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Video: Two Responses to Michelle Obama at Fundraiser

| June 15, 2011
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This is a pretty interesting video from the Chronicle’s Politics Blog, taken outside Michelle Obama’s fundraiser at the Claremont Hotel on Tuesday. It shows Naomi Pitcairn, one of the organizers of the singing protesters who serenaded President Obama at an April fundraiser at San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel, chanting “Free Bradley Manning.” (See video of that here.) Only she’s interrupted by the arrival of the First Lady’s motorcade, accompanied by an outburst of approval from the crowd. The Chron then interviews Danine Manette, who becomes quite emotional when describing her feelings about Mrs. Obama.

Danine Manette,: She’s just made it so wonderful for us. The African American mother, woman, American. She just makes me feel so empowered. She empowers my children, she empowers my family. She’s all about women, she’s all about family, she’s all about career, she’s all about country. I love everything about her.

Naomi Pitcairn: Do you love the war?

Danine Manette: I love Michelle Obama!… (Over Naomi’s singing) I saw her! She waved at me!


Racial dichotomies aside (Naomi is white, Danine African-American), one might view the encounter as emblematic of two types of responses to the Obama phenomenon: One disappointed, embittered, and — at least self-descriptively — realistic; the other purely emotional and deeply responsive to a symbolism that still resonates two-and-a-half years after Obama’s election.

The Chronicle, you may know, got into a spat with the Obama administration over its recording of the original protest, getting tossed from its press pool. (The White House says that’s not true, exactly.)

Since we once posted an entire interview I conducted with one of the protesters, Elizabeth Stephens, not only will I be barred from the press pool, I’m assuming, but I probably won’t even be able to get in to the White House tour.

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