First Lady Michelle Obama’s pitch to voters last night relied on the premise that she and her husband understand what it is to struggle to make ends meet. About how a young Barack Obama drove a car that was “rusted out” and found his furniture “in a dumpster,”
Her fairy tale–however well-delivered–was one great, big, colorful lie.
Both Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama began their adult lives with a leg up on the rest of America. They attended elite schools: Michelle went to Whitney Young, the public magnet school for Chicago’s upper class, while Barack attended Punahou, the private prep school for the top stratum of Hawaiian society. They were accepted to Ivy League schools despite undistinguished credentials, and both attended Harvard Law School. They had both just graduated from a very expensive law school, and their combined income from cushy law firm jobs dwarfed the repayments. Barack also soon enjoyed a second salary from the University of Chicago.
They had expensive tastes, reflected in the $277,500 two-bedroom condo they bought in 1993–a high price even by today’s standards. They moved into their $1.65 million mansion in Hyde Park–with the help of fraudster Tony Rezko. Barack often told a story of hardship on the campaign trail in 2008 about having his credit card declined–once.
When Barack Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate, he obtained a $1 million earmark for the University of Chicago Hospital–and his wife’s salary as Vice President for Community Affairs jumped from $121,910 to $316,962. Her job: pushing poor, uninsured patients to other hospitals.
As First Lady, Michelle Obama has lived high on the hog while the rest of the country.
In 2010, she and her entourage decamped to Spain for a lavish vacation. That summer, the Obamas encouraged Americans to visit the Gulf coast after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which threatened tourism in the region. They promptly jetted off to Maine for their own summer holiday. Michelle and her daughters had enjoyed an expensive winter skiing trip in Aspen. And, of course, there are the frequent pilgrimages to Hawaii.
And until entering the national spotlight, they gave little to charity, contributing instead to a church that preached racial grievance. “[T]ruth matters,” Michelle Obama told the nation last night. That, too, is a lie–because so far, she has evaded it without consequence.