In the "no one's asking me, but" category: Barack changed plans and joined the Olympic effort at the last minute because Michelle thought that it could be a bust and didn't want it to become THE story on FLOTUS (not that anyone's remembering Hillary and health care).
Think about it. He didn't go there to take the win away from her -- if Michelle had been close to claiming victory, Barack's job would be at home, greeting her on the South Lawn as she returned to D.C. in triumph -- but to divert the pressure from a losing effort. A loss for her would dog her for months, as news reports of all other First Lady initiatives would have to struggle to get heard over the framing story of the disaster in Denmark: "Still reeling from Copenhagen, Michelle ..." or "Smiling brightly in spite of last month's Olympic debacle..." You get the picture.
But with Barack going, it becomes Barack's loss, and a loss in his column is just a blip in the barrage of POTUS news. She reminded him who owes who in their marriage, and he got on the plane.
* * * * *
Today's Reading is Peggy Noonan's latest in the Wall Street Journal, "Keeping America Safe From the Ranters." Recognizing that it's too often a world of shouters and fleeting loyalties, she calls for New Elders (particularly among those who work in the media), who move "through the world each day with dignity and humanity," helping the rest of us see that, even in an ever-shifting terrain, "it's still possible to set an example, encourage the helpful, stand for the good, pass on the lore, take responsibility."
Are we doing what we should? The new adults, my forty-and-fifty-and sixty-something friends, are us.
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