Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington has some advice for first lady Michelle Obama: be more like Eleanor Roosevelt, and visit South Central, L.A.
The multimillionaire editor-in-chief offered the advice during an episode of her Both Sides Now with Huffington and Matalin radio program, on which she appears with Republican strategist Mary Matalin. Echoing what has been a criticism of Mrs. Obama from the right, Huffington said the first lady should avoid lavish trips and fundraisers, and focus on demonstrating her compassion for people’s suffering.
Huffington, Matalin, and host Mark Green were discussing the “caricatures” of Mrs. Obama, and her portrayal in the book “The Obamas,” by longtime New York Times reporter Jodi Cantor. Said Arianna:
I’d love [Michelle] to be more [like] Eleanor Roosevelt right now, because the country needs an Eleanor Roosevelt who’s going to go around and at the same time that she’s doing fundraisers in Beverly Hills and Bel Air … she should go to South Central [Los Angeles], I mean, if I were Michelle Obama right now, I would not go anywhere for a fundraiser without going and seeing the places where there is pain, where there is struggle, where there is homelessness, where there is unemployment, because we need to bring that conversation to the center of the debate and there’s nothing like a first lady or … a candidate to take us there.
Matalin in response, praised Obama’s work with military families, and called her a “great mother,” but said she thought there were “more important issues” than obesity that Obama could have tackled.
LISTEN to the AUDIO below:
Listen to the original recording here. The soundbite occurs at 24:21.
Michelle Obama, along with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, has made outreach to veterans families and ending childhood obesity her signature initiatives as first lady. The comments came two days before the Obamas spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteering for service projects in the Washington D.C. area.