The Obamas epitomize American family values

Written by Susan Mannella on .

I can't be the only woman astonished to see Rick Santorum awarded a national pulpit for his anti-contraception, "family values" sermonizing. Nor can I be the only one scratching my head over Republicans, including Mitt Romney, joining the Catholic Church's atavistic freakout over the Pill ("Republicans Seizing on Birth Control Flap," Feb. 9). Like a lot of women, I have a hard time believing they're worried about me, not to mention my family.

Who are these guys really worried about? Could it be the loving, Christian, three-generation family currently occupying the White House? The elephant in the room (pardon the irony) is that the Obamas embody the values most Americans share. Chief among them is the way they valued their family by planning for it.

The lessons quietly emanating from the first family include: Barack and Michele Obama worked and studied hard, married, established between them a foundation of maturity, skills and resources, and then started a family they could afford to nurture and support. Because she carefully managed both her career and her reproductive life, Michelle Obama is a model -- to her daughters and ours -- of how women can plan to enjoy both professional and personal success. All of the Obamas, including hands-on grandmother Marian Robinson and Bo the dog, are showing America how to value their children. The two beautiful Obama daughters are rarely trotted out for political theater.

As I've watched Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney attack the president and his attempts to offer basic health care for all women, in front of a platoon of their offspring, the juxtaposition makes a rather desperate argument. They'd like us to believe that more family equals more family values. We all know better, and the Obamas remind us, daily, that we do.


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