Michelle Obama on George W. Bush: ‘Our values are the same, we disagree on policy’

Brad Pitt at the Ad Astra press conference in Tokyo, Japan

The Today Show continues to release new clips from Jenna Bush Hager’s interview with Michelle Obama. Obama traveled with Jenna to Vietnam to highlight some of her (MO’s) charitable work. Personally, I don’t expect Michelle to break news on political stories, or come out and say “Donald Trump is a baby-fisted fascist.” MO is MO, and she’s always going to treat all touchy subjects with grace and try to avoid making news. Which brings me to MO’s friendship with George W. Bush. Just a few months back, Ellen DeGeneres got in “trouble” for acting super-friendly with Bush at a football game in Texas. People were really mad at Ellen, and Ellen tried to justify her friendliness by talking about how she likes having friends on both sides of the aisle, etc. People still hated it.

But… Michelle is quite friendly with Dubya as well. They’re always seated together at state funerals and big events. They’re affectionate with each other and everybody loved it when Bush snuck a piece of candy to MO at a funeral. Michelle has spoken before about how much she adores Bush. It’s different somehow, isn’t it? Because MO was the First Lady, and because she’s required to attend these events, and because Bush has always seemed to have a very particular fondness and love for MO. Anyway, Jenna Bush Hager asked Michelle about MO’s friendship with Jenna’s dad.

On Today this week, Obama was asked about it by Jenna Bush Hager, President Bush’s daughter, with whom Obama has been in Vietnam this week spotlighting support for girls’ education.

“I think you’re friends with both Ellen and my dad,” Hager told Obama on Today on Tuesday, before asking how she felt about people getting upset over DeGeneres’ relationship with Bush. Obama replied, “I had an opportunity to sit by your father at funerals, the highs and the lows, and we shared stories about our kids and about our parents.”

“Our values are the same,” she said of herself and President Bush. “We disagree on policy, but we don’t disagree on humanity, we don’t disagree about love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us — it’s just that we get lost in our fear of what’s different.”

[From People]

I mean, Michelle always knows her audience. She’s not going to tell Jenna BUSH that her father is trash. That being said, I doubt Michelle thinks George W. Bush is trash. They probably get along quite well and Michelle swallows her qualms because she had to do that for eight years when Barack Obama was in office. Still, what is at the root of why the reactions to Michelle’s friendliness with Bush are so different than the reactions to Ellen’s?

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87 Responses to “Michelle Obama on George W. Bush: ‘Our values are the same, we disagree on policy’”

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  1. Wilma says:

    I think we react differently because we love Michelle Obama deeply and this is the one thing we don’t get, but there are so many other things to love about her.

    • sandy says:

      They’re work friends, basically. That’s the difference.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        never seen together outside of official events, IIRC. so, yeah, work friends. it’s not like MO is sitting in Jerry Jones’ (BARF) owners box for a football game with DUHbya. Ellen made a choice to do that.

        I don’t buy that they “agree on humanity” though. I don’t think MO or her husband would have treated the people of New Orleans like the Bush admin did. it’s one thing I agreed with Kanye on.

    • mint says:

      I dont react differently. He is horrible. He is responsible for the death of 1000s of people. And I dont get the whitewashing of him and his presidency. Sorry Michelle, but NO. NO

      • bobslaw says:


        It was a hell of a day to come out with this kind of support for Bush given the confidential documents that were leaked recently.

      • lisa says:

        This. He is a war criminal.

      • Sim says:

        Barrack Obama also has blood on his hands, but people seem to forget that here and worship him.

      • Raina says:

        Mint, I’ve been saying just this. She’s around these types of creatures long enough to hear their watered down version. My respect for her and her husband is fading sadly. They had time off to relax and live their truth with every advantage while millions of others are terrorized, broke and scared. Programs are dying, more folks are desperate. Many do not have the luxury of being won over by actual luxury and a shitty piece of candy war criminal grandpa keeps in his pocket. I was waning already when Obama was becoming far too bipartisan and only rocked the boat with very few issues, and some terrible judgment with some other issues, too.
        Because I LIKED them does not mean I give the bullshit a pass anymore. I see the forest through the trees now, I’m jaded and angry like so many of us. I don’t need to agree with her on everything but, at the same time, I’m starting not to agree with her on anything. There’s a fear there that they project, trying to have it both ways and remain likable. That’s not how things change
        Sad day.

      • Anh says:

        @raina completely agree with you

  2. Arizona says:

    The difference is simply that people like Michelle Obama more, and we’re inclined to give celebrities that we love a pass more frequently than celebrities that we don’t. otherwise, it’s pretty much exactly the same. well yes, obviously she isn’t going to say anything negative about Bush to his daughter, I think that’s the answer she would have given in any public platform. which is essentially kind of the same thing that Ellen was saying as well.

    • Birdix says:

      It’s interesting that she has the exact same expression in all of these images. It’s a smile, but not really a smile at the same time.

    • Sim says:

      Values are the same, but policies turn out different… Gurl, what?

      Of course, yes, it would be stupid of her to denounce this criminal, because she is married to one 🙄 Both, her and Laura, can meet for tea and bond over their spouses.

  3. Elisa says:

    Maybe because our values should be reflected in our policy… just sayin…

  4. Darla says:

    Well, I don’t give her a pass on this.

    • C says:

      Exactly!!! Neither do I.

    • stepup says:

      Me neither.

      I’m frustrated and disappointed in the Obamas’s post-office talking points and rhetoric. By saying this, she’s giving a pass to:

      a) White liberals who are too cowardly to acknowledge, much less address, their own casual racism and implicit bias. and
      b) Outwardly racist Trumpers who think it’s perfectly fine to lock brown folks up in cages for the crime of wanting a safer life for themselves their families.

      Also, I’ve been thinking, lately, about why so many centrist white liberals over-lather praise on certain black folks, like Michelle Obama, and I think I figured it out. (I’m not saying this post is over-lathering praise; it just reminded me of something I’ve been thinking about lately.)

      It’s no longer socially acceptable to use the “[Insert Name] made it! That proves that there’s no racism!” card. That doesn’t cut it anymore, because black people (who aren’t suffering through internalized racism) and white people, who’ve done their racial homework, can slap that argument down in a New York minute. So, instead, the new tactic is to obsess over black folks that “follow” the social rules that comfort white folks, like not mentioning race in a challenging way, being a financial success, hewing to a white standard of style and beauty, redirecting the blame towards black people. That’s the Obamas in a nutshell.

      Now for the caveats: NO, I am not saying that everyone who likes and respects the Obamas is a bad person with ulterior motives. Heck, half the people on the praise train may not understand how implicit bias affects their thought processes. Yes, the Obamas have talked about race in the past, but not in ways that are threatening to white people who still say things like “I don’t have a racist bone in my body!,” even though they don’t understand casual racism. I’m not bad-mouthing the Obamas, I’m just considering a trend I’ve noticed over the last five years or so.

      For those who are annoyed by my post, well, this is what “having the race conversation” feels like: uncomfortable!

      • Darla says:

        I feel asleep at “centrists”.

      • stepup says:

        Good for you, Darla.

        But unsure what is so problematic about “centrists.” There are people to the left, right, and center. And usually white folks in the center still have some racial hangups. But if that upsets you, oh well. Too bad.

      • Darla says:

        Oh yes, it’s the white centrists. No racism on the left. And they’ve completely eliminated misogyny! Bernie did away with all that.

      • stepup says:

        What are you talking about? Did I say anything about Bernie? No. In fact, I think Bernie bros have major problems. But hey, run with your assumptions. (They’re wrong. Kamala was my choice.)

        And yes, there is racism on the far left too, but, in my experience, they at least understand the nuance a bit better….white people in the center, again, in my experience, seem to still not understand the broad strokes. And that is what I was talking about.

        And for the record, I find nothing more irritating than when a Bernie supporter screeches about him “marching for civil rights!” That doesn’t change the fact that a higher percentage of far-left folks have done a little more topical reading on the subject and can better wrap their heads around the subtle, insidious nature of racism. Life is complicated.

      • Lillian says:

        Stepup makes a good thoughtful comment.

      • otaku fairy.... says:

        I can kind of relate to what you said and think you’re really on to something, Stepup. It can be a more subtle, socially acceptable, weird form of racism and orientalism sometimes too. Instead of hatred, some white conservatives and white liberals for example want to idealize/use/ heap that kind of ‘acceptance’ on select poc and Muslims for conforming to what American traditionalists want. The reverse can happen too, like being ok only with those who don’t wear the hijab. Sometimes being in certain communities feels like a constant dance around two different types of racists, 🙄 and I wish white feminists/liberals were more aware of how being either type harms us and others.

  5. emmy says:

    I assume the people of New Orleans or the Iraqis would disagree about the humanity, love, and compassion. But what do I know.

  6. Lucy says:

    He’s a war criminal.

  7. MCV says:

    Of course she shares the same values as him, she’s married to another war criminal like Bush.

    • stepup says:

      I detect no lies.

    • alexc says:

      You’re absolutely correct. Obama gets a pass on his foreign policy – which was really an extension of Bush’s – because he was less extreme and more progressive in other ways. Didn’t start a war but bombed and droned civilians, let Wall St criminals off scott-free and went hard at whistle blowers.

  8. Becks1 says:

    Well obviously, people like Michelle more I think, and respect her more, so she’s going to be held to a different standard than Ellen. If you just looked at the comments on this site about Ellen, many of them were along the lines of “Ellen has always sucked for XYZ reasons.” It wasn’t just the football game with Bush.

    I also think she gets a pass because they don’t seem to be BFFs…..correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think she hangs out with them outside of official events like funerals and other high profile political events. I think if she were seen laughing and have a great time with him at a football game, the reaction may be a little bit different.

    • Birdix says:

      Yes, she will get thrown together with him at official events for the rest of their lives, it’s inevitable. But Ellen made a choice.

  9. Caity says:

    First let me preface this by saying I’m both a non-American and was a tween/teenager during the bush admin.
    But my guess is that MO gets a pass because as you pointed she was obliged by her role as First Lady to get to know him. And then on a personal level, Bush’s policies didn’t make her marriage illegal or otherwise discriminate in the same way that Ellen as a lesbian was actively a victim of Bushes policies.
    I would guess most people still remember and carry the hurt from his administration and to see Ellen buddy up to him when she should be on their side is the crux of the matter.

  10. Michael says:

    Seems like virtually every world leader has a low key crush on either Michelle or Barack Obama. Those two must light up every room they enter

  11. Rapunzel says:

    Oh Michelle. I used to think the same, that GOP values were the same as my Dem values, and the only difference was policy. But Trump has shown me that’s not true. They don’t have the same values.

    If Bush had the same values as you, Michelle, he wouldn’t have pushed for Beer Bash Bret Kavenaugh to sit on SCOTUS and decide the fate of legislation like Roe v Wade.

    • Pineapple says:

      They have the same values, they value “humanity”. As in, “let’s keep our families human and alive.” It’s that broad. They value humans. XO They both don’t value things like, ethical behaviour, tolerance and helping all.

    • Mumbles says:

      Perfectly put. The truth is, there is a rich and powerful people’s club, and there are the rest of us. The Obamas are in the former. And yes, they earned that designation. That’s not to say they’re bad people – there are a few decent people in the first group. But that group tends to go gentle on each other.

      • greenleaf says:

        @Mumbles- this, exactly. Rich people have class consciousness and stick together, why can’t we?

  12. StephB says:

    I had to sit and really think about why this hits differently. Almost every time we see Mrs. Obama was W, it is at some mandatory or at least expected function. They are together at state functions which to me feels like “being cordial at work.” I compare this to Ellen spending her actual free time with this dude on purpose. Like she had other options and she willing chose to spend time in his presence. She came out of pocket to cozy next to a man that while isn’t as bad as Trump was horrible in his reign.

    Does this make sense?

  13. Jane says:

    She needs to stop! She doesn’t need to trash him but she needs to stop making him to be seen as a nice normal president instead of a war criminal who lied about weapons of mass destruction and got 6 million Iraqi’s killed just so he could get revenge for his daddy. Non American lives matter too and it always amazes me how easy it is for Americans who always scream about racism to dismiss atrocities simply because involves foreign lives. Stop helping to rewrite the history of the Bush era and how he is viewed. You don’t need to hug him, you don’t need to defend him, just be polite. Ellen or Michelle, wrong is wrong

    • Darla says:


      I’m with Jane.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Every time 9/11 rolls around, I look at all those Twitter posts about the search dogs dying, not a single mention of all of the innocent Afghani and Iraqi civilians who suffered because of these wars, and I wonder what it feels like to Middle Easterners to know your life is valued less than that of an animal.

      And then we’ll sit around pretending we don’t know why this happened the next time around.

    • Becks1 says:

      I agree that the way GWB has been “normalized” is pretty horrendous. I often say that Trump’s presidency was the best thing for Bush’s legacy – people are like, “well, at least he wasn’t BSC and tweeting at the TV every morning.”

      I don’t blame MO for her response here because what is she going to say when W’s daughter is asking the question? And while I don’t blame Jenna Bush for her father’s actions, I do think her rise in the spotlight has also helped a great deal with the normalization of GWB. People see him as the kindly grandfather, the father who loves his daughters, the family man – and those things may be true, I don’t think anyone has ever doubted that he loves his daughters – but that is becoming the dominant image of GWB for many these days. The doting father/grandfather who passes Michelle Obama candy in church and makes her laugh. The rest of his legacy is glossed over because he paints pictures.

  14. JanetFerber says:

    I don’t believe their values are the same, just that she’s been somehow hoodwinked by him. Probably her warm heart won against her super smarts. Notice Barrack does not play warm and fuzzy with Bush. Bush is responsible for so many unnecessary deaths with the Iraq War, both American and international. For a personal reason (his dad was threatened by Hussein), the lies about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) gave him the green light to sacrifice other people’s lives (while he and his own were warm and cozy in the White House) for a petty, Freudian insult. Cheney and his company were war profiteers and ill-supplied American soldiers so that their armor was weak and the electricity not grounded in their barracks, shoddy work that cost young Americans their LIVES while electrocuted in the shower. SHAMEFUL and INEXCUSABLE. War crimes. So no, they do NOT have the same values. Barrack should school her to back off the Bush train. I think Bush’s paintings of soldiers with profits going to veterans is his guilt showing. Cheney, of course, never looked back, the bastard. No regrets whatsoever, with his new heart (probably from a twenty-something donor) and blood on his hands. Enriched scum. The cesspool of the Bush presidency was far slicker than Trump’s swamp, that’s all.

    • Q T Hush says:

      Thank you Janetferber for reminding us how things really were during Dubya/Cheney reign.

    • Christin says:

      Both your post and Jane’s are spot on. Why give them the detergent they want to clean up their earned image?

      I always find it interesting how Jimmy and Rosalynn never seem to be truly a part of the “club” when the corners are together. Those are the two with whom I would want to spend every second, not the dude who wants to look like nice painting grandpa.

  15. Veronica S. says:

    This is the problem when the action committed is done so distantly the true evil of it isn’t felt at home. I’m sure Bush probably is a friendly, fairly charismatic guy in person. I also think there are millions of Afghani and Iraqi people traumatized by the horror of his wars, and this statement seems particularly ill-timed given the huge story on WaPo about how poorly handled the Afghanistan conflict has been for the past decades at the expense of the people there. The only reason our leaders aren’t taken to task as war criminals is because we are the ones with the global power.

    I’m sure the Obamas mean well, and I will always be thankful he helped get the ACA through, but we shouldn’t mistake the idea that good policies in one area means good across the board. The Obama administration didn’t much improve what Bush started, particularly where the drones were concerned. These people aren’t our friends. They’re part of a very powerful club of government insiders and have money to burn because of it. We can’t pretend that doesn’t provide a wall between the reality of the world and their own experience.

  16. Manda says:

    If her comment doesn’t lift the veil from politics, I don’t know what will. They all have the same end goal in mind. All are warmongering sociopaths. Some just choose a Republican label or a Democrat label. They are garbage people.

    • emmy says:

      It certainly proves that once you move in certain political and/or financial circles, something usually gives. I have no illusions about people in power, even if I hope that not all of them are sociopaths.

  17. JanetFerber says:

    Manda, I can’t agree to that. By equating the two, you are implying that Trump is no worse than Obama or Clinton. And that it doesn’t matter if trump is re-elected. IT MATTERS. More than anything in the world. Apathy and cynicism are not our friends in this evil time.

    • Darla says:

      I agree Janet. I agree 100%, and nearly anyone is better, and I cannot do four more of this, I will go across the border into Canada. However, conversely, there is a danger in deifying the Obamas. And that’s being done. So…that I don’t go along with either. I have a lot of complaints, and I will just give you one okay? “Hey, let me appoint life long republican James Comey to be my FBI director. Louis Freeh? Who’s that?”

      I can continue.

    • Linda says:

      As an African I actually agree with Manda. They are all wore mongers who have caused so much pain across the world. Bush and his atrocities in Iraq and thanks to Obama’s role in toppling Ghadafi, Libya is now extremely unstable and weapons from Libya have found its way to west africa and now in the hands of Boko Haram insurgents who have killed thousands in my country including women and children.

      • MrsBump says:

        Completely agree. The death of thousands of innocents will be forever a tar on America’s conscience, if such a thing exists.
        Honestly as horrible as Trump is ( and i say this as an african muslim woman) what Bush has done is incomparably worse. The only difference is that the damage Bush caused where far enough away from American shores for it to be ignored by most Americans. Trump’s war on mexicans and other immigrants happening on home soil is hence more visible but Bush killed tens of thousands with barely a protest from the good people of America!!
        Like you said, Barack’s foreign policy, wasn’t glorious either, especially with regards to Libya destabilising a country with consequences they didn’t predict nor care about.
        As for MO, i really liked her but i have nothing but contempt for her attempts at whitewashing this criminal. I guess birds of a feather really do flock together

  18. Theotherthing says:

    It’s a Dem strategy question (and a strategy question anytime there’s a major high-stakes conflict when reunification is needed—ie couples/family conflict): Do you emphasize all the other side has done wrong and stand for all that is right and hope the other side will feel contrite and “repent” or do you emphasize all you have in common in hopes that will reduce the heat on a conflict and create a common ground to begin to work things out together. IMO both are often needed (Buttigieg btw does this balance very well) and given her platform MO is committing a serious moral wrong by not balancing the two.

  19. Cidy says:

    I think the difference is that MO is a politician. She gets seen with him at events that require her to be there, she isnt hanging out with him at football games. They see each other at funerals and events, they arent friends.

    And her answer was a politician’s answer. The Obama’s have made concerted efforts to try not to alienate or split any parties. We see how that goes (see 2016 Presidental elections) so of course shes not going to say “hes a horrible monster” (even though that’s true) because that’s not their agenda at the moment and has never been the way that the Obama’s conducted themselves in front of or about and around people who dont share the same values or in this instance, even moral responsibility as them.

    This isnt her saying “please excuse his horrible behavior” I think this is a thought out and practiced answer that comes as a divisive time that says “I see him when I see him, we arent the same.” – and that answer is fine to me.

  20. Eliza_ says:

    I respect Michelle but I whole heartedly disagree with her in this situation. Yes the president’s club is real and only they can understand what each other has gone through regardless of policy…. but he literally started wars over nothing and destabilized entire regions that still suffer from his lies and “policies” to this day. He is responsible for the crimes committed during his administration.

    • Darla says:

      And then I also wonder; will trump ALSO be a member of the President’s club? Will they all stand and smile and laugh with him? Because, no thanks, and I want no part of this and no part of anyone who will do this.

  21. OriginalLala says:

    so, she agrees that war crimes are acceptable values then?

  22. Ally says:

    Because Ellen comes off as a preachy as*hole when she tries to explain herself. With MO, it’s always been “this is what I’ve chosen, and here’s why.” Then, she allows people to draw their own conclusions.

    So many celebrities would benefit from taking this approach to difficult things and controversy instead of telling people what we should and shouldn’t get upset about. And like you stated, their public duty will require them to interact for the rest of their lives, so what’s the point of not acting friendly toward one another?

    In other news, the tide is definitely turning against Ellen in general. Apparently she treats her employees like shit and it’s finally coming to light. She’ll be next up on the cancelled list in 2020 (…that’s my prediction at least!)

  23. grumpyterrier says:

    Aww, this makes me happy. I like both Bush and MO. I remember how stand-offish the Obamas were with the Bushes when there was the ceremony for the Obamas taking office (don’t remember what it is called). And now they sort of understand each other and are friends just because they both come from that rare, weird place called the presidency.

  24. perplexed says:

    I don’t think she has much choice as to where to sit when she’s at a funeral. As a First Lady, she’ll always be in a diplomatic role and she behaves accordingly. The only reason a person in that kind of diplomatic role would clap back at somebody is if that person insulted your kids and your husband like Trump did. Otherwise, you are required to be like a diplomat at all times.

  25. Ann says:

    My take on W pretty much has always been that he’s a patsy. A stupid, privileged, inept patsy for the real war criminals in his administration. He is in no way blameless because of this but I’ve always felt he gets all of the blame when Cheney, Rumsfeld, John Bolton and others who were the true evil behind the scenes get to carry on knowing their idiot fall-boy will shoulder all the blame for the rest of their lives. If Michelle was being warm and friendly to Cheney I would have a problem with it.

    I wholeheartedly disagree that she shares the same values as Bush. Bush is a party over country, money over people, greedy soul sucking capitalist just like every other Republican. This statement from MO is an unnecessary, uncomfortable over reach and it feels a bit like gaslighting. Ellen did the same thing but I agree Ellen doing it for sure felt more wrong, for me anyway, and yeah it probably is because I don’t like Ellen.

  26. MermaidCA says:

    Ok, I never comment but this was a big convo amongst a lot of queer folks and thought I’d share some insight.

    The issue is with Ellen being a lesbian and queer icon. Bush Jr. and his father both targeted LGBTQ folks with detrimental policies during their terms. Many queer folks were fans of Ellen for being an out woman but then to align herself with not only a war criminal but a bigoted President whose policies directly hurt the LGBTQ community was too far.

    She was directly impacted by the anti-gay marriage stance of the Bush Presidents. It stings more when it comes from someone within a community and the general sentiment is that you would think someone who has faced life with a marginalized identity would be sympathetic to others who were exploited and hurt by bigots.

    MO is straight (at least as far as we know) and also appeared with Bush at work functions as opposed to in social settings and as “friends”. Still problematic but not the same sting as Ellen for many people.

    I did see a lot of black folks on social media expressing similar disillusionment with MO though so the same energy is there.

  27. Scorpio ♏️ Rants says:

    I’ve said this before and been slammed, but I’ll say it a again because on this, MO and I share this particular value.

    You can sometimes (emphasis on sometimes) be friends with people you fundamentally disagree with on various policies. That happens when space and listening allows dialogue to occur, and you learn something you didn’t already know about that person and why they think as they do. It doesn’t mean you agree…..it means you understand. Agreement and understanding are two different things. Understanding creates the environment of friendship.

    I have on various things agreed with Bush and MO, and on various things disagreed with them both. People are complex, everything is always one sided, and I really deplore this instant cancel culture.

    I’ll see myself out now….

  28. Lala11_7 says:

    Me and Michelle were born and raised in the same neighborhood…

    And for Michelle to have the top level access that she had regarding Bush/Cheney’s high crimes against humanity…and for to open her mouth and say what she stated in that interview…

    That means that she WAS a friend of mines…but she isn’t a friend of me and mines…any longer…

    What a waste…what a unimaginable…HEARTBREAKING…waste…

    THIS…was the thing thing I feared the most regarding the Obamas when I saw them rising politically…and once again…human beings ALWAYS stick to the SAME tired, corrupt, putrid, soul killing script and show me who they truly are….

  29. sassbr says:

    You guys, she means they are both rich. That’s literally what this is all about. Rich people sit together at lunch. At a base level, policy means nothing because it never touches them. They can play chess with us peon’s because it literally never affects them at the level they are at. She might as well have said, “We belong to the same country club.”

    • Darla says:

      It’s so hard to believe because I remember when Obama was running in 08, I read that four years before he gave the keynote at the democratic contention (which must have been in 04), he couldn’t afford to fly to the convention! That must have been 2000. He couldn’t get to the 2000 democratic convention. He didn’t have the money. Four years later, he is giving the keynote, four years after that, he is elected president. I remember finding that so inspiring! Was I bamboozled? Did that even happen? I dunno.

      • Leigh says:

        @Darla – Obama did travel to the convention in 2000, but he couldn’t get inside once he got there. He didn’t have the clout or connections. Amazing how things turned out…

  30. TG says:

    War mongering and red baiting are two ‘values they share.

  31. Marigold says:

    My husband was attached to the Department of State for three short years, and in that time, we met people who worked for the Bush and Obama administrations. We met the Obamas (brief handshake meet and greet…not like we had tea or anything). We met a LOT of diplomats and people who move in that level of government.

    The thing you have to ALWAYS remember (and to be clear, I thought the Obamas AND the Bush staffers were all very nice people): people gravitate toward socializing and social intimacy with people who are on the same professional and socio-economic level. Rich people in politics like other rich people in politics for the same reason that blue collar people in from rural areas like other blue collar people from rural areas.

    Even when we disagree with people who are from our own sphere, we find it easier to relate to, understand, and tolerate the differences of those people. In the US, socioeconomic stratification is far more illustrative of the real divides and sets of “group think” than any other data point you want to pick out. If you’re rich and urban, you likely hang out with other rich and urban people. If you’re middle class and urban, you likely hang out with other middle class, urban people. And you probably will tolerate, understand, and sympathize with people from your own place in ways you would not willingly extend the same tolerance, understanding, or sympathy to people who disagree with you outside of your place.

    That’s what’s happening here. GWB and Mrs. Obama have more in common with each other in that super rarified air of “used to live in the White House” than any other group of people in the US. They understand one another in ways we don’t–in ways NO ONE else does. I’d be shocked if they weren’t friends.

    As a blue collar military family, my husband and I have friends from all over the world…but the people we are intimate with and feel most attached to are other blue collar military families. We’ve commented on that and have been disappointed in ourselves for being so cliche, but this is how humans operate. We’re herd animals, and we’re happiest in our own herd. I really think it’s that simple. We’re capable of looking outside of our own circle, but it requires a level of effort and desire to learn about strangers who live totally different lives that most people simply won’t ever summon the energy to invest.

  32. Oy vey says:

    Maybe it’s because MO is a friend of the man. She explained why. We don’t all have to be pissed off at each other and humanity in general all of the time.

    • Marigold says:

      I have no doubt that they are genuine friends. How many people living on this earth today could she sit with who truly understand what it means to have been a member of the First Family? How precious do you think it might be for any of them to be able to sit with someone who “gets it,” no matter how much they disagree on anything else?