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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Deep Cut Gardens to Host 2014 Rose Show
Thursday, 21 August 2014
PHOTO: The Jersey Shore Rose Society’s 43rd Annual Rose Show will take place Saturday, September 13 at DeepCutGardens, Middletown. Visitors... Read More...
IMAGE West Long Branch Woman a Finalist on ABC Singing Competition Show
Thursday, 21 August 2014
LOS ANGELES, CA - This Sunday, New Jersey native Audrey Kate Geiger will take the stage for her final performance on “Rising Star,” a new singing... Read More...
IMAGE MC Park System Offers Trail Maintenance Training
Thursday, 21 August 2014
PICTURED - The Monmouth County Park System’s Volunteer Trails Team in action. LINCROFT, NJ  — Thought you missed your chance to become part... Read More...
IMAGE Victims of Triple Fatal Crash Identified
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Surviving Crash Victim Remains in Extremely Critical Condition at Local Hospital FREEHOLD, NJ - The deceased victims of Tuesday’s triple fatal... Read More...
IMAGE Deputy Chief Craig Weber Selected as New Police Chief
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
PHOTO: Middletown Police Chief R. Craig Weber MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Deputy Chief R. Craig Weber, a life-long township resident, has been unanimously... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE No Words to Describe Loss of Amanda
by Anne Mikolay
Thursday, 21 August 2014
It's not always easy to come up with a weekly topic for this column. Usually, I mentally bat around a few ideas based upon current events or personal... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 16, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 16 August 2014
Man calls 911 because a drug dealer is at the corner.  Wait, no, that's a street sign: http://bit.ly/1kBfhVf Why did the chicken cross the road?... Read More...
IMAGE Faith Plays Big Role with Mom
by Daniel J. Vance
Friday, 15 August 2014
Every now and then, a person featured here attributes faith as pivotal in their being able to cope with disability—one in themselves or family... Read More...
IMAGE Sending the Last Child to College
by George Hancock-Stefan
Friday, 15 August 2014
This week, our last (fourth) daughter will leave us for college.  Three have already graduated from college and the last one is quasi-ready to... Read More...
IMAGE Bottom of the Barrel – The Mother of all Smokescreens
by Woody Zimmerman
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
More than any president in living memory – and probably more than most presidents in non-living memory – Barack Hussein Obama has repeatedly... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Thu Aug 21 @ 7:00PM -
The Dead Beat Poet Society
Thu Aug 21 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Free Summer Concert - Manalapan
Sat Aug 23 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Jersey Shore Rose Society Meets
Thu Aug 28 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Tue Sep 02 @ 8:00PM -
Middletown Township Committee Workshop

anne_mikolay_2012_120“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still,” said President Obama in his second inaugural address.

Apparently, the real “star” of the 57th Presidential Inauguration was Michelle Obama. The American public, forever enamored with pomp and circumstance and “all the pretty people,” were predictably focused on Mrs. Obama's attire and new hairstyle. Just this once I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and jump on the bandwagon in praise of Michelle Obama.

It must be extremely difficult to live life in a fish bowl, but Mrs. Obama consistently handles it well, and the festivities of the 57th Presidential Inauguration were no exception. Our First Lady and her daughters were well dressed, stylish, composed. In her red inaugural gown (created by young designer Jason Wu), Mrs. Obama personified grace and represented the United States with dignity. And for the record, 74% of those polled by essence.com voted in favor of Michelle Obama's bangs.

That being said, I do not comprehend society's “beautiful people” preoccupation, that same fascination that once transformed Jacqueline Kennedy into the Queen of Camelot or Lady Diana Spencer into the Peoples' Princess. While I admired Princess Diana (Mrs.Kennedy was before my time), and detect similar poise in Michelle Obama, I never once forgot that Princess Diana was human - as is Mrs. Obama - not a paper doll or stiff fashion mannequin. If Mrs. Obama wants to sport bright purple gloves, wear bangs, or roll her eyes at House Speaker John Boehner, she should be free to do so without setting the internet on fire. (Quite interesting that Mrs. Obama was unfavorably criticized for her reaction to Boehner without the benefit of audio of Boehner's comments.) Reaction to fashion and celebrity is commonplace, but no matter how blurred the line between celebrity and politics, we still should not judge a book by its cover. Nobody is perfect. Nobody. We've placed the presidential fish bowl on a mighty high pedestal indeed.

We move forward now into President Obama's second term. Mrs. Obama's red inaugural gown will be retired to the Smithsonian. She'll rise tomorrow, comb out her bangs, pull on her J.Crew gloves and put one foot in front of the other - like the rest of us.