Mrs. Obama's Hope Is in the Eye of the Beholder

First Lady Michele Obama is not feeling the Christmas spirit this year.  She had a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey, who, by the way, is the left's version of Donald Trump: self-made, successful in business, wealthy, and influential.  Michael Moore, mouthpiece for the left, thinks Oprah should run for president.  Maybe she will someday.

Back to Mrs. Obama who is feeling bah-humbug this year. She has lost hope, telling Oprah, "We feel the difference now. See, now, we're feeling what not having hope feels like, you know." Wow what a difference an election makes.

Remember back in 2008, when there was another election, and the Obamas were poised to win the White House?  She was brimming with hope in those days: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback."

Doing the math, it seems that in her 52 years, Mrs. Obama has been hopeful for only eight of those years, when she and her family lived in the White House.  I can understand why she, as a Democrat, might not feel hopeful during a Republican presidency, but she had four years of Jimmy Carter and eight years of Bill Clinton to be feeling hope.  Or during decades of Democrat control of Congress.  Or when her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Barack Obama ran on a message of hope in 2008, specifically "Hope and Change."  That was one of his campaign slogans.  Nothing very specific, but the words provided the emotional tug felt by Mrs. Obama back in 2008 – the hope that she no longer feels.

But Mrs. Obama insists that her husband's "hope and change" catchphrase wasn't just a campaign slogan, despite those words adorning campaign posters and other paraphernalia.  She told Oprah, "And Barack didn't just talk about hope because he thought it was just a nice slogan to get votes."

As campaign slogans go, it was nice.  It resonated with voters.  Certainly more than John McCain's slogan, whatever that was.  And it did get votes – enough to propel Mr. and Mrs. Obama into the White House.

Mrs. Obama was spot-on in her words to Oprah, but not in the way she intended.  The hope that many Americans felt in 2008 was indeed gone.  Hope for the first black president.  Hope for healing the racial wounds of America.  Change from the waning days of the Bush presidency.  Economic doldrums.  Endless war.  Politics as usual.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama didn't deliver.  The wars continued.  The economy worsened.  Islamic terrorism arrived in the homeland.  Illegal immigration increased with a wide open national border.  American culture and tradition were under attack.  Transgender bathrooms and killing cops became the new national focus.

Most Americans lost hope over the past few years, with the vast majority believing that the country was heading in the wrong direction.  Change was certainly delivered, but not the change Americans hoped for.  Perhaps it was what the Obamas hoped for.  Otherwise, why would Mrs. Obama suddenly lose hope?

Along came a healthy dose of hope a year and a half ago, when a brash business mogul descended the escalator of his glitzy high-rise building on Fifth Avenue.  His first words as a presidential candidate were a promise to build a wall.  And make Mexico pay for it.

For millions, suddenly there was hope that one of the most serious national problems might be solved – not the Gang-of-Eight amnesty plans of John McCain and Marco Rubio, but a real solution.

I wrote about Trump and his optimism back in the fall of 2015 as a means of explaining his early and rising popularity.  Optimism is another word for hope.  He promised, "I'll fix it."  Our crumbling infrastructure.  The Iran nuke scheme.  Lousy trade deals.  The failing VA hospital system.

Trump's optimism and hope were embodied in his campaign slogan, four simple words: "Make America Great Again."

Disappointment with the past two presidents, 16 years of empty promises, and finally someone making a serious and compelling case for real "hope and change."

Yet Mrs. Obama has the opposite view of the voters, as she told Oprah – the voters who won't be jetting off to Hawaii aboard Air Force One for a luxurious two-week holiday over Christmas.  Mrs. Obama bemoans the fact that there will no longer be a grownup in the White House.  Yet I'll bet most voters have a different view.  Instead, for the first time in eight years, there will be a grownup in charge of the country.

Mr. Trump will also surround himself with grownups in his cabinet.  Compare the future secretary of state to past ones: the former CEO of one of the world's largest companies, experienced in negotiating deals with many countries, including those not friendly to the U.S., versus the wife of a former U.S. President, who, if not married to a former president, would likely be an attorney for a liberal advocacy organization – or a French-speaking dilettante whose major accomplishment is marrying into big money.  Twice.

This the hope that voters saw on election day and voted accordingly –  rather than Mrs. Obama's hope that was not shared by most of her fellow Americans.

She closed her interview with Oprah by saying, "What do we do if we don't have hope, Oprah?"  Easy answer, as we learned on November 8.  Vote Trump, and make America great again.

Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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