In this week’s bonus episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the legacy of departing First Lady Michelle Obama.
As her time as First Lady comes to a close, Michelle Obama recently sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey. You can watch the interview here.
Natalia noted a 2014 New Republic profile of Michelle Obama had criticized her for having exacting standards and an unambitious agenda as First Lady.
Natalia observed the therapeutic features of Oprah’s interview with Michelle Obama which Neil contrasted with interviews of other First Ladies, such as Jackie Kennedy in 1962, which focused on their role as hostesses and caretakers of the White House. Natalia remembered Betty Ford’s 60 Minutes interview that bucked this trend because of Ford’s outspoken views. Niki commented that Barbara Walters’ interview of Ford had famously removed clips that would have shown the First Lady was drunk.
Neil recommended Blanche Wiesen Cook’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.
In Other News
- Niki, the author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, argued that the Donald Trump’s trade and foreign policy stances have a long tradition in the Republican Party in her column for U.S. News & World Report. Niki wrote about the end of the American Century for The Age.
- Natalia, the author of Classroom Wars: Language, Sex, and the Making of Modern Political Culture, wrote about the history of New Year’s exercise resolutions for Refinery29.com. Natalia is leading the Exercise Your Power workshops in New York City in January. You can find out more information here.
- Neil, the author of We Gather Together: The Religious Right and the Problem of Interfaith Politics, reviewed Blanche Wiesen Cook’s biography of Eleanor Roosevelt for the East Hampton Star.