First lady depicted as fat, chowing down hamburger platter in cartoon
February 14th, 2011
02:26 PM ET
12 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. Sgt Schultz

    Wow Breitbart is out of control. He loves to incite race-baiting and hatred to stir-up the Bigots that have hi-jacked the GOP base. No need to sugarcoat it. Breitbart and his creepy cronies love to push this agenda of's all over the internet too on forums everywhere.

    February 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Alex

    She certainly thinner than most American women.

    February 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. IVOTE

    Breitbart is not too bright. He and his kind will never see President and Michelle Obama in their true light and most people I speak with don't expect anything more from him. No suprise!

    February 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. mrllmc

    Once again, the underbelly of America shows itself to the world...

    February 14, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Gaylon Barrow

    Well she is!!!

    February 14, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |

    The amount of disrespect for our leaders is outrageous. But more outrageous is that is all the media seems to cover. Air heads like this guy should not even be allowed to read the news, much less be featured in it. The media is as much to blame as he for giving him the platform. Where has our respect for others gone? We have no right to point fingers and make fun fo someone!!!. Come on America, let's get behind our first lady's efforts to make us a better, healthier place.
    Thank you Michelle Obama for your efforts and I personally apologize for this nut case and others like him.

    February 14, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Erik

    Andrew Breitbart has the double-chin(s) – not Michelle Obama. She's just not fat, but he is.

    February 14, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. aelarsen

    leave mrs. obama alone.....she is a very nice person and deserves better than the hateful speech of pitiful pundits.
    where has civility gone in this country?
    too many angry and hateful people.....why?
    shame on all who feed fuel to the fires of hatered....shame,shame,shame

    February 14, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  9. jeff, alabama

    Michelle Obama is right !!!
    I'm a Republican conservative and she is right.
    Our kids are in terrible shape and don't play outside
    like they used to. Doesn't matter what party you vote
    for, if you don't agree with her on America's eating
    habits you are one blind, ignorant bozo !!!!!

    February 14, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    While I suspect I'd be as appalled by Michelle's politics as I am by her husband's, suggesting that kids lay off the calories doesn't even come close to being a political opinion, let alone an offensive one. It certainly doesn't merit that kind of ad hominem attack.

    February 14, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    I have never in my life seen people so full of hate as I'm seeing today. Mama Bush and Laura Bush were never treated in this manner. What has happened to respecting people today. While I voted for G.H.W. Bush and have come to realize it was a mistake, I didn't vote for his son and don't like him but I respected his position as President of the United States. It's like it is in the military. You may not like an offficer but when you salute that officer you are acknowledging respect for the uniform. To show that type of disrespect for the FLOTUS is totally wrong.

    February 14, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. michaelam

    It appears that Mr. Breitbart has issues with African-American females. Hate while you can because you're days are numbered.

    February 14, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. BradKT

    Breitbart is nothing but a right wing provocateur who appeals to the low forehead crowd. Just don't respond to him, Reacting to him is what makes his day.

    February 14, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. annie s

    It didn't turn my head; it just reinforced my belief that conservatives are morons. Imagine being against promoting healthy eating and fighting childhood obesity! Gee, I'm sorry I didn't start a website when Laura Bush tried to "force" our kids to read.

    February 14, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. mlc in CA

    This is the best looking, most stylish, and classiest first lady since Jackie Kennedy, and I'm speaking as a senior (white) woman who has had to look at a lot of them. Guess the tired, mad, and probably homely blogger has to look at his tired, mad, and probably homely partner and compare. Guess that's why he's decided to make himself look stupid.

    February 14, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. sonny chapman

    How many self -proclaimed decent, patriotic, God-Fearing Conservatives will denounce this tasteless man ?

    February 14, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. Kimberly

    Republicans are childish little brats who do NOTHING but talk about others as though they are an entire group of 10 year old boys...Its sad that they are allowed to hold ANY weight in this country...

    February 14, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. theidiotspeaksagain

    All I had to see was Breitbart was involved and it answered all my questions. The guy is a hack and not a very good one at that. I guess he needed some attention, since no one really listens to the guy anymore.

    February 14, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. U.S. Common Sense

    The cartoon appears on Big Government, but is it actually a product of that website, or something they simply are sharing?

    February 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Molly Weasley

    What jerks. No other first lady in history has been treated this way. You don't want to vote for her husband? Fine. But you're just showing how childish you are with this kind of nonsense.

    If $arah Palin, these cartoonists or others actually bothered to listen to what Mrs. Obama has said, they would know that this is about information and choices, not forcing anyone to do anything. It's a hope to make America healthier and cut down on health care costs. But that would be actual work for these lazies.

    February 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Qwerty

    This is just sad. Were people this indignant towards first lady crusades against drug use and illiteracy?

    February 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. mshare

    What nasty, nasty scumbucket Brietbart is. What amazes me are the people who have the gall to call themselves Christian who listen to him and further this tripe along. They can't be racist openly but they can substitute trash like this.

    February 14, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Malcom

    I'm a die-hard Republican but this is ridiculous. Not funny at all and there is nothing wrong with eating a little healthier while still enjoying hamburgers and fries. Moderation people, that's her message. And let's be honest- America is FAT! Everybody is fat and gorges on big ol plates of nonsense. Is it so wrong that someone in a position of leadership say- hey you know what? maybe we don't need mcdonalds on a daily basis. Give me a break and let's focus on the economy.

    February 14, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Baby Boomer

    This guy is clearly out there. Why does CNN report this kind of trash. How is it that when we have a Republican President, no one attacks the First Lady but when it's a Democratic President, their wives get treated like dirt. Something is really wrong in this country... Sad, really sad...

    February 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Laverne

    I have never seen a first lady who has been treated the way Michelle Obama has been. It is a disgrace and further proof this is about something much deeper than the fact she is married to a democrate president.

    February 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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