Questions about Michelle Obama


Questions about Michelle Obama

Summary of eRumor:

Michelle Obama, the wife of presidential candidate Barack Obama, has popped up in eRumors in 2008 about two issues.  One is that she is alleged to have said during the campaign that for the first time in her adult lifetime she is proud of her country.  There are also questions about why her graduate thesis from Princeton University has been classed as restricted until after November 5th, 2008, which is one day after the general election.

The Truth:

Did Michelle Obama say “For the first time in my adult lifetime I am proud of my country?”-Truth!
It was during speeches in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin on February 18, 2008. 

In Milwaukee she said, “People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.” 

In Madison, she said, ““For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country … not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.  I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.”

A spokesperson for the Obama Campaign, Jan Psake, said Michelle Obama was not trying to knock her country but rather to “underscore the meaning behind her husband’s campaign.”  She added, “The point is that of course Michelle is proud of her country, which is why she and Barack talk constantly about how their story wouldn’t be possible in any other nation on Earth.  What she meant is that she’s really proud at this moment because for the first time in a long time, thousands of Americans who’ve never participated in politics before are coming out in record numbers to build a grassroots movement for change.”

Critics, however, seized upon her statement and wondered aloud why there would not be any other times in her adult life when she felt proud of her country.

Has Michelle Obama’s Princeton thesis been restricted for any public release until after November 5?-Previously Truth!  But it has now been released from restriction!

Princeton University released the thesis to the public on March 25, 2008, after criticism of the fact that it was being held for release until the day after the general election.

The thesis was written under her maiden name, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson.  At Princeton, Michelle Obama focused on sociology and earned a certificate in African-American studies. 

The title of the thesis was “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community.”

An article in the Daily Princetonian from March 26, 2008, quoted the thesis as examining “…how the attitudes of black alumni have changed over the course of their time at the University” and “…whether they will become more or less motivated to benefit the black community.”

She surveyed 89 black graduates of Princeton and concluded from her research that “attending the University as an undergraduate decreased the extent to which black alumni identified with the black community as a whole.”

No explanation has been given for why the thesis was restricted for public access, although that can be requested by an alumnus.

Updated 3/26/08