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. CashForVotes

    Rednecks, Racists and ordinary Republicans are all ginned up by the corporate money that pushes messages that on one hand demonize the President, First Lady and any of her efforts, and on the other hand serve to "rally the base" to vote against them.

    February 14, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  2. Ben Gleck

    It's on Breitbart. Going to Breitbart looking for a positive depiction of Obama (or a vaguely creative cartoon of any sort, or any worthwhile content at all, really) is like going to looking for cartoons about the joys of interracial marriage.

    February 14, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  3. lynn

    The Republican's are truly an ugly and hateful bunch of lunatics.

    February 14, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Jeez, aren't there more important topics to talk about than Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin? You know, like the budget and creating jobs?

    February 14, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. ralph

    it is amazing how the first lady picked the last thing anyone should object to as her cause,the problem of childhood obesity,and yet the palins and other idiots of this country say she is taking away our freedom to eat desert.The right
    wing nuts of this country need to get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 14, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. TM

    What else do you expect from Republicans and Tea Baggers? They celebrate ignorance and bigotry as core values.

    February 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. lou

    He's not changing any minds here. People either like her or not. So all he is really accomplishing is showing a mean streak in order to get some attention. As a conservative myself, this kind of thing does not help our image and I'm getting a bit tired of it.

    February 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Lizzy10

    She is no more telling American's what to eat then Laura Bush was telling American's what to read. All first ladies have causes and this is a heck of a lot better then "Just Say No to Drugs"! I swear, God himself could come down and praise the Obama's for doing a good job and the consevatives in this country would start yelling "Jeez, they needed to have the big guy himself come down to help them".

    February 14, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. obama victim

    for all her talk about eating healthy.....has anyone seen the size of her butt?? oh myyyy

    February 14, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Sir Craig

    If ever there was any need to produce additional proof Andrew Breitbart is a world-class loser, this "cartoon" is it. Seriously, this makes "Mallard Fillmore" almost look intellectual in comparison. Almost.

    What's next, Breitbart? A "cartoon" showing Obama's kids as coked-up child prostitutes caught on heavily edited video at a Planned Parenthood? You disgust me.

    February 14, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. harvey 60

    what's with the mouse ears on Obama? I suggest to BrightBart or BreeBart or whatever his name is to stick to subjects where he has great knowledge: why doesn't he print a cartoon showing Boss Hawg Haley Barbour chowing down on fried chicken? Mississippi only has the 50th healthiest population in the country! Haley, there's nowhere to go but up!!

    February 14, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. keeth in cali

    When people have no rational argument, they often turn to stereotypical and racist caricatures (and, yes, i've seen the cartoon in question).

    February 14, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Justin

    You can slam the Obama's for being spotted having a hamburger once in a while, but you cannot call them fat or out of shape by any stretch of the imagination.

    February 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. charlie

    this is soo stupid-not the least bit funny-and also in poor taste–i wouldn't clasify this as a cartoon -only a scribbling from a buffon!

    February 14, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  15. Voice of Reason

    I looked at the cartoon, it's not even funny. I see the point they are trying to make – but they arent really making it that well. Better to have her dolled up like Marie Antoinette and saying, "Let me eat cake!" or something at least a LITTLE bit witty. But "Shut up and pass the bacon" ??


    February 14, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  16. sandy

    How disgusting!! Doesn't shock me when you said who did the cartoon. She is our First Lady and should be respected as such. Every body eats a hamburg now and then, and her message has always been moderation. I think it's wonderful what she is doing. I am a Mother and I DO NOT think she is telling me or my children what we can eat.

    February 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. Lori

    Look I'm not a huge Obama fan but this is getting ridiculous!! We have a huge obesity problem in this country, people! Everyone seemed to jump on the bandwagon when Mrs. Reagan said 'just say no' to drugs, well overeating can make food a drug as well. Get over yourselves haters (and I include Mrs. Palin in that category as well). Rather than slam the Obamas for this campaign, how about supporting their efforts to improve the lives (and longevity) of our children.

    February 14, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Bemused

    The point isn't to cut out foods that are "bad" for you, but to have a balanced diet overall. Everybody's going to eat a burger once in a while but then you need to counteract it with otherwise-healthy food choices and exercise. That being said, it's a political cartoon; of course it will have an editorial slant depending on who draws it. I doubt Mrs. Obama cares very much what this mook says about her.

    February 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |

    Now they want to use the twiggy crap onto the first lady. She looks like an average American woman. Beautiful woman.

    February 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  20. Alverant

    It's disgusting what conservatives will put into the mouths of liberals. What Michelle Obama is doing is no different than what other First Ladies have done. I hope Breitbart is proud of his slander because that's all he does. I pity him and the conservatives who follow him.

    February 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Dave B

    Is it me, or is something wrong with her eyes in this photo? It looks like one is bigger then the other. Like photoshop gone bad

    February 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Jayne

    I suppose Mr. Breitbart's wife is fat and ugly. Michelle Obama is gorgeous and talented, this irks the racists of this country no end.

    February 14, 2011 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Jay in NC

    Liberals always get their undies in a bunch over a little political fun. In the words of Rev. Jeremiah Alvesta Wright, Jr. "The chickens have come home to roost" for Barry and The First Date.

    February 14, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. Amazing

    So, encouraging kids to kid more healthy and be active is now socialism. Consuming an occasional mahburger is not hypocritical to the message of Mrs. Obama. the fact no of the so-called American patriots have stepped up to denounce this idiot is simply amazing!

    February 14, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Debby

    Oh come on every President and their wives have cartoons about them, the Obama's should be no different. I use to see cartoons on Pres. Bush and First LADY Laura all the time.

    February 14, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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