My First Lady

Eavesdropping on the debate on Obama v Romney. Michelle v Ann, that is

Daisy Waugh

Americans haven’t got a nice word to say about either of them, have they? Winge, winge, bitch, bitch . . . For such a big, powerful democracy you’d think they might approach the discussion with a bit more maturity. 

It’s such an important decision . . . But they just block their ears, don’t they, as soon as the other side is trying to get their point across. Throw rotten tomatoes-

Start shooting each other . . .

Ha! That’s right! . . . It’s so much worse than it is in Britain.

Crikey! I don’t even know — is Ed Miliband married?

The other one is.

Who? Clegg?

Not him . . . The other one. With the head like a football.

Cameron?

Don’t be stupid. Balls! Ed Balls is married. I think  . . . But she’s not very pretty.

Oh. Well then.

. . . And I don’t know about Miliband.

She’s probably hideous, if he is.

He’s not very attractive, is he? Plus he’s never going to make PM — is he? That’s going to reflect on his ultimate pulling power . . . I don’t imagine she’s much to write home about.

It’s a shame though, isn’t it? You can tell so much about these sort of, quote-unquote “leaders” by their choice of spouse. And if the spouse insists on hiding away. Or looking mousey . . .

So true . . .

But in the US they’ve got a couple of stunners, haven’t they? To choose from. With super-human stories, too. I mean they couldn’t ask for much more.

One’s got MS and one’s sort of coloured.

Don’t say “coloured”. You’re not supposed to say coloured any more, you plonker. 

All right. I mean —

African-American. Michelle Obama has fantastic, toned upper arms — have you noticed? For a lady of her age. For a lady of any age! And she’s descended from slaves. Literally. Did you know that? I think her great-great-uncle or something . . .

Amazing. When you think about it.

Of course both ladies are super-looking.

Seriously though. Do you think? Both of them? No offence . . . but Michelle . . . I don’t want to be racist . . .

She’s ever so stylish.

Yes . . . I didn’t like that A-line number mind . . . The one she wore to see the Duchess of Cambridge. Do you remember? I thought that looked ridiculous. Frankly.

Have you seen her upper arms?

Yes. No. I think I have — I just think she always looks sort of . . . angry. Can I say that? Or is         it . . . She looks so sort of determined. And I’m not saying I can’t understand why . . . With   everything . . . in her past . . . Slavery and        everything. I’m not being racist. I’m just sort of saying . . .

She doesn’t look angry! Anyway — you’d be angry, too. If your great-uncle was a slave. And you grew up in a one-bed apartment in Chicago and everything . . . Whereas your Mrs Romney . . . 

Ann Romney’s granddad was a coalminer. Did you know that?

What? I don’t think so.

He was. He was a Welsh coalminer.  

I think you’ve got that confused. She’s very, very upper-crust. Horses and everything. That’s the whole point. You either love it or hate it. I think you’re thinking, because of the Scientology — they’re Scientologists of course.

I don’t think so, Sally. Are you sure?

. . . Or something weird. Mormons? Moonies? Amish-something? What’s the difference anyway? Frankly.

Whereas the Obamas are secretly actually Muslims, I read somewhere . . .

Now you’re being ridiculous, Ems. You’re descending to the level of the American   people.

Catholic then. Anyway, which one do you think is best? Who do you think should get the vote? In these troubled times . . . With all the recessions and wars and green issues and everything . . . And China and stuff . . .

Personally, I would find it very hard to choose between them. I think they’re both absolutely super ladies . . . Ever so stylish . . .  And both obviously great mums . . .

Oh yes.

The American people should just get on with it. They’ve got two smashing ladies to choose from. They ought to be happy to vote for either.

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens
Search