Michelle Obama: Barack's led us out of the darkness and into the light

Alternate headline: “‘Light’ apparently now a synonym for 8.2 percent unemployment.”

Is Team Hopenchange seriously going to push a “messiah” message this time around? Even a little bit? Note to Axelrod and Plouffe: When your Senate candidates are suppressing clips of them praising The One and your own base is churning out videos like this, it might be time to update the 2008 “Obama as savior of mankind” chapter in the ol’ playbook.

First lady Michelle Obama spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of donors in Nashville today, framing her husband’s re-election campaign as a fight for “our sons and daughters, our grandsons and granddaughters.”…

Donors paid at least $500 each for their tickets…

Obama closed by asking the audience three times, “Are you in?”

“Because I am so in,” she said over the applause. “We have an amazing story to tell. This president has brought us out of the dark and into the light.”

If you want to know what “darkness into light” looks like in graph form, click right here.

That ridiculous quote is what’s getting headlines but this part of her speech is more noteworthy:

“We cannot forget the impact the Court’s decisions will have on our lives for decades to come — on our privacy and security, on whether we can speak freely, worship openly, and love whomever we choose,” she said in a ringing defense of the president’s record. Asked about similar statements in the past, the White House has denied that they reflect any newfound White House support for gay marriage. Kristina Schake, the First Lady’s communications director, said Tuesday that it “refers to the importance of the Supreme Court for deciding many issues.”

“The President and First Lady firmly believe that gay and lesbian Americans and their families deserve legal protections and the ability to thrive just like any other family,” she said.

Smart of her to push the Court as a key issue to liberals with ObamaCare in constitutional limbo, but I’m interested in that part about loving whomever we choose. Is that an early signal that gay marriage might play a bigger role on the trail — or in O’s second term — than people think? Is she suggesting she (and O) would approve if the Court declared a right to same-sex marriage under the Equal Protection Clause, as David Boies and Ted Olson are hoping to get it to do? More details, please.

Speaking of a second term, go read Jeffrey Toobin’s short piece in the New Yorker wondering what, exactly, Hopenchange v2.0 would mean for America. For a guy who likes to talk about finishing the work he’s begun, The One is awfully vague on what that work might look like going forward. Raising taxes on the rich is a given, but Democrats actually don’t need him to get reelected to do that. All they need is to hold onto their Senate majority and block any GOP attempts to extend the Bush tax cuts. He could maybe possibly conceivably get serious about entitlement reform — David Brooks thinks he’s “a pragmatic liberal who cares about fiscal sustainability,” don’tcha know — but I’m not sure that a lame-duck Democrat could get the support he needs from his caucus in the Senate to beat a liberal filibuster, especially if Republicans are dictating most of the terms of the reforms. His best bet to do something significant, I think, is immigration, especially if the Latino vote ends up being decisive in reelecting him in November. The GOP will be so demoralized by that that it’ll shake loose enough electorally-minded Republican moderates in the Senate to get something through. The big question mark is the House. If Republicans hold onto it, will they block a reform bill or acquiesce in the interest of becoming more competitive with Latinos?

Via Mediaite, here’s Lawrence O’Donnell with one more idea for an Obama second term. Hmmmmm.

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