Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Michelle Obama gets heckled at fundraiser & threatens to leave, what happened to the "thick skin"?

"Barack and I have been in the public eye for many years now, and we've developed a thick skin along the way. When you're out campaigning, there will always be criticism. I just take it in stride, and at the end of the day, I know that it comes with the territory."
Michelle Obama - July 31, 2008

"You just sort of have to have a thick skin in this thing . And your kids do too."
Michelle Obama - May 29, 2012

Whether Michelle Obama actually developed thick skin or not is debatable, but one thing is for certain, any thick skin she claims to have developed has clearly started to shed.
First lady Michelle Obama had a rare run-in with an audience heckler Tuesday during a fund-raising event in Washington for the Democratic National Committee.

The outburst from the crowd distracted Obama from her prepared remarks, prompting her to threaten to leave if the woman wanted to keep speaking.

“One of the things I don’t do well is this,” she said, according to a pool reporter who attended the event. Television cameras were not allowed inside.

Obama walked toward the protester, saying she could “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice,” according to the pool report.

The protester..., [who] was calling on President Barack Obama to sign an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation by federal contractors..., was escorted out of the event.
The White House transcript of the First Lady's remarks omitted the part where she threatened to leave.

Although President Obama has never responded to hecklers in the same fashion - he never approached or accosted any of his hecklers, nor did he ever threaten to leave an event - nevertheless, he did lose his temper, on at least one occasion, when a group of AIDS activists interrupted his speech during a 2010 campaign event.

The activists were upset because the Obama administration had begun flat-lining funding for PEPFAR [President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief], a program which was launched in 2003 by George W. Bush. Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, director and founder of the Joint Clinical Research Center in Uganda, said at the time that PEPFAR had saved millions of lives. But, he said, AIDS patients were suddenly being deprived of life-saving treatments because the Obama administration had begun flat-lining funding for the program.

Obama lashed out angrily at the hecklers and engaged in one of his typical spin jobs, as seen in the video below. I embedded the video starting at the midway point where Obama goes off the deep-end, but you could rewind the video to the beginning to see the background material and to listen to Mr. Mugyenyi's remarks in a clearer and uninterrupted fashion.