Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Today Is 'Tomorrow' for Barack and Michelle Obama

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Today Is 'Tomorrow' for Barack and Michelle Obama

Article excerpt

At the end of the television series "The West Wing," the now former first lady, Abbie Bartlet, turns to her husband and now former president, Jed, and asks him what he is thinking as he stares out the window of the plane taking them back to retirement in New Hampshire. "Tomorrow," he says.

It was the perfect ending to a not always perfect, but always aspirational, television series. "The West Wing" followed most of the eight-year tenure of the fictional Bartlet presidency, played beautifully by Martin Sheen. Stockard Channing played the first lady. The last episode of the series showed the transition process - - the change of presidents, as well as the transformation of the Oval Office from one chief executive to the next.

Today is that day for Barack and Michelle Obama. It is beyond my imagination to understand what it is like to be an occupant of the White House for eight years. I do know the Obamas did us proud.

If it is possible to put politics aside at least during these final hours of the Obama administration, as a family, the Obamas were proof that traditional family values are alive and well in the 21st century. Their two girls, who grew into young women before the nation's eyes, were never associated with scandal. Sasha Obama even skipped her father's farewell speech in Chicago to stay home and study for a school exam. Donna Reed would be smiling.

The most remarkable thing about the Obamas in the White House was Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother. Robinson lived with the first family, for the most part out of sight. I recall some snide comments about the arrangement eight years ago. Some folks suggested Robinson was taking advantage of the situation. In an internet search this week to check the spelling of Robinson's name, I stumbled on a story about a "fake news" account relating to her. Someone had written Robinson would receive a pension for living in the White House.

The story is bogus, but it boggles the mind that there are folks who want to disparage a grandmother because she happens to be related to Barack Obama.

Back in the 1980s, the sitcom "The Cosby Show" broke new ground because it depicted an upper-middle-class black family. The Obamas are the real deal. An intact, traditional family where the dad makes time for family dinners and where at least one grandparent lives with them. …

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