FEBRUARY 10, 2010
Shortly after proclaiming that her husband “has done a phenomenal job” Michelle Obama declared that child obesity is a threat to national security, indicating that perhaps the First Lady is bemused.
It’s hardly the first time that a president’s wife makes ridiculous statements in public (remember Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy”) but this double-whammy just a day apart seems extra bizarre from a highly educated former executive with a prestigious Ivy League law degree.
Telling a national television audience that her husband is doing a phenomenal job could reasonably be attributed to the First Lady’s unconditional loyalty as a spouse, skewed as the statement may seem to most Americans (just look at President Obama’s rock-bottom approval ratings in the polls). After all, Michelle Obama was only defending her man against an evil Tea Party conventioneer who sarcastically asked the president’s supporters “how is that hope-y, change-y stuff working out for you?”
Associating overweight children with national security sounds incredibly outlandish, however. At a White House ceremony to launch her heavily promoted and expensive new campaign (Let’s Move) to end childhood obesity in the U.S., Michelle Obama actually said it’s a costly epidemic and a threat to national security.
She attributed the information to a mysterious “recent study” that claims the annual health care cost of obesity-related diseases is $147 billion. Here is where the national security part comes in, according to the First Lady; “This epidemic also impacts the nation’s security, as obesity is now one of the most common disqualifiers for military service.”
Maybe this is how her husband’s administration is justifying spending $400 million a year to bring “healthy foods” to low-income neighborhoods and $10 billion to revise a decades-old federal measure that already feeds tens of millions of poor children at school for free.
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