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Michelle Obama’s Target Shopping: Political Stunt or Just a Mom Moment?

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated by the Smithsonian’s collection for First Lady’s dresses, but I don’t remember much media focus on their daily clothing choices as news other than Jackie Kennedy’s cute hats and love of French couture.  After Jackie, each FLOTUS has been measured by her standards, and the media have used that as a jumping off point to praise or criticize each woman’s fashion sense.

Michelle Obama is no exception.

While many of us love to talk about what the current FLOTUS is styling, fashion police and traditional pundits often don’t hold back if there’s a perceived wardrobe blunder.  Hillary Clinton was skewered for her headbands, as well as her cleavage. Nancy Reagan took serious heat for her love of designer duds.

But when it comes to Michele Obama, some of her husband’s opponents have taken it upon themselves to turn a little fashion critique into class warfare, contending that her down-to-earth Mom-in-Chief image is just stagecraft.  No woman of the people would wear $40,000 bracelets (even if it’s just borrowed) or be such a spendthrift when it comes to her duds (even though she’s famously worn off-the-rack outfits).

So when Michelle Obama is caught on camera at Target, that should quiet the critics, right?

Hardly.

Rush Limbaugh and FOX News were especially hard on FLOTUS when photos surfaced of her trying to be incognito at Target, claiming it had to be a political ruse.  Limbaugh was so appalled that he went off on a rant on his radio show about the outing, saying:

“What a phony baloney plastic banana good time rock-and-roller optic photo op this was! … You think the AP has photographers waiting outside stores for Moochelle to show up?”

Yes, he did call her “Moochelle.”

So how did the photographer know she was going to be there?  Was it a purposeful photo-op?  Do we care?

If Michelle Obama is like many other moms in America, sometimes she just needs a little shopping at a normal store.  You know, where we like to buy normal things.  Maybe do a little browsing … like all normal people?  Trust me, sometimes a good 30-minute outing to the local Tar-zhay is what I need to clear my head.

I guess it doesn’t occur to the likes of Limbaugh and Sean Hannity that even powerful women need a little back-to-basics shopping every now and then.  The White House isn’t saying what she bought, but if you’re in Target in October, I have to believe there was some Halloween candy involved!

So what’s your take?  Was her outing a moment of political opportunism to make the First Lady more relatable as we head into the 2012 campaign?  Do you care?

When she’s not here or at her place PunditMom, Joanne is trying to figure out how to get a copy of her book Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America is the first book to explore the rise of women’s power online into Michelle Obama’s hands!

Image via whitehouse.gov.

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