First lady depicted as fat, chowing down hamburger platter in cartoon
February 14th, 2011
02:26 PM ET
11 years ago

First lady depicted as fat, chowing down hamburger platter in cartoon

Washington (CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama is often praised for her taut arms and athletic physique. So why is a cartoon depicting her with fat cheeks, a double-chin and chowing down a platter full of hamburgers?

The cartoon appears on The man behind the site is blogger and conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart.

In the cartoon, the first lady is shown saying: "I've stepped up my efforts to control America?s eating habits by telling restaurants to lower portion sizes and fat content." The drawing shows a plump Mrs. Obama working her way through a plate full of hamburgers and fries.

In contrast, President Obama thinly drawn at her side- is shown eating what appears to be light vegetables from a near-empty plate.

"Michelle, I want to get re-elected. What you're doing is only going to annoy a lot of people," the cartoon depicts the president as saying.

"Shut up and pass the bacon!" the first lady shoots back in the drawing.

The real Mrs. Obama is pushing a nationwide initiative to decrease childhood obesity. A website devoted to the effort lays out how the waistlines of American children have been growing at alarming rates over the last 30 years.

"The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake," Mrs. Obama is quoted as saying on the site.

Some conservatives see the campaign as an effort by Mrs. Obama at using her public platform to tell Americans what to eat.

Last year, Sarah Palin told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham: "What [Michelle Obama] is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."

More recently, Palin let out a slam in a recent episode of her reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska." While making s'mores at one point, the former Alaska governor said the marshmallow and chocolate treat is "in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."

Palin's comments echo public criticism from other conservatives.

Meanwhile, there's been attention given to some of the first couple's food choices. The president and First Lady are known for eating hamburgers, even publicly visiting burger chains like Five Guys. And the menu at the recent White House Super Bowl party had some people talking.

Mrs. Obama addressed the chatter about the menu, a few days later, on NBC's Today Show.

Today Show host Matt Lauer asked the First Lady about the "buffalo wings, the deep dish pizza, potato chips and bratwurst, kielbasa."

Mrs. Obama said: "Yeah. I've always talked about balance in this campaign. I mean, we're really trying to make some changes." She added: "So I do talk openly about my obsession with French fries because I want people to understand the changes that we have to make in our lives are not whole scale changes. Many of the changes for kids are small things, things like adding fruits and vegetables and getting our kids moving and taking–putting more water in the diet."

Reader comments posted after the cartoon are telling.

"I just figured out how MooShelle plans to control Americas eating habits. She plans on eating everything herself," one person posted. "It's really proof for me that we've gotten so hateful toward each other that the Obamas could do nothing that you would agree with. They could kiss a baby and you would find something wrong with it," is the comment from another poster.

In a recent USA Today interview Mrs. Obama denied that she is trying to tell Americans what to eat.

–CNN Ticker Producer Alex Mooney contributed to this report

–Follow Shannon Travis on Twitter: @shantravisCNN

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Indie Woman in Denver

    Breitbart is an idiot. Ignore him. Nothing he says bears even the slightest resemblence to truth or reality.

    February 14, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. gt

    sorry ... michelle is a biscut away from being ...lets say plump....

    February 14, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. oracle

    The GOP is only capable of Hate and Fear. No ideas, no results, no Love of Country, just divisiveness, racism, and stomping old women at Ron Paul rallys.

    February 14, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. cindy

    I started controlling my portions, dropped almost all processed foods and added exercise both for myself and my family. My spouse and I have both dropped considerable weight, & feel better with more energy. He has gotten his blood pressure under control and I am almost off all of my diabetes meds. We started before the first lady started her campaign and after having seen access to pop in jr and high schools I agree with the campaign. There is no "mandate" only a request, and if the people get on board the resturaunts will have to follow suit if they want to keep their customers. We still have hamburgers, but not everyday, it has never been recommended by this program to drop the foods we like, just cut back and cutback portions. Every body who goes to the slippery slope type thinking on this needs to grow up and drop the drama!

    February 14, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    Sense of humor and conservatives, it is like water and oil, but then again, soiciopaths have their own senso of humor which consists of shooting animals, clubbing baby seals and watching "Faces of Death" during dinner.

    February 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    Can you imagine the shrieks if Laura, Barbara or Nancy were attacked in this fashion. But, Michelle and Hillary are fair game under Republican rules.

    There is a total lack of class here. I guess I can't expect different, they ARE Republicans and of limited intelligence.

    February 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. DJ in TX

    Breitbart is just trying to get ratings. There have been healthy eating efforts for years. People are cryinga bout health care and Mrs. Obama is trying to get people to do the firt thing towards a healthier life – eat better. Nobody's trying to tell what to eat, but rather make sure you have a healthy choice to eat. If people eat better, health care costs will go down. We won't need Dr's as much as we do now. Weight Loss surgeries would go down. Again, Breitbart is just trying to stoke a fire with his conservative people. There is nothing wrong with ANYONE asking people to eat better.

    February 14, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. NVa Native

    Breibart is a scum-bag. Have you ever seen such a creepy crawly person?

    February 14, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. Lisa

    Here's a thought - if people don't want government telling them what to eat, and they can't make the proper choices, then stop complaining about the costs of healthcare rising. There is a consequence for the choices we make. It is, however, unfortunate that we are unable to see and/or relate to the consequences of our choices.

    February 14, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Breitbart should be arrested for impersonating a human being. but then again, he is a typical republican.

    February 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Next lawsuit!!!!!

    February 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. marty

    Go no further than saying the name, Andrew Breitbart, and images of those weasel y, mean, cowardly kids you once knew in grade school comes to mind.

    February 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  13. chris

    I swear it really is a shame how the Conservative Right or for that matter some people in general will say anything about the President and The First Lady just because of their skin color. Seriously, what is the problem in trying to help over weight kids eat better? We all know most of the time, over weight kids become over weight adults that may end up putting a strain on the medical system. This dude along with Palin are just trying to throw red meat to the dumb folks who are willing to listen to them.

    February 14, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Tommy Mack

    Hmmm, this is the same Andrew Brietbart that edited together a video of Shirley Sherrod to alter it's meaning. Drudge links to him, and Brietbart then links back showing how "important" a story is whether its anywhere near accurate or not. This is not journalism, it's low-brow idiocy and it's eaten up be conservatives who really should know better.

    February 14, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. CaliforniaBC

    Just goes to show how VERY out of touch the Right is with the country. Even the military is behind Michelle's efforts. Working to improve eating habits through education and to reduce obesity in this country will result in a healthier population and reduction in health care costs for everyone.

    February 14, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Jon in Rochester NY

    There is a serious obesity epidemic in this country and healthcare costs are climbing due to illnesses related to obesity. Michelle Obama is doing a good thing in helping to educate the children that there are better choices than cakes and cookies. Notice who the critics are. Could it just be politics? If she was promoting washing hands after using the bathroom to prevent spreading deadly germs, they would be just as critical and say that it was none of her business.

    February 14, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Dr. W., M.D.

    Ah ... look around you. 66% of Americans are obviously overweight; 33% are obese. It's a health crisis waiting to erupt and yet the conservatives make fun of it. Duh...

    February 14, 2011 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Even though Laura Bush KILLED some young kid in her hometown after running a stop sign I cannot recall people slamming her and being so disrespectful of her as they are of Mrs. Obama.
    It used to be, until the election of our current President that is, that EVERYONE (with a couple of loudly booed aberrations) would lay off the First Ladies. After all, THEY did not run for public office, their husbands did. So people were generally in agreement about laying off of Mama Bushes multiple chins, and thinly veiled racists comments towards the Katrina victims; or Laura Bush's felonious/murderous past that got quickly swept under the rug by her local police department, or her "I just popped 3 Vicodins (sp) how about you?" glazed look whenever she was out in public.
    People knew that that was off-limits.
    Not so with Mr.s Obama. The fact that trash like Palin can take pot shots at the FLOTUS without someone putting her back in the garbage can where she rightfully belongs, is another wake up call to many of us.
    So when this website decides to print their funny cartoons, we're not surprised.
    And when once illustrious news agencies like CNN glorify their little stunt, we're not surprised either.
    We're ENERGIZED!

    February 14, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  19. Kathy

    Brietbart is NOTHING but hate! Just ask Ms. Sherrod!

    February 14, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Who Cares?

    As a Christian...I know EXACTLY where someone like Breibart will be spending his eternity so I try to rmember that when reading his words of hate and bitterness.

    February 14, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. B.

    You have got to be kidding me. The First Lady is not trying to tell people what they can and can't eat, she's just promoting a healthy, more active lifestyle. You can be healthy and indulge in a burger once in a while. People would be outraged no matter which platform she picked, because many people blindly hate the president without actually knowing a thing about politics. She could've said her initiative was to end child hunger or lower the infant mortality rate and people still would've found a way to turn that into a bad thing.

    February 14, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    When did such a loss of common decency become acceptable. And beware, the link above links to Breitbart's site. Why is CNN linking to this yellow journalist to give him mojo?

    By the way, Shirley Sherrod is suing him (Breitbart), and he's screaming about his freedom of speech. Since when did freedom of speech involve the right to lie about someone in an effort to destroy them? Good luck to her.

    February 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. XWngLady

    Why can't people see that folks that do this kind of stuff are just plain hard-hearted, mean-spirited, insecure, immature and...(wait for it)....racist? Oh, I know its fashionable nowadays to do things that are clearly motivated by racism and then stand flat-footed and deny it. But surely, anyone who has ever been a racist or been on the receiving end of it can see that this guy smacks of it....Mr. Breibart here is a piece of advice. Actually two...1) Everything that is permissible is not advisible and 2) You reap what you sow.

    February 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. katy Heys

    Very distasteful (no pun intended) a cartoon. However, it is the kind of er "stuff" that First Ladies all have to deal with, more or less. Goes the with territory. It's up to each of us to form our own opinions and not rely on some cartoonists opinion, amusing or not.

    February 14, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Martha in CF

    Just goes to show the disrespect shown our first lady...........

    February 14, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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