Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Defending Michelle Obama And Let's Move!

Following latest Palin attack, Mrs. Obama garners high-profile support...
The attacks against First Lady Michelle Obama and the Let's Move! campaign from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and other critics continues to inspire champions to rush to Mrs. Obama's defense. In a one-two-three knockout beginning on Sunday, Mrs. Obama and her campaign have had some notable commentators applauding her efforts.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson weighs in today, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times. On Monday, Mrs. Obama received support on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and Sunday, she was lauded by Fred Hiatt on the Washington Post editorial page.

Jackson: First Lady's efforts should be celebrated
In We've Come So Far, But We Still Have So Far To Go, Jackson recapped President Obama's year, and then turns to Mrs. Obama.

"The personal assaults on Michelle Obama are not simply contemptible; they slight her work on a very real and costly social malady: the spread of obesity," Jackson wrote.

Jackson applauded Mrs. Obama's advocacy for the child nutrition legislation, as he listed statistics for the prevalence of childhood obesity.

"Combined with the first lady’s efforts to increase awareness of the dangers of obesity, this is serious and good work addressing a significant national problem,"Jackson wrote. "She should be celebrated, not burlesqued for the effort."

Wall Street Journal: Let's Move! is not a government plot
The Wall Street Journal, no fan of the Obama administration, made it clear that having to defend Mrs. Obama was somewhat distasteful, but all the same necessary, in a piece titled Palin's Food Fight.

"President Obama's indiscriminate expansion of federal power has inspired a healthy populist rebellion, but his opponents sometimes seem to lose their sense of proportion," the editors noted, and chastised Palin for regarding Let's Move! as "a government plot."

"No one hates the nanny state more than we do, but Mrs. Obama isn't exactly ordering up Lenin's Young Pioneers," the editors wrote.

"Adults do have an obligation to teach children how to live, and that includes adults who are role models by dint of their national prominence," the Journal continued, pointing to President Kennedy's fitness campaign, and First Lady Nancy Reagan's "just say no" to drugs campaign.

"Telling kids to eat their vegetables and run around the block is merely instructing them to take responsibility for their own choices," the Journal concluded.

Washington Post: The campaign "makes total sense"
In "How Did Obesity Become A Partisan Fight?, Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt declared "obesity is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Obama has merely extended and amplified a campaign that began under President George W. Bush..."

"Insinuations from her critics notwithstanding, Obama has not endorsed nanny-state or controversial remedies such as ending sugar subsidies, imposing soda-pop taxes or zoning McDonald's out of certain neighborhoods," Hiatt wrote.

The First Lady's push for parental education, more fresh fruits and vegetables in schools and grocery stores, and vegetable gardens "makes total sense," Hiatt wrote.

Related: Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee weighed in last week in defense of Mrs. Obama and the campaign.

“With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do,” Huckabee said.

*Photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House