Rich Galen

Michelle Obama:
"For the first time in my adult lifetime I am [really] proud of my country."

Lee Greenwood:
"And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free."

I'm thrilled that Michelle Obama is finally really proud of her country. I assume her country is the same as my country, but she didn't actually say that so that may be an assumption which turns out to be terribly wrong.

There appears to be a defense building in the Popular Press which holds that the original reporting of Mrs. Obama's statement left out the word "really" which, they believe, changes the meaning of the statement.

It doesn't.

I am - and I assume most of you are - unreservedly proud of America.

Lee Greenwood:
"And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me."

For those who might be a little thin on this, America - the America of which Mrs. Obama is finally really proud - gives people like Michelle Obama the right to say excruciatingly stupid things. And, America - the America of which I have always been proud - gives people like Barack Obama the ability to run for (and probably win) the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Barack Obama, by the way, won the Wisconsin primary last night by some 13 percentage points over the lagging, flagging, sagging campaign of Hillary Clinton.

If Michelle is finally really proud of America because of Barack's run, she should be aware that Obama is not the first Black person to run for President in either of our countries.

In 1972 Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for President. Mrs. Chisholm, a Black woman from New York received 151 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention that year.

That total will be way more than John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich will receive at the 2008 Democratic National Convention - COMBINED.

Now, I will grant you that Michelle Obama was only eight years old in 1972 but one assumes she has read the history of the United States generally and/or the history of Black Women in the United States in particular.

In her speech announcing her candidacy in January 1972 Rep. Chisholm said: "I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

"I am not the candidate of black America, although I am Black and proud.

"I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.

"I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests.

"I am the candidate of the people."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at