In the January 27 issue of People Magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama cites Jane Fonda as a role model. “[And] there’s Jane Fonda, a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman,” Michelle Obama responded after being asked by People who she would someday want to look and live like.
PEOPLE: And there are other role models you look at and think, “When I’m 70 or 80, I want to look and live like her’?
MRS. OBAMA: Oh, yes. Every event I go to, every rope line, women are looking better with every passing year. I run into women all the time who will just happen to mention, “Oh, I’m going to be 60,” and it’s like, “You’re kidding me!” I just went to see Cicely Tyson on Broadway. She is in her 80s and did a two-hour play with stamina and passion. I told her, “I want to be you when I grow up!” [And] there’s Jane Fonda, a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman.
For the last fifty years, Fonda has been one of the most divisive political and cultural figures in America. Fonda earned the nickname “Hanoi Jane” after photos were released of the actress laughing it up with our enemies in North Vietnam while sitting on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American flyers.
While the war was still raging, Fonda attacked the American government and our troops in propaganda radio broadcasts for the North Vietnamese.
Recently, as the Iraq War waged, Fonda resumed her anti-war activities.
Among America’s veterans, “Hanoi Jane” remains one of the most reviled figures in American history. Still, America’s First Lady considers Fonda a role model and sees her as “politically savvy.”
When you are reminded that the First Lady and the President spent 20 years in Reverend Wright’s church, Michelle Obama’s choice of Fonda as a role model isn’t likely to surprise anyone.
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