I just love the Obama girls...
I refuse to contribute to the invasion of their privacy by actually seeking out information or pictures about them. But when I do see them, they just warm my heart. Sasha cracks me up. I love the pictures of her looking incredibly bored at the inauguration parade, with her chin propped in her orange-gloved hands. I love that she gave her dad a thumbs up after his speech this week. I love that Michelle seems to shush her sometimes, that she gets wiggly and noisy after a little while. I love that Malia seems to have a camera with her often, even at the inauguration, just to make sure that the event gets documented in case no one else is keeping up with these things. I love her hair in cornrows and twists.
And I love that people, lots of people, refer to the President as "Barack." No one called George W. Bush "George" unless it was in a derogatory, dismissive way. Like, "Dang it, now look what George has done!" But with President Obama it seems to be out of affection and camaraderie.
And, gee, but Barack and Michelle are sweet together! (See that, "Barack and Michelle"! It just seems appropriate, somehow!)
Hillary Clinton always seemed like a strong woman to me, surely because she is. She and Bill seemed to (mostly) respect each other, but certainly never seemed genuinely affectionate, even before all the Monica Lewinsky/recurring infidelity stuff came out. Laura Bush has seemed to me to be quiet and supportive, but she doesn't seem to have a personality of her own.
Michelle... I like her very much. The woman is tough, but she seems like someone you'd like to have coffee with sometime. She and Barack seem to be truly, spontaneously affectionate with each other. I can picture her being really involved in her husband's presidency, in more than just a superficial photo op kind of way. But yet, somehow, not in the same way as Hillary Clinton, when people made, "Who's the president anyway?" jokes.
Obviously, my entire perception of all the first families is completely filtered through news media. Maybe I'm all wrong about all of them.
But even apart from policies and speeches... Just what I see of the Obama family makes me feel hopeful the next four years.
(Note to Typepad: Your spellcheck highlights "Barack" and "Obama." Maybe it's time to add those to your dictionary.)