Michelle Obama Becomes Target for Conservatives

Conservative attacks on Barack Obama's wife are not so subtle.

ByABC News
June 13, 2008, 1:54 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 13, 2008 — -- Michelle Obama is getting laughs at the Oakleaf Village of Columbus retirement home in Ohio as she talks about her mother, "an active 70-year-old who does yoga," who treats her granddaughters Sasha and Malia -- the daughters of Michelle and Sen. Barack Obama -- "like queens," letting them eat ice cream and jump on the sofa.

"And I wonder: Who is this?" Michelle says, suggesting that her parents were a lot more strict with her as a little girl growing up. The grandparents in the room nod knowingly and chuckle.

After Michelle praises her husband as a leader, as a man, as a father and as "the next president of the United States," the senator claims a similar disconnect.

"She never says such nice things about me at home!" he smiles. "I really enjoy listening to her praise me like that because when I get home she'll remind me that I didn't make the bed."

This is the Michelle Obama that the Obama campaign wants Americans to get to know -- not the "Mrs. Grievance" depicted with an angry scowl on the cover of the conservative National Review, or "His Bitter Half," as conservative columnist Michelle Malkin called her.

Some of the conservative attacks are even less subtle. Fox News Channel depicted her loving fist-bump with her husband the night he clinched enough delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination as a "terrorist fist jab" and a chyron on Fox News identified Michelle Obama as "Obama's Baby Mama," urban slang for an ex-girlfriend with whom one has fathered an out-of-wedlock child.

The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune followed up with other stories probing why the woman once seen as a potential African-American Jackie Kennedy risks becoming more of a liability, a black Teresa Heinz Kerry.