Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Michelle Obama—She Can Define Herself As She Wishes And All Will Go Well

Michelle Obama is going to be a great First Lady.

How do I know this?

Because I’m going to accept her as the person she is and needs to be to survive and suceed in the role of First Lady. I’m going to let her define herself instead of being defined by Fox News as you see above.

These are things going to be said about any prominent black woman no matter how successful she is in life.

The message is that no black family is “legitimate”— Even one soon to be living in the White House.

The good news is that the voting public is paying attention and they will reject this stuff next November.

First Lady is a hard job and it merits great respect.

Some said Nancy Reagan was too adoring of her husband. But Mrs. Reagan had the right to be the person she was. Or, like anybody in public view, Mrs. Reagan had plenty of reason to put forth the image she wished to project. 

Lady Bird Johnson ran LBJ’s business affairs. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most famous people in the world for her humanitarian efforts.

Whatever a First Lady—or First Spouse as the case will someday be— wishes to be, that’s fine with me.

All people need to be is who they are. Or who they need to be to survive the attention of being in the shadow of a President and living in the shadow of the physical danger a President always faces.    

Also, I know Mrs. Obama and Mr. Obama are going to rise up the level of people’s hopes and expectations. I’m not sure that the maturity and gravity are there yet. But I have faith it will come.

Michelle Obama is charting a path no one before has charted. I’m fully on board with her as both she and the nation move forward.


June 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dolley Madison—A Helluva First Lady

A portrait of First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison

Dolley Madison, the former Dolley Payne, was maybe the first First Lady to be public figure on her own account.

She was smart enough to land James Madison and he was smart enough to listen to her counsel.

From her White House profile

With her charm and her laughing blue eyes, fair skin, and black curls, the young widow attracted distinguished attention. Before long Dolley was reporting to her best friend that “the great little Madison has asked…to see me this evening.”……Dolley’s social graces made her famous. Her political acumen, prized by her husband, is less renowned, though her gracious tact smoothed many a quarrel. Hostile statesmen, difficult envoys from Spain or Tunisia, warrior chiefs from the west, flustered youngsters–she always welcomed everyone. Forced to flee from the White House by a British army during the War of 1812, she returned to find the mansion in ruins. Undaunted by temporary quarters, she entertained as skillfully as ever.”

From Mrs. Madison’s profile at the American President Series at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center–

After the War of 1812, Dolley devoted her energies to improving the welfare of orphaned children in Washington, D.C. She assumed leadership of the cause, donated her time and money, and encouraged other women to follow her example. Many women did, not only in support of her cause, but in attending public events such as luncheons and orations, and in conversing with men at her receptions. They viewed her as a role model, adopting her fashions and asking her for advice.

Although a social icon, Dolley Madison was also interested in contemporary political issues. Her dove parties, while social in nature, had political overtones as she used them to gain information for her husband. When President Madison was disabled from sickness in May 1813, Dolley might well have assumed some of his official responsibilities, though there is little hard evidence to support such a claim. 

The first presidential spouse to renovate the White House, Dolley Madison was revered as a hostess and fashion trendsetter. Likewise, her exploits during wartime carved out new responsibilities for presidential wives. Separately and collectively, each of these actions would help redefine the role and responsibilities expected of future First Ladies.

Dolley Madison lived 1768-1849.

June 12, 2008 Posted by | History, Political History, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Democratic Houston Councilmembers Jones & Lovell Fight Instead Of Working For City

Houston Democratic City Councilmembers Jolanda Jones and Sue Lovell have been at odds of late.

At the Texas State Democratic Convention last week, Ms. Jones supported a candidate running on opposition to Ms. Lovell for a seat on the Democratic National Committee.

Ms. Lovell won this fight.

In the past, Ms. Lovell had donated to Ms. Jones’ campaign.

Why the break?

Who cares?

Imagine if instead of fighting, Ms. Jones and Ms. Lovell offered joint policy initiatives.

Imagine if the Democratic majority on Houston City Council held a weekly or bi-weekly caucus, and offered the public some type of an agenda.

Imagine if the Council majority had already held a press conference offering assistance to the Harris County Democratic coordinated campaign as Democrats try to win county office this year.

In all this, I may be asking for levels of competence and commitment that are simply not present.

June 12, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments