Using the strictestÂ definitionÂ of the word, we do not “know” the President or the First Lady as much as we’d like to think we do. Actually, besides from a few biographical facts, we really don’t know shit about them.
Fortunately, we tend not to use the strictestÂ definitionÂ of “know” when using information we can’t verify to help craft opinions on people we’ve never met. (It would just be too time-consuming.) So, with this looser, more palatable version of “know,” you can say that there are (at least) three things we all know about the relationship between Barack and Michelle Obama.
1. They appear to be very much in love. The best way to describe it would be that they seem to interact in a way that every newly married couple hopes they’ll still be interacting in 20 years.
2. During interviews, she frequently busts his balls, and he frequently goes out of his way to remind everyone she’s the backbone of the family. Basically,Â “Barack may run the country, but he has skidmarks in his drawls just like any other man.”Â
Whether this is authentic or not, it’s a popular method certain couples use to help humanize a high status and/or powerful man. Some may think it’s empowering, others emasculating. (I know this practice is popular on many sitcoms and movies, which makes me wonder if this behavior is sitcom-influenced or if the sitcoms just reflected what already was happening in real life.)
3. Barack Obama is a very powerful man. All things considered, perhaps the most powerful Black man to walk the planet in the last, I don’t know, five or six centuries. He is also considered by many women to be a very physically attractive man. His romantic options are, for lack of a better term, limitless.
Since Michelle Obama is a very smart woman, she’sÂ undoubtedlyÂ very aware of this.
So, with all these dynamics at play, when seeing the reaction to President Obama remarking last week thatÂ California Attorney General Kamala Harris was â€œthe best looking attorney general in the country”,Â I couldn’t help but wonder how exactly this would go over in the Obama household.
Taking the Pres and the First Lady and any other politics-related concerns about women and sexualÂ harassmentÂ and shit out of it, and just looking at it as “high status married man publicly compliments the looks of a very attractive subordinate…a subordinate who also happens to be single” you’re left with five likely reactions from the wife.
1. Amused, But Slightly Annoyed
(Perhaps this doesn’t put Barack on the couch for a night, but it may earn him a “Hmm, I’m sure Kamala’s can’t-keep-a-man-ass has a full carton of orange juice in her fridge. Why don’t you ask her for some?” next weekÂ if he complains that Michelle drank the last of the orange juice.)
(I doubt it. Barack doesn’t seem like much of a cad. And, when you’re not the type of guy to say things like this on a regular basis, you’re not likely to get a volcanic reaction when you do.)
3. Just Amused
(Considering what we’ve seen of them, this seems very possible. I can see Michelle teasing him for a minute about it, Barack trying not to laugh, and Malia and Sasha riding in on twin unicorns, jumping off, and giving everyone a big hug while they—and the unicorns—all hum the chorus to Love on Top.)
(Perhaps the most unromantic approach, as this is how we assume couples who view their relationships as business deals tend to react. Basically, “As long as my IRA is straight, I could give a damn. Go f*ck her for all I care. Shit, f*ck her with a Valerie Jarrett mask on. I gotta finish cashing all these Let’s Move checks.“)
(Who knows, maybe they have the type of relationship where she gets turned on by stuff like this. I mean, she is from Chicago.)
You know, even more interesting than the assumed reactions is the automatic default assumption that when a man in a relationship acts in a way a man in a relationship isn’t “supposed to” act, couch banishment is an option. This holds true even if the man happens to be the most powerful man in the world.
Yet, it’s very rare to find examples of a woman being “punished” in aÂ similarÂ manner. You’re also not going to find the husband of a powerful woman saying shit like “Yeah, she’s great and all, but she leaves her period panties in the sink just like any other chick.” to the entire countryÂ on 60 Minutes. That men are the ones who have to be domesticated in some way in order for a relationship to work is a widely-accepted and socially palatable concept—as well as being one that kinda paints some people as hypocrites—so knowing what we know about the Obamas and how they interact, it’s possible that the leader of the free world was “urged” to sleep on the couch for one night, but unlikely.
But, again, we really don’t know shit about them, so who really knows?
—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)