken away when it has to be done under a microscope?  Wouldn’t you get tired of having a ‘staff’ around all the time?  What if all you really want for lunch is a peanut butter sandwich made by your mom?  Hopefully Sasha and Malia will not lose all these simple pleasures.  Luckily for them Michelle Obama seems to be a woman of strong values who will do her best to raise the girls as normally as she can.  She has already stated that soccer and dance will continue, and I have a feeling the girls will still be expected to do their chores regardless of the maids.

I too have a curious interest in the Obama family.  How could you not?  They’re so damn likeable.  So photogenic.  So stylish. So incredibly endearing.  However, I am willing to forgo knowing their every move and decision so that these girls can maintain some sense of privacy.  I don’t need to see their birthday party pictures and I don’t want any input on where they go to school.  I sincerely hope the media give these kids a break.   However, if Barack Obama wants to tell us what they decide to name the new dog I wouldn’t object.

The Democratic Convention last night ended with a buzz of energy, and marked the beginning of the wait for Barack’s big speech tonight at Mile High Stadium.  Will he pull it off? Will it live up to the expectations? Only time will tell, but so far this convention has been hot and cold.  It will be interesting to see what the state of the Democratic party will be coming out of this; will we be unified or divided?

Hillary Clinton gave a good speech, not great, surely not phenomenal, but it was good and it energized the base of the party.  She went on a little too long about herself and her own campaign, and while she did talk a lot about Democratic party ideals, she didn’t talk enough about Barack Obama.  I will admit that she had some great lines, and whoever helped her write that speech should be commended.  It was just the right length, funny and motivating.  I just wished she had gotten to Obama a little bit faster.  Also, a bright orange pantsuit? What look was she going for?

Hillary’s speech aside, the highlight of the night was seeing Bill Clinton at the convention.  He looked like a kid in the candy store, a look of awe on his face almost the whole evening. I know he’s been to a convention before – so what was he so awed by?  He looked so innocent, it was almost cute. Additionally, the pride he had in his wife was so genuine it made me smile.

Wednesday evening, in my opinion, has been the best night so far.  I thought Bills speech was just what it needed to be.  It was delivered powerfully and genuinely – I thought he hit it out of the park.  I loved that he spoke about how he too was dogged with attacks of being “too young”… that was golden. Bill spoke of policy, he talked about where the country needs to be and how the Democrats can get us there. He stated simply that he felt Barack Obama is the man for the job and that Obama is ready to be President.  I was thoroughly impressed by both the content of his speech as well as his delivery.

However, the real winner of the night was Beau Biden. His introduction of his father was so heartfelt, and Senator Biden has such a compelling story it would be hard not to be moved by its account. Even Michelle Obama had tears streaming down her cheeks! I have always liked Joe Biden but the more I learn about him the more I admire him, and the more I think he is definitely the perfect VP choice.  Did you know he is one of the poorest senators? I certainly didn’t.  I thought he gave a good speech and look forward to seeing more of him as the campaign continues.  I have to say that when he and Obama were onstage together at the end of the evening, all I could think was: this is the “smily-est” presidential ticket ever!

All in all I think the Democrats are doing well.  I think the Clintons’ speeches helped to bandage the wound in the party, but I fear the scars will still remain.  I also love watching the “Big Dogs” interact. It seems like Michelle Obama and Jill Biden truly like each other and get along well.  I love seeing them in the moments when they don’t realize the camera is on them.  A picture says a thousand words and the general feel I get from these families is that they are genuine “salt of the earth” people.

Mile High Stadium is already packed, and anticipation of Obama’s acceptance speech is surely hanging in the air. I cannot wait to watch this evening play out.

{August 26, 2008}   And We’re Off…

The Democratic National Convention began yesterday in Denver, Colorado and it started with a bang! I was truly worried that the Clinton’s and the division in the party might steal the show, but last night gave us a plethora of speeches that centered on the Obama’s, the Democratic ideals and the potential of our country. The media did devote some time to Hillary Clinton and her supporters, but that had to be done because unfortunately that is an issue that continues to percolate below all the merriment of the convention.

I thought the majority of speakers were absolutely wonderful.  The only person I found stilted and somewhat boring was Jesse Jackson Jr.  I’m not sure if he had problems with the teleprompter or if that is his way of speaking but it didn’t seem as genuine when compared with the other speeches of the evening.

It was also a little odd that Jimmy Carter was not given a speaking role.  I understand that he has been viewed as controversial lately (due to his recent trip to the Middle East), but having a video centered on him and his (fabulous) work in New Orleans already brought him front and center so why not let him speak?  Best guess is the Obama campaign didn’t want to alienate voters by featuring Jimmy Carter – although I would argue that the video did that.  Perhaps he didn’t want to speak or maybe there just wasn’t time, but whatever the reason I found it weird.

The beginning of the night was mostly fluff, but the video tribute to Senator Kennedy followed by “Teddy’s” speech is what really kicked off the evening for me.  First of all, the video was extremely well done – no surprise since it was directed by Ken Burns. It made me want to travel back in time and journey along the Senator’s career with him.  I had always known he was a powerful Senator, but I never realized just how much he has accomplished over the course of his life and how greatly he has affected the lives of everyday people in a personal way.  Secondly, the fact that this man who is undergoing chemo for a brain tumor that will eventually lead to his demise was able to deliver such an effervescent and strong speech without any hint of self pity was inspiring. What a man! Seriously, the Democrats are lucky to have someone like that in their corner.

And now we come to the highlight of the night – Michelle Obama.  I thought her brother (and lookalike) did a great job of introducing her and offering a personal account of Barack and Michelle as people rather than candidates.  Michelle’s speech exceeded all my expectations. I have always admired Michelle Obama, but last night I was in awe.  This was a woman I want to meet. Her performance last night made me want to get to know Michelle Obama as a friend.  She seemed so genuine, passionate and strong.  I for one would be proud to have her as our First Lady.

All in all, I thought the night went well, and I look forward to seeing what else is in store for us. Hopefully there will be more focus on the issues and policies.  I think that’s what the public is yearning for – answers. For now though, I am pleased.

Lets make these two our next First Couple!

{June 21, 2008}   In Defense of Michelle Obama

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I LOVE Michelle Obama! I don’t know exactly why or what it is that makes her so appealing, but I am getting sick and tired of the media constantly hating on her. It is so refreshing to have a potential first lady who is strong, independent and smart. I think in a way I look up to Michelle Obama, because against all the odds she has prevailed. Even once she was at the top – married to a successful politician and living “the good life” – she still continued to work and forge her own path. She is her own person, not just ‘Barack Obama’s wife.’

While I do not agree with the criticism Michelle has garnered, I do understand where it is coming from. This is a woman who doesn’t parse words. She says what she feels and she does it directly and firmly. I think this is a reason to love her; who wants another first lady who is content to read stories and plan garden parties? I like that Michelle has opinions and is not afraid to express them. I also like the way she humanizes her husband – together they seem to really have a great thing going.

I think what I really like about Michelle Obama is that in many ways she reminds me a little of my own mother. A strong (occasionally harsh) and opinionated woman, unafraid to tell you exactly what she thinks (even when you don’t want to hear it) with a great sense of style. I can only say that America would be lucky to have Michelle as the first lady… a woman with a multifaceted personality who all girls young and old can look to for wisdom, advice and of course a little fashion sense.

et cetera