Michelle Obama's big-dollar ego ambitions exposed

Greed, thy name is Michelle Obama.

So goes an excellent expose of the whole fake tour of the former first lady being fed to us in the press, from New York Post columnist Maureen Callahan. She starts with the price, writing:

On Tuesday night, the former first lady kicked off her 10-city North American book tour, which more closely resembled a cult-of-personality-propaganda-rally, at the United Center in Chicago. (Dates have been added in London, where scalped tickets are going for over $90,000 each, and Paris.)

A sliver of the 20,000 seats available for the Chicago event were priced at $29.50, and those sold out within five minutes of going on sale in September. What remained were tickets ranging from $500 to $3,000. The cheapest ticket I could find, five days after the on- sale date, was for $920.81, and that came with no extras: No meet-and-greet, no signed book, no free book, no T-shirt or tote bag or even a food court coupon. Just the privilege of sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair for three hours as Michelle Obama engaged in the kind of sleazy cash grab/ego stroke normally the province of Hillary Clinton.

Not exactly a woman of the people. She's gone full celeb, actually, which includes the capacity to shut herself off from the public except for the carefully choreographed and styled silver screen moments.

What's worse is the content of the phony show - fake poverty. Callahan gets her good for that:

Even more dispiriting: The first third of Obama’s memoir “Becoming” — part of a $65 million joint book deal that includes her husband’s forthcoming memoir — is all about her childhood of poverty and dispossession on Chicago’s South Side. She writes, movingly and without self-pity, of the cramped one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment she and her brother were raised in, sleeping side-by-side in the living room, the young Michelle dreaming of a house with stairs. Her grandfather had no teeth. Her mother brought their own food to the drive-in. Pizza was a luxury. In summer, the family would stretch a single pint of ice cream for days. Her parents never went out to dinner and her family never took a vacation.

It's fake, of course, a Hollywood movie-set type of poverty, because Michelle grew up the daughter of a Chicago ward heeler who knew how to dole out the political favors with political muscle. He ensured the family lived better than other families. Grosser still, she's hailed as the ultimate American success story, complete with Katy Perry anthems.

Lest that seem an exaggeration, note that the audience was subjected to a full hour of adulatory video packages set to female hero anthems — Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” — depicting Michelle Obama as the American Woman Nonpareil, with testimonials from students, veterans, teachers, celebrities, late-night hosts, even her own media-shy daughters. This is a dangerous exercise in hagiographic narcissism, one too easy for the subject to believe. It’s impossible to imagine any figure on the right getting such a pass from the media, let alone praise for it.

Callahan wonders what the heck the woman really wants with this money- and adore-me fest beyond the money.

Obama has artfully depicted herself as she is, both groundbreaking historical figure and a celebrity. She may be running for president, or may be #becoming a lifestyle guru. These days, such career paths are interchangeable.

Sounds like a pretty good analysis. Michelle positioning herself to be the next Oprah, her fellow Chicagoan. I imagine Oprah might not like that, given her own markets, but let's see what happens.

What remains disturbing is that so many people are willing to buy it.

Read the whole thing here.

 

 

 

Greed, thy name is Michelle Obama.

So goes an excellent expose of the whole fake tour of the former first lady being fed to us in the press, from New York Post columnist Maureen Callahan. She starts with the price, writing:

On Tuesday night, the former first lady kicked off her 10-city North American book tour, which more closely resembled a cult-of-personality-propaganda-rally, at the United Center in Chicago. (Dates have been added in London, where scalped tickets are going for over $90,000 each, and Paris.)

A sliver of the 20,000 seats available for the Chicago event were priced at $29.50, and those sold out within five minutes of going on sale in September. What remained were tickets ranging from $500 to $3,000. The cheapest ticket I could find, five days after the on- sale date, was for $920.81, and that came with no extras: No meet-and-greet, no signed book, no free book, no T-shirt or tote bag or even a food court coupon. Just the privilege of sitting on an uncomfortable folding chair for three hours as Michelle Obama engaged in the kind of sleazy cash grab/ego stroke normally the province of Hillary Clinton.

Not exactly a woman of the people. She's gone full celeb, actually, which includes the capacity to shut herself off from the public except for the carefully choreographed and styled silver screen moments.

What's worse is the content of the phony show - fake poverty. Callahan gets her good for that:

Even more dispiriting: The first third of Obama’s memoir “Becoming” — part of a $65 million joint book deal that includes her husband’s forthcoming memoir — is all about her childhood of poverty and dispossession on Chicago’s South Side. She writes, movingly and without self-pity, of the cramped one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment she and her brother were raised in, sleeping side-by-side in the living room, the young Michelle dreaming of a house with stairs. Her grandfather had no teeth. Her mother brought their own food to the drive-in. Pizza was a luxury. In summer, the family would stretch a single pint of ice cream for days. Her parents never went out to dinner and her family never took a vacation.

It's fake, of course, a Hollywood movie-set type of poverty, because Michelle grew up the daughter of a Chicago ward heeler who knew how to dole out the political favors with political muscle. He ensured the family lived better than other families. Grosser still, she's hailed as the ultimate American success story, complete with Katy Perry anthems.

Lest that seem an exaggeration, note that the audience was subjected to a full hour of adulatory video packages set to female hero anthems — Katy Perry’s “Roar,” Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” — depicting Michelle Obama as the American Woman Nonpareil, with testimonials from students, veterans, teachers, celebrities, late-night hosts, even her own media-shy daughters. This is a dangerous exercise in hagiographic narcissism, one too easy for the subject to believe. It’s impossible to imagine any figure on the right getting such a pass from the media, let alone praise for it.

Callahan wonders what the heck the woman really wants with this money- and adore-me fest beyond the money.

Obama has artfully depicted herself as she is, both groundbreaking historical figure and a celebrity. She may be running for president, or may be #becoming a lifestyle guru. These days, such career paths are interchangeable.

Sounds like a pretty good analysis. Michelle positioning herself to be the next Oprah, her fellow Chicagoan. I imagine Oprah might not like that, given her own markets, but let's see what happens.

What remains disturbing is that so many people are willing to buy it.

Read the whole thing here.