Does Michelle Obama Dislike America?

Does Michelle Obama dislike America? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

Campaigning Monday for her husband in Wisconsin, Mrs. Obama said something that has caused major controversy, and she said it twice.


MICHELLE OBAMA, BARACK OBAMA'S WIFE: Let me tell you something. For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country, because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.


And let me tell you something. I need to believe that we live in that kind of nation, where hope and possibility and unity is still what drives us.


Now, the problem with that statement is the words "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country." Perhaps Michelle Obama simply misspoke. That happens all the time when you give speeches. But Mrs. Obama said it twice in two different speeches.

Now I'm willing, I'm willing to give Mrs. Obama the benefit of the doubt if she wants that benefit. The problem is she's been silent, letting others speak for her.


DAVID AXELROD, BARACK OBAMA'S CHIEF STRATEGIST: She gives this talk all the time, and I don't think she formulates the words quite that way generally. But if you look at the whole quote and read beyond it, she was plainly talking about this burst of participation, this sense of hope, the sense of possibility and so on. And she was talking about the politics of our country.


OK, fine. But again, Michelle Obama should be explaining herself, not paid advisers.

Why is an explanation needed, you might ask? Well, because most Americans are proud of their country and don't like it see it run down in any way. Michelle Obama is a prominent person. What she says carries weight all over the world. Also, what she says can be used against her.


CINDY MCCAIN, JOHN MCCAIN'S WIFE: I'm proud of my country. I don't know about you, if you heard those words earlier. I'm very proud of my country.


Well, the fact that Michelle Obama has not clarified the situation is a major mistake for the Obama campaign.

Again, I don't believe Michelle Obama dislikes her country. I sincerely hope she does not, but this is a big deal. It is not going away. And the Obama campaign should understand that.

And that's "The Memo."

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