Earlier this year, Michelle Obama announced she wanted to take on childhood obesity. There’s rarely been a more non-controversial topic touted in Washington, D.C. It’s like grade inflation for poll numbers.
So she rolled out this nationwide initiative, Let’s Move, earlier in 2010. She said she learned when she and Barack were working that her children’s nutrition was suffering from not being able to cook meals for them. She said she started making changes and wanted to bring those lessons to the White House.
Apparently, they were all lessons she forgot when trying to win over Iowa voters on the campaign trail with her husband. Who could guess that someone who said this on the campaign trail would suddenly choose childhood obesity as their topic of choice?
“Our main reason…at least the girls and I…we’re here for the state fair. I don’t know about you. We’re going to get some stuff on a stick. I don’t care what it is – a hot dog, a Snickers bar — we’re eating everything on a stick today.”
I understand trying to be conversational and that occasional indulgences are a part of being healthy, but, clearly, promoting childhood health was not on her mind. If you have a vision to be a national spokesperson for healthy eating, you can find something to say besides, “We’re here for the unhealthy food” in front of a national audience.
What I do think was on Michelle Obama’s mind was getting to the White House, and she’ll use things like Snickers on a stick to get there and waging war against childhood obesity to stay there. This is from a Washington Post article in 2009, after she changed her chief of staff:
For weeks, Michelle Obama had been telling her staff and closest confidantes that she wasn’t having the impact she wanted. She is a woman of substance, with a background in law, public policy and management, who found herself relegated to role model in chief. The West Wing of the White House — the fulcrum of power and policy — had not fully integrated her into its agenda. She wanted more.
Come 2010, we get Let’s Move. I understand the desire to make a difference. But I don’t appreciate campaign rhetoric not matching up to what goes on in the White House. That’s no hope and no change.