Though The Stiletto lives in “an inner city suburb,” she’s not down with that new-fangled “hippety hop music” and typically needs to look up ghetto slang references on UrbanDictionary.com.  Apparently, there is brouhaha brewing over a Fox News caption which referred to Michelle Obama as “Obama’s Baby Mama” – that is, an ex-girlfriend with whom a man had fathered a child – and whether it is racist, or just a caption writer’s clumsy attempt at being hippety.  

The Stiletto gets appreciative comments and E-mails about her own jokey headlines, so she is inclined to believe that the caption writer was merely trying for a clever construction: Note the near-rhyme of the “bama” in “Obama” with “Mama” – in a perfect rhyme “Obama” and the second word would have had the same number of syllables, and the middle syllable would have been stressed in both. But no matter how clever, a headline or caption fails if accuracy is sacrificed to create the alliteration, rhyme or pun. The Obamas clearly have a traditional marriage and were, in fact, joined in holy matrimony (by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, you’ll recall) before having children – you know, the old-fashioned way. 

In contrast, Ann Dunham was 18 when baby Barack was born, and his father was still legally married to a Kenyan wife at the time, which ultimately broke his parents up. Thus, the term “baby mama” – as The Stiletto understands it – more accurately describes Obama’s mother and not his wife.

Much has been made of how Obama sought out mentors like Frank Marshall Davis and Wright as father-figures to replace his own long-gone father. But armchair psychiatrists have given scant attention to the effect that Obama’s rather unconventional mother may have had on his psyche.

Deep down inside Obama could have been embarrassed and distressed at how his mother’s footloose ways deprived him of a “normal” childhood, which engendered a desire to become a husband and father in the proper, correct and traditional manner. Obama has confessed that he feared looking too closely into the circumstances of his parents’ relationship and of his birth, and in The Audacity of Hope, he wrote: “I felt … the mark that a father’s absence can leave on a child. I determined that … my own children would have a father they could count on.”

NOTE: Recipients of Webby Awards are asked to keep their acceptance speeches brief – in fact, they are allowed only five words. The Stiletto – whose eponymous blog about politics and other stuff was selected an “Official Honoree” in the Political Blogs category, along with a handful of others by the likes of CNN and The New York Times – got her beautifully framed certificate in the mail. Had she received it in person at the Webby Awards Gala at Cipriani Wall Street, this would have been The Stiletto’s acceptance speech:  “How can I monetize this?” 

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