There are many things I will miss about the Obama White House: having a first family that genuinely seems happy to be a family; a president who valued diplomacy; and a first lady who was highly educated, stylish, graceful and tried to be a positive role model. What I won’t miss is the seemingly endless barrage of attacks on her for the most mundane things.
In a list that is by no means exhaustive, here’s a roundup of the vitriol I can’t wait to say goodbye to.
2. She’s “strikingly ungracious.” (Jim Geraghty, writing for National Review)
3. She doesn’t look like a first lady (and she does push-ups). (Virginia voter Bobbie Lussier)
4. She disrespected the flag, as determined by lip readings of Obama whispering something inaudible to her husband during a ceremony. ( Washington Times, American Thinker, conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel)
5. She weighs too much to care about health: “The problem is — and dare I say this — it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritional, dietary advice. And then we hear that she’s out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving, yeah it does — what do you mean, what do I mean?” (Rush Limbaugh)
6. She “needs to lose a few pounds” before she can be taken seriously on the issue of nutrition. ( Keith Ablow, prominent member of the Fox News “Medical A-Team”)
7. She eats too much, as demonstrated by a cartoon of a chubby Michelle chowing down on a burger and fries, telling a skinny Barack to “shut up and pass the bacon!” ( biggovernment.com, a Breitbart website)
8. She didn’t support dessert enough, and she “cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children.” (Sarah Palin)
9. She forced preschoolers to be weighed. ( Urban legend, debunked by Snopes)
10. She has “ no business being involved” in what people eat. (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie)
11. She’s a “ feminist nightmare” for focusing on her family. (Michelle Cottle, writing in Politico)
12. She is actually a man, and she murdered comedian Joan Rivers to cover it up. ( InfoWars broadcaster Alex Jones)
13. She’s not classy enough and is an “atrocity” as first lady: “She makes a fool of herself — every time she comes on TV, I have to turn it off. Laura Bush was so classy, and that’s what we really need again.” (Laurie Boilard, quoted by Bloomberg, who came to listen to a GOP candidate’s wife at a 2015 party in Bedford, New Hampshire)
14. She dared to talk about the enslaved people who built the White House.
16. She has a “ gorilla face.” (Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway Heights, Washington) The Huffington Post reported: “‘Gorilla face Michelle, can’t disagree with that,’ Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway Heights, reportedly wrote in a Facebook post. ‘The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL.’”
17. She is a “ poor gorilla” who “needs to focus on getting a total makeover (especially the hair), instead of planning vacations.” (Georgia schoolteacher Jane Wood Allen)
18. She put her left elbow on a table once. ( Salon)
19. She “‘ voluntarily surrendered’ her law license in 1993 after a Federal Judge gave her the choice between surrendering her license or standing trial for Insurance fraud.” (chain email)
20. She went “ to Buckingham Palace in a sweater.” (Oscar de la Renta)
21. She’s Barack’s “baby mama.” ( Fox News)
22. She wore shorts.
Mikki Kendall is a writer based in Chicago. This piece was originally published in The Washington Post.