So… we noticed that the posting of First Lady Michelle Obama’s get-out-the-vote interview with NewsOne Now was getting traffic from a small, but growing number of right-wing blogs. Were they really interested in her message of how voting affects policy, and the “team” that the president has to work with in Congress? Nah. This brief, light-hearted exchange just after the 7:00 mark of the audio (scroll down to hear it) between Mrs. Obama and NewsOne Now host Roland Martin is what caught their attention:
Roland Martin: If we’re having souls to the poll on Sunday, can we do soul food after we vote?
Mrs. Obama: Absolutely. I give everyone full permission to eat fried chicken after they vote. Only after — if you haven’t voted. [laughter]
Martin: Well just checking!
Mrs. Obama: You make a good point, because I do talk about health — but I think that a good victory for Democrats on Tuesday should be rewarded with fried chicken.”
Martin: And some collard greens, and some mac and cheese.
Mrs. Obama: Well the collard greens are fine. That’s a vegetable, Roland.
Martin: It is?
Mrs. Obama: It is.
Martin: Are yams a vegetable too?
Mrs. Obama: Roland, come on. You know, yams are good. Sweet potatoes. Root vegetables. Don’t put too much butter, or honey or brown sugar in it. Just bake it. Are we turning this into a cooking show?
Out of all of that, guess what the bloggers in question heard. You guessed it: FRIED CHICKEN. MICHELLE OBAMA SAID FRIED CHICKEN. To whit, the headlines:
So, for the record: Mrs. Obama is not racist for engaging in humorous banter about soul food on election day — a play on words for the early voting campaign term “souls to the polls” — and the merits of healthy comfort food. Picking “fried chicken” out of all of that, and then complaining of a double standard begs the question: why do they want to talk about fried chicken and Democrats?
Now, hear the full interview below and don’t let the central message get lost: your vote makes a difference.