Patterico's Pontifications

4/15/2008

Michelle Obama is in Touch with Student Loans

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 7:34 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In an appearance today at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, Michelle Obama responded to claims of elitism by reminding voters of her humble upbringing and that the Obamas only recently paid off their student loans:

“Michelle Obama, appearing at Haverford College, gave a strong response to criticism that her husband’s remarks at a San Francisco fund-raising event were elitist.

“There’s a lot of people talking about elitism and all of that,” she told a gathering of students and townspeople on Tuesday, alluding to controversial remarks that Senator Barack Obama made at a San Francisco fund-raiser. “Yeah, I went to Princeton and Harvard, but the lens through which I see the world is the lens that I grew up with. I am the product of a working-class upbringing. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a working-class community.”

Then, referring to her husband’s student loans, she added sarcastically: “Now when is the last time you’ve seen a president of the United States who just paid off his loan debt? But, again, maybe I’m out of touch.”

Rebutting critics who called her husband’s remarks about economic bitterness out of touch, Mrs. Obama asked the crowd, “Am I telling you something that you don’t know? Am I in touch?”

I think most of us would agree that, when she talks about their student loans, Mrs. Obama is not telling us something we didn’t know.

– DRJ

65 Responses to “Michelle Obama is in Touch with Student Loans”

  1. Uh, what?

    Can’t we get one thread about Cindy McCain being a crackhead and a thief?

    Levi (76ef55)

  2. the Obamas only recently paid off student loans

    Sen. and Michelle Obama are 46 and 44 years old. And these millionaires want to take even more of our money because they think they can manage it better than we can. Why, the..the…audacity!

    no one you know (1ebbb1)

  3. We also learned she was accepted at Princeton with lower scores. The grammatical errors are sprinkled throughout her thesis. She wants to be First Lady. She’s young. He’s young. He’s in bed with racists. She is racist. She’s a disturbing figure.

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  4. She’s scheduled on The Colbert Report tonight.

    Ought to be good for a new thread.

    steve (75af92)

  5. steve,

    Do you think I’m picking on Mrs. Obama? At least she says something. Her husband is Mr. Milquetoast.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. “The grammatical errors are sprinkled throughout her thesis.”

    Poor language in a president is one thing. But in a first lady? Who will stand for that?

    stef (b9f929)

  7. She did go to school on the public dime. Not that that’s -u n u s u a l. I’m a little sentence-centric but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be First Lady. The fact that she’s racist and grudge-y means she shouldn’t be First Lady.

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  8. Stef-
    in a THESIS?

    One that complains about how racist folks are, and yet shows that most of her black classmates don’t agree?

    By the way, Levi… crack isn’t Percocet OR Vicodin.

    So, let’s see…a former drug addict who made her addiction public to try to help OTHER addicts, or an utterly unrepentant racist who thinks anyone who notices is the real racist?

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  9. The government lent her money to go to Princeton and Harvard? Can’t whitey find any better way to oppress poor black women? And then she had to pay it back? Pure racism. And she couldn’t pay it back unless Tony Rezko helped her buy her mansion with foreign money? God damn America.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  10. I’m always taken aback by how angry Michelle Obama seems to be. It seems to undergird her public comments, like its always there. In thinking about white liberal guilt, perhaps this is black liberal guilt – an internal conflict she lives in and with: her stunning education in the Ivy Leagues always at war with the working class upbringing, south side of Chicago, etc…

    Dana (0553d9)

  11. Foxfier,

    Please ignore the bluejean.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  12. Foxfire, stef’s just a little confused. She’s having a hard time telling the difference between reality and the voices in her head…

    You’ll have to excuse her…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  13. Exactly nk. If that’s oppressing blacks, I think we whites are doing it wrong…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  14. I am proud to have paid back my student loan. I would not dream of whining about it. She is really low class and ungrateful. Oh yeah, and bitter.

    Alta Bob (fbc991)

  15. People either perform well on these sites or they’re gifted writers. The Michelle excerpts show she slid through with sloppy work, sloppy entrance scores and a self-serving topic. Doesn’t mean she can’t do a good job as First Lady selling this country out to the UN.

    She won’t get the front side of my ballot. . .

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  16. And lordy, just now paying them back? You’d think they’d have had the money to pay them off sooner… I mean, how the hell much did she freaking borrow that a couple hundred grand a year didn’t cover it??

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  17. Her anti-everything attitude stinks. I’m happy she got through Ivy and paid off all her loans.

    If she could come across as accomplished instead of resentful, she’d make a good co-leader (spouse).

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  18. C’mon folks. Those were probably government loans and Barry and Michelle were ENTITLED to them. The government wasn’t ENTITLED to get its money back any sooner than required by the scheduled payments.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. It’s all BS, Scott. She’s out there trying to compete with the other spouse, Bill Clinton, trying to find a message to sell to help her husband, but she just doesn’t have the intellect or talent for it.

    She also has a conflict of interest. The Daleys, her husband’s best buddies, have done the most to keep Chicago’s black citizens quiet in their shacks on the plantation. She could talk about the Daleys running a false-flag candidate of their own, named Washington, against Harold Washington in order to dilute Harold Washington’s vote. Or about Bridgeport, Mayor Daley’s enclave, being the most violently racist neighborhood in the city. Including Mayor Daley’s son taking a baseball bat to a person registering slightly darker on the light meter.

    nk (6b7d4f)

  20. By the way, Levi… crack isn’t Percocet OR Vicodin.

    What? Levi got a fact about a Republican wrong? Be still, my fluttering heart.

    Steverino (6772c8)

  21. nk, I really don’t think she’s smart enough to even realize the servitude the Daley machine wishes shackel the city’s minorities to…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  22. No Ms. Obama, you’re obviously not in touch.

    You talk about student loans — I never saw one dime of a student loan — instead I got to wash dishes as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley alongside such distinguished people like John Garamendi, now the Lieutenant Governor of California.

    Don’t tell me about your pseudo mind problems. Tell me about the real slavery problems in Kenya reported by the likes of David Stanley of “Dr. Livingston, I presume” fame. Those problems still exist today — got that honey?????

    Mescalero (379c0c)

  23. How is it that people with their high incomes who are in their mid-’40s have only recently paid off their student loans? Have they been managing their money wisely? And what does this say about his ability to manage the taxpayers’ money? (We already know the answer to that one…)

    My daughter is halfway through college and has student loans, but taking a quarter century to pay them off is not in the game plan…

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (56a0a8)

  24. Laura,

    Remember what Michelle told the working class moms in Ohio she so identifies with,

    “…we spend between the two kids, on extra curriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth,”

    …so, yes, they may indeed have money management issues…

    But I’m sure its someone else’s fault.

    Dana (0553d9)

  25. As I pointed out on another thread, I heard that Obama said he had a piggy bank when he was a kid so that he didn’t feel he would need any economic advisers when he became president. He’s got similar foreign policy experience I understand.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  26. $10,000 a year for soccer and piano!

    WOW.

    I mean, if I were a millionaire, I’d spend at least that much on my rugrats, but if I still hadn’t paid off my loans… I think I’d do that first.

    It’s tough to judge any of these people. Lord knows I’d probably say things people didn’t appreciate if I had half the spotlight Michelle has, but at least I’m not racist, angry, and frankly, completely out of touch. This is the person who wanted that family to go to that church and be indoctrinated into hatred.

    I think the recipe “scandal” is hilarious. That really is the best they’ve got. Some intern was stupid and got fired instantly for posting ripped off recipes = Black Panther style associations including on their website, I might add).

    Mccain is an old old old guy, his wife is a trophy, and is probably as dull as Laura, but at least she wouldn’t agree that 9/11 was chickens coming home to roost on the corpses of dead Jews and Americans in general. Good grief.

    Jem (4cdfb7)

  27. “‘…we spend between the two kids, on extra curriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth,’

    …so, yes, they may indeed have money management issues…”

    How could I forget about the $10000 a year for kids’ activities, Dana?! No wonder they didn’t pay off their loans any sooner, LOL.

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (56a0a8)

  28. In other words if the Islamic terrorist organizations hadn’t promised to back him for president they would have never paid off the loans. Those two are really in touch, in touch with everyone’s pocket they come in contact with. Criminals to the core just like Shrill and Slick.

    Scrapiron (c36902)

  29. What was the interest rate on their student loans? If it was low enough, it may have made no sense to pay them back any earlier than necessary.

    ROA (dfea95)

  30. “What was the interest rate on their student loans? If it was low enough, it may have made no sense to pay them back any earlier than necessary.”

    In which case that would be a financial choice Mrs. Obama should not be complaining about…she should be grateful she had the opportunity to use the funds elsewhere.

    Best wishes,
    Laura

    Laura (56a0a8)

  31. “in a THESIS?”

    Sure in thesis. I’ve see mistakes in published books, erratta pages, etc… Clearly that means that is someone we don’t want as first lady.

    “And lordy, just now paying them back? You’d think they’d have had the money to pay them off sooner… I mean, how the hell much did she freaking borrow that a couple hundred grand a year didn’t cover it??”

    If your loans are at a good rate, you don’t want to be paying them off too quick. There are better uses for that money.

    stef (394243)

  32. I think that John McCain did “pay back” his educational expenses at the Naval Academy.
    In answer to her question, yes, she is out of touch.

    Jackie (132051)

  33. As an aside, and to give some context, as someone who can currently only work part-time, Michelle Obama spent less than $2,000 less than I made last year on her kids.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  34. Haven’t paid back student loans and you are over 40? This does not make sense at all. I would like the details please. How much in total was borrowed, how much did she receive as scholarship?
    What was the interest rate? (if any).

    I hope that someone can look into these details. None of what she claims makes sense. Nor does the one bedroom condo for a family of four.

    Michelle O is going to be so pissed if B looses the election.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  35. I’d only observe that being an elitist is not a condition of where you once were and what your outlook was back then, but where you are today and what your outlook is right now. Let’s make no mistake, an elitist is a person who deems him/herself entitled, just because. There are some posts around the web today that ask: Could Obama Pass the Waiter Test that say all that is necessaryWaiter Test

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  36. I guess I’m not following the logic here. Michelle raises the spectre of “just paying off student loans” to suggest that she and Sen. Obama are barely now in the financial position to do so.

    Otherwise, the statement is a nullity.

    However, the factual basis of this, is somewhat suspect. First, most student loans taken out in those days were at interest rates so low, that it made more sense to keep the low monthly payments.

    Secondly, Sidley & Austin paid rather lofty starting salaries to anyone offered an associate position there. Heck, even Judson Miner’s firm paid solidly for associates…especially more senior associates.

    The government (run by rich white people, according to Rev Wright), therefore…paid for the education of Sen. and Michelle Obama…so that they could make more than a quarter of a million dollars per year as attorneys in prestigious firms.

    The fact that they chose to take all of the time allotted to them to pay back those loans at incredibly low interest rates…outlines how generous the system was…not how difficult it was to pay back those low interest loans.

    So…her point…that she and Sen. Obama are “just paying off their student loans”, shows the government of which she has not been proud…has been extremely kind and generous to her and Sen. Obama.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  37. #34 is right on the money. Why won’t Obama release his taxes from when he was a State Senator? Hillary has asked for them. I bet there’s dirt in those files.

    dianne (e5d154)

  38. I think you guys are confusing ‘elitism’ with ‘wanting to be the President.’

    Levi (76ef55)

  39. Levi,

    You could have stopped after you typed “I think … ” because at that point, it was apparent that you were being pretty loose with the truth.

    JD (75f5c3)

  40. Just now paying off their student loans in leiu of paything them off when he got a cushy book deal that was worth millions? Really, why should we expect them to pay back the money provided by the “bitter” people through their taxes for the Obama’s educational expenses when that money was uesed so much more wisely purchasing a $1.79 million Georgian mansion. How dare us to think that the Obama’s are a bit extravagant spending as much as some other black women have to live on the entire year just on piano lessons, etc. I mean after all, their ancestors were slaves. Ooops, excuse me, their ancestors owned slaves. So surely, since their ancestors were denied their property because of the Emancipation Proclaimation, they are owed.

    I don’t want these two anywhere near my finances.

    retire05 (685057)

  41. Its almost as if they’re engaging in some sort of class betrayal here. You see similar things when other wealthy politicians take on the cause of middle and lower class folks, like Edwards. Several arguments are raised: about how they should be thankful and quiet; how they disprove how hard it is out there; how they are greedy or unfair for having made it rich and not personally sharing their wealth. Its like they’re monacled uncle toms — turning on their wealth, betraying their class.

    stef (7fa935)

  42. Imo, it’s hard to penetrate Michelle’s logic because she simply makes no sense. But she does seem entirely too dedicated toward showing everyone at least one or two of the kinds of predictable failures from a non-performance based application of Affirmative Action: her America and self-hating self, and her abject ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills in spite of having had what should have been a superior education.

    Enter BLT?

    J. Peden (cbfc6a)

  43. My husband and I are over forty and paying off student loans, but that’s because we only just earned our degrees. Hubby earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, I earned a bachelor’s and I am currently working on my master’s. It took us a long time to get to a point where we could afford to take out the loans and go to school (online programs were a huge factor in this as well – no commuting time to school). We haven’t seen much increase in salary – and certainly not the 150% plus that Mrs. Obama saw with her promotion once her husband became a US Senator…

    I’d love to have $10K to spend on extracurricular activities for my kids. As it is, I’m going to have trouble getting enough together for camp.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  44. This is totally libelous and slanderous and I would not blame Patterico one little bit were he to delete it.

    But two Princeton and Yale educated lawwyers not paying off their student loans until into their forties? Could it be because of the high price of cocaine and limousines with male prostitutes in them?

    nk (6b7d4f)

  45. Could it be because of the high price of cocaine and limousines with male prostitutes in them?

    Possibly, but if you imagine the expense of those items, you should shudder to think what Sen Obama must spend in addition to Michelle’s expenses… :)

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  46. “Could it be because of the high price of cocaine and limousines with male prostitutes in them?”

    If it’s “totally libeleous and slanderous” that would mean that you know you are lying about this.

    stef (c2028a)

  47. If it’s “totally libeleous and slanderous” that would mean that you know you are lying about this.

    It’s technically impossible for a question to be a lie.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  48. Imagine how angry Mrs. Grievance will be when her husband loses the election.

    Tom (e913bc)

  49. ^ Oh, you said it.

    I thought that with all the Michelle meat they had to pick from, NR came up with a fairly soft article. I anticipate more focus on the lovely lefty in the weeks ahead.

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  50. It might be rather unusual to still be paying off undergraduate student loans in your forties, but bear in mind that the Obamas were also paying for their law school bills. Given the absence of Sen. Obama’s father, the fact that his mother spent most of her life working for nonprofits, and that Mrs. Obama’s father retired on disability, they probably didn’t have much parental money to fall back on. If I understand correctly, it was only the windfall from Sen. Obama’s books which provided them the money to pay off their loans– not exactly a money management strategy most people can rely on.

    Patience (c921c4)

  51. Patience and Michelle Obama have convinced me that students should think twice before they incur student loans to pay for expensive Ivy League educations.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  52. If I understand correctly, it was only the windfall from Sen. Obama’s books which provided them the money to pay off their loans– not exactly a money management strategy most people can rely on.

    After graduating from Harvard Law School, Michelle joined the law firm of Sidley Austin as an associate specializing in marketing and intellectual property. That year, a summer intern two years older by the name of Barack Obama came to work at the firm, and Michelle was assigned as his mentor. They married in 1992.

    In 1991, the death of her father from complications related to MS caused Michelle to re-evaluate her life. She left corporate law to work in the public sector, first as assistant to Chicago mayor Richard M. Daly, later as the assistant commissioner of planning and development.

    In 1993, she founded Public Allies Chicago which provided young adults with leadership training for public service careers. As executive director, she headed up a non-profit named by President Bill Clinton as a model AmeriCorps program.

    In 1996, she joined the University of Chicago as associate dean of student services and established the University’s first community service program. She was named executive director of community and external affairs and served in that role until her 2005 appointment to her position at the University of Chicago Medical Center as vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

    As for Sen. Obama, his history is as reported here:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-obamalegal6apr06,0,6774732,full.story

    Judson Miner worked as Corporation Counsel after James D. Montgomery served in the role, for Harold Washington after his defeat of Jane Byrne and Richie Daley for mayor.

    Michelle went on to work for Mayor Daley, when he won. Her father had been active in city politics. I know approximately what those jobs paid, but someone with greater access and time could look it up pretty easily.

    Put it this way…if Sen. and Michelle Obama were struggling to make payments on their combined salaries in 1992 and beyond…then raising taxes for people making less than $300,000 shouldn’t be on their agenda. She made more than that alone in her last position as a VP at U of Chi. Med Ctr.

    cfbleachers (4040c7)

  53. And, how did they save up enough to buy that manse on his salary as a State Senator?
    How much did they put down?
    Who carries the note?
    Since he refuses to release his pre-US Senate tax reports, what is he hiding – and who is he protecting?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  54. Levi, the elevator-farting punch-bowl pissing troll wrote: Uh, what?

    Can’t we get one thread about Cindy McCain being a crackhead and a thief?

    Whaddaya mean “We,” paleface? (Watch, folks — he won’t get that one.)

    If that’s what you want, SYOFB.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  55. If I attend a Bam Bam rally this will be my one question. Because the numbers just aren’t adding up.

    cfbleachers: Put it this way…if Sen. and Michelle Obama were struggling to make payments on their combined salaries in 1992 and beyond…then raising taxes for people making less than $300,000 shouldn’t be on their agenda.

    Vermont Neighbor (629f2e)

  56. #54 Smithee: You DO have a way with words! LOL!

    /And of course he won’t get that. I don’t know if he’s even capable of looking beyond his keyboard, let alone the monitor.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  57. What do you mean?

    Levi (76ef55)

  58. #57:

    What do you mean?

    Is that addressed to me, or to L.N. Smithee? I’ll go ahead and presume to answer, since I thought Smithee was exceedingly clear: I do not believe that you have the depth perception to see beyond what is right in front of you, let alone the discernment to apprehend the wider world.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  59. The other guy, what does he mean?

    Levi (76ef55)

  60. 59:

    The other guy, what does he mean?

    Well, I’m pretty sure~no, quite certain actually, that his describing you as

    “Levi, the elevator-farting punch-bowl pissing troll”

    is a reflection of the esteem with which he regards your debating skills.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  61. I’ve kept Levi in suspense long enough. Still, I don’t want to give him an easy way out by providing the whole answer.

    “Whaddaya mean ‘We,’ paleface?” is the punch line to an joke about The Lone Ranger that was popular when my father was a boy. In fact, there are some people who honestly fear that if Obama is elected POTUS, he may say something like that if his life is at risk.

    “SYOFB” is a little less complicated. It stands for Start Your Own (ahem) Fabulous Blog.

    Different adjectives or adverbs can be substituted for “Fabulous.”

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  62. “fracking” is a common substitute these days… :)

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  63. Oh. Good one.

    Levi (76ef55)

  64. #61 L.N. Smithee:

    I’ve kept Levi in suspense long enough.

    Oh, I don’t know. It seemed to be doing a good job of keeping him quiet.

    And nothing spins up a lib worse than not being in on the joke, except perhaps being the butt of it.

    …is the punch line…

    Well, even with that, I don’t know if he’ll get it; so I suppose you can play that ace up your sleeve.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  65. Good students as well as those who were not so good had student loans. All of us were glad they were available. We have now grown up to be politicians and business owners as well as Professors. We all simply say Thank you to all and everything that helped us in this effort.

    clm (9cc8d0)


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