Michelle Obama is being urged to move to California and pursue the Senate seat that will almost certainly be vacated by Dianne Feinstein in 2018 when she will be 85 years old. The oldest member of the Senate, in that office since 1992, Feinstein has strongly suggested to the press this will be her last term.
The Obamas haven’t said where they’ll go when they leave the White House in 26 months, but Los Angeles is the leading contender, we are told.
“Barack could golf year-round and Michelle could emerge from his shadow after 20 years and retake control of her own life,” says a person familiar with their thinking. “Remember, Michelle is a Harvard-educated lawyer whose career was more robust than Barack’s was when they met.”
California is the most appealing destination for the Obamas, says the source, for several reasons. Hawaii is too remote; Illinois is a cesspool of political corruption which they prefer to avoid; and New York, which they love, is too dense with Clintons and Clinton acolytes. They have many friends in Los Angeles, dating back to Barack’s student days at Occidental College, when he first left Hawaii.
The Wall Street Journal reported recently that real estate brokers are claiming that emissaries of President Obama have inspected houses in the Palm Springs area, apparently on his behalf.
To lure her to the Senate race, supporters have been reminding Michelle that California is solidly Democratic and there is no apparent frontrunner to succeed Feinstein– certainly no one with the stature, broad appeal and fundraising connections Michelle has.
Mrs. Obama is said to have felt shackled for the past six years, regarded as an appendage to the head of state and unable to express her own views. “Michelle has strong opinions, but she was told by the President’s staff to stay ‘on message’ and on the few occasions she went ‘off message’ she upset West Wing officials and was excoriated in the press,” said our source.
Hillary Clinton, of course, captured a Senate seat after her stint as First Lady, but she ran in 2000 while her husband was still President. The timing here is better for Michelle since it would give her two years to build an organization across the vast Golden State.
A cynical New Yorker told us, “It’s a shoo-in. A ham sandwich could get elected on the Democratic line in California.”
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Good-Bye Beauty Pageants, Hello Hunter-Jumper Shows
In mid-century America, the daughters of the plutocrats went to the track to watch the horses. Now, according to the Wealth Section in today’s Times (10/23), they mount them, jump over obstacles and win lots of money. Among the proud fathers of equestriennes who have won particularly rich purses are Bruce Springsteen, Michael Bloomberg and Lou Dobbs. Also watching their “little girls” trot and jump are Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and Tom Selleck.
Hillary Dobbs, 26, daughter of Lou Dobbs, the Fox Business host, has more than two dozen Grand Prix wins in professional riding, becoming the youngest rider ever to win over $1 million in prize money. A 2010 Harvard graduate, she was hired this summer by The University of South Carolina to coach the equestrian team.
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Venezuela’s Economy is in Shambles While U.S. Lefties Cheer
Today’s Wall Street Journal (10/23) has a story datelined Maracaibo that begins: “Amid worsening shortages, Venezuela recently reached a milestone of dubious distinction: It has joined the ranks of North Korea and Cuba in rationing food for its citizens.” And, in a technological advance, would-be customers have to stand in line outside the store to scan their fingerprints before they are allowed to enter “to ensure they won’t buy more than their share of scarce items like cooking oil, milk, rice, coffee, chicken and toilet paper.”
The writer Sara Schaefer Munoz states succinctly, “Venezuela is turning to rationing because of shortages caused by what economists call a toxic mix of unproductive local industry—hamstrung by nationalizations and government intervention—and a complex currency regime that is unable to provide the dollars importers need to pay for basics.”
As the late Communist dictator Hugo Chavez and his Cuban puppet successor Nicolas Maduro were driving once-prosperous Venezuela to ruin , among the enthusiastic cheerleaders of the totalitarian government were Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and Joseph Kennedy II. You guys happy now?