When someone says, “I’m not complaining, but …” — they are usually complaining.
That was the case with Michelle Obama’s appearance on Oprah’s CBS prime-time special Monday night. The nation’s outgoing first lady confirmed she has no plans to run for office — although the Left crowned her its most effective surrogate during Hillary Clinton’s disastrous White House bid.
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In one of her last opportunities to speak publicly in her role as first lady, Michelle Obama decided to focus on the difficulty of her husband’s office and all that it entailed.
“People don’t understand how hard this is, and it’s not something you sort of cavalierly just ask a family to do,” she told Oprah Winfrey. “And it’s not for us to complain about, so you don’t hear complaints — but it is a truth, an actuality. There is a weight to it.”
It seemed clear Winfrey was nothing but smitten with Mrs. Obama.
The American people were certainly not cavalier when a majority of them entrusted her husband with their future, electing him twice. Sadly, race relations, health care, the economy, national security, and trade issues are not better for his two terms in office.
As Oprah leaned in, making sure she didn’t miss a word, Mrs. Obama wanted to let America know something about serving in the White House.
“Let me just tell America: This is hard,” she said with soberness and gravity. “It’s a hard job. I said it on the campaign trail. It requires a lot of sacrifice. It’s a weighty thing.”
Ya think? Being the leader of the free world is sort of weighty. And while it is undoubtedly a hard job at times, the perks for the Obamas, all on the American taxpayers’ dime, certainly must have made things a little easier to bear — private jets, luxurious vacations to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard, exposing their daughters to cultures and experiences other children can only dream of or read about in books.
Throughout the interview, it seemed clear Winfrey was nothing but smitten with Mrs. Obama. “Numerous times during their chat, Winfrey interjected asides expressing how much it meant to her that Obama had occupied the post of first lady,” as Us Magazine noted.
In January 2015, the president and Mrs. Obama traveled at taxpayer expense to exotic India. The trip included a romantic visit to the Taj Mahal.
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The Obamas have spent a whopping $85 million in vacations over the last eight years, according to Judicial Watch. Their 2015 vacation to Hawaii alone cost the taxpayers $10 million.
And don’t forget the golf — the president enjoyed the links so much during his time in office, he preferred them to annoying obligations such as the funeral of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia this year, and even the funeral of his own aunt, Zeituni Onyango, in 2014.
He also hit the links the same day he addressed America about the beheading of American journalist James Foley by ISIS in August 2014. He later told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “I should have anticipated the optics of playing golf.”
Thinking people understand there are challenges to living in the White House, as well as raising a family within its walls. What they might not understand is veering from the tradition of past presidents and first ladies — who have signified their gratefulness to have served the nation — in both word and deed.
The hourlong interview drew 9.39 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in adults 18-49 — “which was OK,” as Deadline.com noted, “but well below the ratings highs for some of Winfrey’s signature prime-time interview specials of the past few decades.”