Michelle, ma belle

michelle-obamaMichelle Obama is very good at the difficult political wife routine – she sounds about as grounded and real as you can sound if you have to be everything to everybody. She manages to voice her admiration for Hillary Clinton very diplomatically on The View, a women’s talk show, while reminding everyone of the racism that Obama’s candidacy is facing.

But you know, frankly, I don’t think that racism will be as big a problem for the Obamas as their idealism, intelligence and Harvard background. I don’t see anything wrong with any of that, but many Americans simply connect more with down-to-earth realism, street smarts and humor, as well as practical experience, and don’t see how all of those seemingly contradictory facets can go together. Well folks, they can, and her name is Michelle Obama.

The conservative media keep trying to make Barack Obama look like an elitist, which is the worst thing you can be in the States. So Michelle O. is clearly going to be an asset to her husband’s campaign. We’ll be seeing a lot of her. So: go, go, go Michelle, ma belle.

Learning the Ropes – Vokabeln

grounded – geerdet
to voice – äußern
down-to-earth – bodenständig
street smarts – Überlebenstechniken
seemingly – scheinbar
contradictory – widersprüchlich
asset – Gewinn

Michelle Obama on “The View”, on Hillary Clinton

Michelle Obama on falling in love with Barack Obama

Michelle Obama sacrificed her job for this campaign. Here is an interesting article by Debra Dickerson with some background not just on her, but on black career women in America. For more on the author, see www.debradickerson.com.

Learning English tip of the week

Even if you think watching talk shows is a total waste of time in your own language, they are really great for learning the social conventions in the country and culture you want to speak English in. So watch the video I’ve posted and consider:

There are some major cultural differences in how much we talk about our personal lives at work. In the US, there is less difference between work and leisure than in most other parts of the world, so naturally we talk more about our personal lives with our colleagues and peers (Bezugsgruppe). However, Americans definitely respect each others’ privacy. How? By using humor when things get a little too private. Just watch how Michelle Obama does it.

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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