Policy issue reduced to personal body traits: Sensenbrenner and Michelle Obama's booty

I did a search and didn’t find a thread already talking about this issue, so here it goes –

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) has served as a U.S. representative for more than 30 years, including a stint as chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, one of the most powerful posts in Congress.

Sensenbrenner was recently overheard talking on his cellphone in an airport lounge recounting a recent incident. Apparently, he was at some church function and a citizen came up to him with kind words for Michelle Obama’s recent publicity campaign to encourage healthful eating choices. Sensenbrenner apparently said on the telephone that his response was “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”

What the hell?

  1. What does encouraging people, particularly children, to make better eating choices have to do with Obama’s own body condition? Fat or skinny, well or unwell, the question should be over what Obama’s saying rather than what she looks like.

  2. What exactly is wrong with someone like Obama pursuing a campaign like this? Speaking as an overweight person myself, this is exactly the kind of thing that we need to address a rather serious public health issue.

  3. Apparently, when asked about this exchange, a Sensenbrenner aide responded with something like “He thinks the government shouldn’t tell us what to eat.” The government isn’t forcing anyone to eat what they don’t want. They’re trying to educate the public and encourage institutions and individuals to change their dietary practices. What exactly is wrong with that?

  4. What exactly is wrong with Michelle Obama’s posterior? She’s not overweight; she’s not obese. She’s shaped the way she’s shaped.

  5. Why did Sensenbrenner feel the need to take a policy matter and personalize it in this way? After all, Sensenbrenner’s no athlete himself. There’s something bizarre and poisonous about the instinct to take a policy disagreement and personalize it like this.

Photograph of Rep. Sensenbrenner.

He could stand to cut back a little, himself. (Though, as he is a white guy, odds are that his butt is nonexistent. :smiley: )

  1. How is a first lady’s pet project “the government telling us [fillintheblank?]” This is a private citizen who happens to be married to the president trying to make this country better, as first ladies traditionally do. There’s no “government” policy or mandate involved.

Did this guy have a problem with Nancy Reagan telling us to not do drugs? Did he have a problem with Laura Bush foisting books upon us?

He’s not the only one saying this, either. I know I’ve heard Sarah Palin railing about the program, too. I think it’s become a bit of a favorite whipping boy for some Republicans, since “don’t tell me how to raise my kids” is a hot button for people.

Full body shot.
Looks like he’s got hisself a sody-pop.

Large posterior, indeed.

Michelle Obama is on this campaign because she needs something to do other than shop and travel. Every First Lady does it; they campaign for a “cause” to give the appearance that they’re doing something important for the people.

And that’s the sole motivation, is it, Crafter_Man?

Perhaps there are other motivations? To take an otherwise pointless position that nevertheless gets a lot of public attention and try to accomplish something worthwhile. Isn’t that a possible motivation?

And even if you’re right, so what? You could boil almost any attempt to accomplish public goals as being motivated by the need “to make themselves feel important.” That says nothing about (1) whether the objective is in the public interest, (2) whether the means are proper, or (3) whether the first lady in question is doing a good job with it.

I have pretty much nothing good to say about George W. Bush, either personally or politically, but I had no problem with Laura Bush’s reading and libraries campaign. I even made it a habit to attend the annual Festival of the Book that she promoted. I saw nothing wrong in what she did, I saw no need to use it as an opportunity to criticize Laura Bush’s personal traits, and I saw no need to denigrate it as the act of someone who merely “needs something to do other than shop and travel.”

What does it say about you that you feel the need to express yourself in this way?

These charges of hypocrisy over weight issues isn’t limited to just the First Lady though. I have heard people express indignation that a doctor with a weight problem told them that they could use to lose a few pounds. No doubt the prevailing societal views on weight issues makes some people see being told they are overweight as a personal rather than medical judgment. I don’t think I have heard anyone get huffy because their doctor told them that their cholesterol or blood pressure was too high.

People do get stupid about the First Lady though. I don’t think I have ever heard her say that healthy eating requires that you eat twigs and berries for every meal, but God forbid she get caught eating a cheeseburger once in a blue moon.

Yeah, well, he’s not telling people how to eat! So there!

I actually knew Sensenbrenner when he was in the Wisconsin Legislature. He was a crude asshole back then and it was not below him to publicly ridicule you on the floor of the State Senate. He did it to me once. I can see the only thing that has changed since is the girth of his crudity and assholeness.

She’s not the boss of him!

Do we have any confirmation that this actually happened, apart from the word of this anonymous Democratic operative?


We also have a statement from Sensenbrenner.

Nothing. Nothing at all.


It’s less prominent than that of a particular Senator from the state of New York.

The First lady has always been into healthy eating and fitness. She’s mentioned several times that she worries about what her kids eat.

The White House garden has been a big success. It supplies the White House kitchen with fresh produce. What’s not needed gets donated to local food banks. A lot of people are benefiting from such a practical idea.

Chuck Schumer has a big ass?

The article in the OP doesn’t accurately represent what the Senator said. What he really said was, “Oh. My. GOD, Becky. LOOK at her butt. It is so big. scoff She looks like, one of those rap guys’ girlfriends. But, you know, who understands those rap guys? scoff They only talk to her, because, she looks like a total prostitute, 'kay? I mean, her butt, is just so big. I can’t believe it’s just so round, it’s like, out there, I mean - gross. Look! She’s just so …* black!*”

Michelle Obama is an incredibly fit woman who happens to have an equally incredibly fit ass. Her ass is in no way big like this rolly polly Senator’s is.

When I first saw this on the news, my mind immediately went to thinking this had something to do with race. I mean, you’ve got the old white dude Senator making negative comments about a black woman’s ass being too big. I can’t quite articulate why it rubs me that way, but there you go.

So does Hillary…but she’s decided to stay married to him anyway.


If Hillary were to be married to any U.S. senator from New York, it would be Kirsten Gillibrand, wouldn’t it? I have to admit, I have no idea what her ass looks like.