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Cherie Blair to Michelle Obama: Learn to Like the Backseat

Solicited or not, Cherie Blair, has some tough advice for soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama. The wife of Tony Blair, who spent 10 years as a high-profile political wife, wrote in an open letter to Michelle:

You have to learn to take the back seat, not just in public, but in private. When your spouse is late to put the kids to bed, or for dinner, or your plans for the weekend are turned upside down again, you simply have to accept that he had something more important to do. It is something of an irony that in these days of pushing for equality, those of us married to our political leaders have to put their own ambitions on hold while their spouses are in office and keep their views to themselves.

Just like Michelle, Cherie doesn't fit naturally in the shadows. Both women are accomplished lawyers and busy mothers. Michelle, a Princeton and Harvard grad, will give up her job as the vice president of the University of Chicago Medical Center, along with a $300,000 salary. Still, the influence she gains as first lady is hard to calculate.

Do you think Michelle will heed the advice of her experienced British counterpart and take the backseat to Barack? Should she?


Join The Conversation
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I still don't particularly like the dress Michelle wore on Election Night. :shrug:
mafalda_quino mafalda_quino 8 years
Cherie has felt oppressed and undermined from even before Blair came to power, so it's more likely that her article is another chance to vent rather than actual advice to Michelle Obama. In '94 when TB became leader of the Labour party and media attention turned to their family, Cherie seemed to be unprepared and uncooperative regarding issues such us their son's choice of school and her best friend and confidante at the time who turned out to be a topless model and very close to people convicted of property scams. She was from the beginning on very bad terms with Alastair Campbell, Blair's press secretary/spin doctor who she felt was interfering too much when it came to private/family issues. It says it all really when Cherie, leaving No10 for the last time shouted to the assembled press: "Goodbye. I don't think we'll miss you!"
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
Seriously, this wasn't an "open letter." At all. It was something she was asked to write. I'm not sure why the sugarsite is spinning it like that. Boohoo that it isn't sugar coated, it's good advice.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Oh shut up, Cherie. Honestly.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
(Disclaimer: I didn't read her book but I enjoyed reading the subsequent ripping apart of said book.)
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
Cherie IS condescending, Bella. She's a right pain in the arse and her book in Britain drew mostly jeers and guffaws and wincing (As in "too much info, Cherie"). Like we want to know exactly where Tony's spawn were conceived...yeah, she had to include that one. Truthfully I find her to be an attention whore to some extent so this comment made me laugh a typically her to say something like this. (not a Blairite, can you tell?)
hope2be hope2be 8 years
I think that Michelle Obama has already known this. But I also think that the letter was published for her column/article or whatnot so it's not like it's a 'real' letter.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
I just realized whoever did the casting for The Queen is freaking awesome. The actors who played Tony Blair and Cherie looked just like them it's insane.
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
All I can say is "Duh" I mean seriously. Can you imagine BO being late for dinner and Michelle Obama relegating him to the couch for not calling? I don't care WHO the president is, that's just rather a silly assumption.
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
LOL wadey!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
:lol: @ wadewifey3
brindey brindey 8 years
I sort of feel like there has to be much better advice than that. I feel Bill Simmons could have written better advice for a first lady- and he is (my very favorite) sports writer. How about- make an album of your favorite candid family photos. Have The Best Slumber Party Ever. Shine. Ok, so maybe Cherie Blair is one of the few women who could really give her sound advice. Why waste it on "dont become a hounding fishwife when he neglects you." I feel like all of us have sound advice to give, to either everyone or just one special someone, as in this case. If you get a voice, make it count.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
OH, OK. I think I probably could have figured that out if I thought about it for a second, but I am trying to do too many things at once!
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
LOL, sorry for my non understandable lingo. I mean I'm good, i found it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
But a Google search for "The Times of London" and "My Advice to Michelle Obama" leads you straight to the article.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I posted it immediately after my comment referring to it. I'm sure it's still be looked over by the Team Sugar geeks. (I mean geeks in a good way!)
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 8 years
where's the link lilkimbo.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I think Blair's article is more about informing the public of the sacrifices that political spouses have to make (and the degree of those sacrifices). Here are the final few paragraphs:
After 21 gruelling months on the campaign trail, Michelle Obama is realistic about what lies ahead. She understands that criticism comes with the job and says that she has already developed a thick skin. She will need it. When I asked Hillary for advice not long after the 1997 election, she warned me that there would always be sections of the public or press that would be keen to criticise. That, as we know, certainly proved to be the case, though I didn't always make life easy for myself. So far Michelle Obama seems to be avoiding the traps. But as in many things in life there is a sacrifice, if willingly made, that shouldn't be underestimated.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It is entitled, "My Advice to Michelle Obama...", but it's obviously not actually to Michelle Obama.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
After reading the original article written by Blair, I see that she wasn't writing to Obama at all. The article is about the challenges Obama will face, but is quite obviously not in any way directed at Obama. I will post a link in the next comment. (Which I'm sure will be flagged.)
Myst Myst 8 years
Well that's the crappiest piece of advice I've heard in a long while.
em1282 em1282 8 years
A bit :oy: from Cherie, but eh. I'm beyond sure that Michelle doesn't think she's going to be shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband at all times...
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