Do That Many People Care About The Obama Marriage?

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hand out ...

AP

So if you’ve been keeping up with serious political discourse gossip you may have heard that Barack and Shelly O are having their marriage dissected speculated on (again) by a newspaper (New York Times) trolling for more readers. The curiosity factor is said to be weighed heavily on this subject – so much so that it deserves yet another a feature story???

…the Obamas mix politics and romance in a way that no first couple quite have before. Almost 10 months ago, they swept into Washington with inauguration festivities that struck distinctly wedding-like notes: he strode down an aisle and took a vow, she wore a long white dress, the youthful-looking couple swayed to a love song in a ceremonial first dance and then settled into a new house… Sunday NYT

Mmmkay. Wasn’t the book enough already since it came after the Slate series, the coverage of political wives, the Ebony cover stories and countless others?

Guess not!

Now I thought that after nearly one year in office (I know!) some of this “curiosity” would have surely died down by now. So I have one question: why does the Obama marriage generate such interest?

Aside from the symbolism of what the Obama marriage is presumed to represent how is their relationship greater than anyone else’s? We don’t really know the inner workings – nor should we. It’s really none of our business. Admittedly they do seem content with each other and that’s a nice thing to see.

There was a push amongst certain people that the mere sight of a “successful” marriage amongst two high-profile black people would “guarantee” a return of all the black men who’ve abandoned women and children, that there would be this mass rush for them to “come back home” and black love would rule the day. Curiously enough the mere sight of other long-term marriages amongst black celebrities didn’t do the trick earlier..so um why was this particular relationship supposed to be the magic bullet?

More impractical wishful thinking instead of corrective and proactive efforts. People tend to forget these marriages are the exception not the norm amongst blacks (even moreso amongst African-Americans).

The stats just don’t support the fantasy. By the way here and here are some stories from this past week that show the reality. I know that after reading and viewing them why looking towards the Obamas would have such appeal. The question that should also be posed is: what is your relationship like and are you even in one or are you waiting and wasting your life away?

I don’t recall Laura and Junior’s marriage being held under a microscope as often – except for people wondering why she married him to begin with. I guess the idea of a (half) African-descended President and his African-American wife is still cause for celebration – or consternation. Where’s the yellow tape that tells people to move along because there’s nothing to see?

“If I weren’t president, I would be happy to catch the shuttle with my wife to take her to a Broadway show, as I had promised her during the campaign, and there would be no fuss and no muss and no photographers,” the president said. “That would please me greatly.” He went on to say: “The notion that I just couldn’t take my wife out on a date without it being a political issue was not something I was happy with.”

“Everything becomes political,” he repeated very slowly. Then he said: “What I value most about my marriage is that it is separate and apart from a lot of the silliness of Washington, and Michelle is not part of that silliness.”

I think that sums it up best for the Obamas. Now what about you?!

2 Replies to “Do That Many People Care About The Obama Marriage?”

  1. Womanistmusings, you sum up my thoughts on the subject. The Obamas seem as if they genuinely love each other. They seem as if their marriage is not one of political or financial expediency, but one of love.

    Now as to why the media is so enamored by the Obamas, they are a novelty. There has never been a Black first family and Others are sort of looking at them as a gauge. Conservative Whites are interested in them to see if Blacks are different from Whites on the familial level. Liberal Whites are interested in them because they portend to show the world Blacks are just like us. Blacks of all political persuasions are interested in them because they are the ideal, even if the majority of us don't live up to the standard.

  2. I think that part of the fascination with the Obamas is that marriage, no matter the race of the people involved is a risky venture these days. Let's be honest, the divorce rate is high for everyone. I think people want to talk about the Obamas because they so freely express their love for each other. When I think of the Clintons, or the Bushs I don't envision romance and quiet times whereas the Obamas clearly adore each other. In fact, I can barely picture the Bushs and the Clintons sharing a sweet kiss, yeah just yuck. Love is a very beautiful thing and I think we all appreciate it when we see it and recognize it to be true. I feel this way when I see Will and Jada Smith and Susan Sarandon and Tim Robins as well. I think very few high profile couples no matter the race, express the kind of love that the Obamas do.

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