An Open Letter to Michelle Obama
First, let me say how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know you over the last couple of months. I still remember the first time that you called. I was in the kitchen washing up after dinner. (Where were you?) You introduced yourself, and at first I assumed that you had heard about how Barack and I lived in the same apartment in law school. I figured you wanted to check up on all of his stories about his crazy experiences is Winter Hill. But, instead you started talking to me about hope and change and the need to make America work for everyone. That first night I just appreciated the call, and I was content to listen. Since then, I’ve come to look forward to our little chats. I’ll be putting the kids down or reading a book, and the phone will ring. My wife will call from downstairs, “Nate! The phone’s for you. It’s Michelle again.” At first, I think that I she was a little jealous of our relationship, but then I explained how you were just calling to chat about hope and change and the need to make America work for everyone. She says that she understands.
I first began to feel that there were problems with our relationship, however, when I tried to talk to you about Barack. Needless to say, I am a whole hearted supporter of hope and change and the need to make America work for everyone. On the other hand, I was more than a little concerned by Barack’s vote on the Colombian free trade deal. I like Colombians, and frankly our war on drugs has been turning much of their country into a violent and lawless shooting gallery. I figure making it easier for them to sell stuff other than cocaine to the American consumer was the least that we could do. And look you, Barack, and I all know that — despite what Barack says to the UAW — blocking trade with small Latin American countries isn’t going to return Michigan to an Eden of highly paid, low-skill union jobs. Of course, I tried to be diplomatic about my concerns, and I understand that he is your husband, so I didn’t take it personally when you just kept on talking as though I hadn’t said anything. I realize that it was an awkward moment for you as well.
I am saddened to say, however, that our chat over Colombian trade has come to set a pattern in our relationship. You’ll call to tell me about Barack and hope and change and the need to make America work for everyone. I’ll try to share with you my ideas about health care, Iran, or the future regulation of credit derivatives. Thinking back now on our friendship, I can’t think of a single time that you paused to listen. You just keep talking on about Barack. What about me? When are we going to talk about my ideas for hope and change and how to make America work for everyone?
Then came your call tonight. I brightened up at the sound of your familiar voice, only to be reminded that Virginians go to the polls on Tuesday and it was important for me to get out to vote for Barack. Is that all this has been for you? All of our talks about change and hope and making an America that works for everyone? Was it all just some play to get me to vote for your husband? Is that all I am to you, just another nameless swing-state voter? Frankly, Michelle, I thought that we had more than that. I thought that there was a real bond between us after all of these evening chats. Now I see, however, that I was mistaken. Much as it pains me to say this, I think that it would probably be best if you were to stop calling me.