Obama escapes the doghouse by a hair; quickly backtracks after remark about first lady

President Obama made an exceptionally rare appearance on the campaign trail on Tuesday, and was talking about equal pay for women when he let slip a comment that suggested first lady Michelle Obama no longer works.

“And this is not just a women’s issue — this is a family issue,” Obama said while stumping in Wisconsin for gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. “I tell you, when Michelle was working, I wanted to make sure she was getting paid.”

As the audience laughed, the president must have realized he said something that could come back to bite him. Either that, or he was suddenly reminded of just how incompetent the Secret Service has been of late when it comes to protecting him.

“And by the way, I mean, I should point out, she is working really hard now as first lady and doesn’t get paid but that’s a whole other thing,” Obama quickly followed up, according to the White House transcript of his remarks. “But — because I didn’t want her to think, like, what, I’m not working? Michelle works. I promise you.”

Whew! It’s not hard to envision an angry first lady, with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face, tapping the floor with one foot as she awaits Obama’s return to the White House.

But the president has commented before about Michelle working as first lady, even lamenting that she didn’t get paid for her efforts.

“I want to make sure that when she’s working she’s getting paid the same as men,” Obama said in 2012. “I gotta say that first ladies right now don’t [get paid], even though that’s a tough job!”

It’s a tough job vacationing in luxurious five-star hotels all over the world?

Obama’s comment prompted this epic response, as seen on Twitter:

And conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin reminded us that the first lady is accustomed to being paid for doing little, referring to previous jobs:

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Tom Tillison


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