Obama: We didn't have "the luxury" for Michelle to not work

As an addendum to Ed’s earlier post on Democrats’ apparently new-and-improved war on women, here’s a rather galling moment from President Obama’s speech last week at the “White House Forum on Women and the Economy” that managed to fly under the radar. Asininity, thy name is President Obama:

“And then there’s the woman who once me advised me at the law firm in Chicago where we met. Once, uh, she gave me very good advice. That’s why I decided to marry her. And once Michelle and I had our girls, she gave it her all to balance raising a family and pursuing a career. And something that, could be very difficult on her, because I was gone a lot. Once I was in the state legislature, I was teaching, I was practicing law, I’d be traveling. And we didn’t have the luxury for her not to work. And I know when she was with the girls she’d feel guilty that she wasn’t giving enough time to her work, and when she was at work, she was feeling guilty she wasn’t giving enough time for the girls. And like many of you, we both wish there were machines that could let us be in two places at once.”

Here’s my humble two cents of advice, Mr. President: you really should not have gone there.

Yes — if  you want to be a productive member of society, life can be very busy. When time is scarce, no doubt we’ve all wished we could clone ourselves, but we all must make choices about how we spend that time and structure our lives. You can go to school, or not; get married, or not; have children, or not; these are all perfectly viable and respectable life choices that individuals can decide for themselves. And to imply that being a stay-at-home parent is necessarily a luxury, rather than a partnership between two parents who both work hard to achieve shared goals, is a really good way to insult a heck of a lot of average Americans.

President and Mrs. Obama met at Harvard Law School, and CNSNews has a report on what their incomes looked like during his time in U.S. Senate (it does feel a bit indecorous discussing other people’s private incomes, but I think we can very fairly argue that he brought this on himself):

In 2005, when Obama began serving in the U.S. Senate (and his daughters turned 4 and 7), he and his wife were earning a combined annual income of $479,062. Barack Obama was paid a salary of $162,100 by the U.S. taxpayers, and Michelle Obama was paid $316,962 to handle community affairs for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Even looking at just Mr. Obama’s income at the time, their situation hardly smacks of a hard-knock life, and I doubt that this thinly-veiled jab at the wealth of a certain GOP presidential candidate is going to do him any favors.