With the recent revelations of married men in power who have tipped out on their wives, it is relevant that we consider the following scenario: The Leader of the Free World, a photogenic politician, a people’s champ with a way with words, and a smile that melts iron, President Barack Obama, cuddling a mistress, a Woman of the Night aka the “Otha” Woman. I know, I know, I can hear the gasps as you read this, but just go with it. There is absolutely no evidence to that effect, but let’s say what if, for the sake of argument, Barack had a little something on the side. Would Michelle Obama take him back? Could she take him back?
While you dismiss the question, it is good to remember that Barack has certainly had flirts twist and shake their way in front of his desk before. It’s also good to remember the recent men in power who’ve chosen panties over power: Eliot Spitzer, a likable man and former governor of New York was “one of the good guys,” a do-gooder. Yet he shamelessly lived a double life as benefactor to a prostitution ring, stunning his wife and rocking the Democratic party. Former President Bill Clinton threw intern Monica Lewinsky under the bus by calling her “that woman” as a public way of distancing himself from her while wifey Hillary privately seethed with anger and hurt.
Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, and empathetic Romeo with a conscious, just did the same thing. His supporters winced as he held back tears talking about how his mistress was not just some cold, heartless lady, but a “special” woman in his life. Emails that he sent to her backed up his affection. “I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light — but hey, that would be going into sexual details …” he wrote. PUKE.
Sanford’s wife Jenny, a heroin to some, a pitiful idealist to others, said she had told him to end the affair, only to find out that he had skirted to Argentina for a week-long hookup. Jenny stated that she was out if Stanford didn’t leave the mistress alone, but a lot of women blamed her for threatening to bolt the marriage so fast. If Barack committed the grievance, would Michelle hang in there? While successful black women can usually put up with Playstation-like foolishness, cheating is tantamount to killing a family member. Michelle’s public front would stay about as long as it takes to lose a perm in a slow drizzle. I personally think she’d hit him with one of those sculpted arms of hers. But then the drama would really begin.
Would Barack try to explain away the affair, in effect belittling the woman? Would he try to blame Michelle, claiming abandonment or detachment from his manly needs? Truth be told, because of his insane popularity, a sizable portion of women would probably side with Barack if he used the abandonment claim. (“Girl, she should have been taking care of business AT HOME,” they would say). A lot of chauvinists would probably say that having your cake and eating it too is just something that politicians do. (“Mischievous men in power have consistently disappointed with the lengths they’ve gone to keep some side booty.”)
But would Michelle stay? Would she become another statistic, adding to the number of African-American single-family homes by choosing to leave? Would she join the sorority of silent partners who’ve been cheated on but decided it’s better to work it out “for the children” or for fear of being alone? For a lot of women the issue of staying would depend on a few things, chief among them is whether he were still seeing the mistress. Would Barack, with his smooth words and winning smile, try to defend the other woman’s plight? However it would play out, the underlying question would be, would he do it again? If a cheater is caught, can he change? For Barack, let’s hope the loud and resonating answer is, YES, HE CAN.