Michelle Obama: Food Profiteer Turned Food Cop
Let me summarize first lady
Michelle Obama`s anti-obesity agenda: Shed as I say, not
as I gain. While she crusades for organic foods and puts
government pressure on corporations to stop marketing
fast food and junk food to children, Mrs. Obama herself
profited from the very same processed food industry she
In June 2005, a few months after
her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate, Mrs. Obama
hustled a seat on the corporate Board of Directors of
TreeHouse Foods, Inc. Despite zero experience, the
food-processing company put her on its audit and
nominating and corporate governance committees. For her
on-the-job training and the privilege of putting her
name and face on their literature, the company forked
over $45,000 in 2005 and $51,200 in 2006 to Mrs.
Obama—as well as 7,500 TreeHouse stock options worth
more than $72,000 for each year.
The chairman of the TreeHouse Foods
board, Sam K. Reed, was a top executive at Kellogg`s and
Keebler Foods, home of that great menace to children,
Keebler Elf. Before that, he headed up Mother`s Cake
and Cookie Company. The conglomerate sells cheese
sauces, Cremora non-dairy creamer, instant soup,
puddings and powdered soft drink mixes. Hardly the stuff
of Mrs. Obama`s new vision of nutritional paradise.
TreeHouse is also a leading supplier of pickles used in
the burgers of evil fast food chain McDonald`s—exactly
the kind of corporate restaurants Mrs. Obama is now
targeting in her war on
The corporation-bashing Mrs. Obama
would have continued raking in her TreeHouse cash if it
hadn`t been for her husband`s pesky pledge to pander to
Big Labor and swear off Wal-Mart. The retail giant, you
see, happened to be TreeHouse`s biggest customer. And
Wal-Mart is to Big Labor as sunshine is to Dracula.
In May 2007, Obama told AFL-CIO
workers in Trenton, N.J., that Wal-Mart was dead to him.
"I won`t shop
there," he pledged, with an eye toward
embarrassing then-chief rival Hillary Clinton, who had
served on Wal-Mart`s board from 1986-1992. The AFL-CIO
has waged relentless attacks on Wal-Mart, dubbing it the
"Poster Store for
Greed." That, by extension, would make Mrs.
Obama—all-too-happy recipient of a Wal-Mart dependent
compensation package worth more than $100,000 in 2008,
according to Securities and Exchange Commission
records—a Poster Child for Ancillary Avarice.
Candidate Obama shrugged off his
wife`s conflict of interest.
"Michelle and I
have to live in the world and pay taxes and pay for our
kids and save for retirement," Obama explained to
Business magazine before his White House bid. [Off
message, By Greg Hinz, December 11, 2006]Political expediency, alas,
required that the candidate`s wife
step down when the issue reared its head after
Obama`s Wal-Mart bashing during the presidential
True to form, Mrs. Obama turned the decision into an
ostentatious display of self-sacrifice:
"As my campaign
commitments continue to ramp up, it is becoming more
difficult for me to provide the type of focus I would
like on my professional responsibilities," said
Chicago`s Joan of Arc in a
resignation statement eight days after her husband
declared his boycott of the stores stocked with food
items processed and distributed by her TreeHouse
priorities, particularly at this important time, are
ensuring that our young daughters feel a sense of
comfort and normalcy in this process, and that I can
support my husband in his presidential campaign to bring
much needed change to this country."
She saw no conflict then. And she
sees no conflict now in wielding her East Wing clout to
restrict the advertising free speech of the food
industry that lined her pocketbook with big, fat
paychecks. The Obama White House is on an insatiable
control binge. No private space has been left behind—not
your grocery aisles, not your children`s TV shows, not
even your refrigerator.
Give the first lady this: She has
an uncanny knack for wrapping her self-interests in the
mantle of self-sacrifice and public service. It`s the
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
is the author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our
for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of
Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild
and the just-released Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.