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. Margie

    Just goes to show how common republicans are. First they are Jealous. Jealous that Michell Obama has more honesty, charm and compassion for her fellow human beings than any of the republican women ever had.

    I hope the lawsuit Shirley Sherrod served against Breit the brat leaves him flat broke. It is time the real Americans in this country started to fight back against this pieces of crap. Come on America lets get our push for freedom from republicans on.

    February 14, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Amused

    And when others don't agree, they use the race card. What part of the cartoon uses racist caricatures (and, yes I've seen the cartoon in question)?

    February 14, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. voteno4palin

    This is the rudest thing I have heard in a long time. First Lady Obama has class!!!!!!!!!!She is not out causing hate, telling lies, and sticking her nose where it isn't needed or wanted like Palin.

    February 14, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Sociopaths and comedy, they just don't go together. Even "yo mama" jokes are funny compared to this garbage from the right.

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. J r t

    So does the bacon comment mean that Obama is *not* a Muslim?

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    This is why Breitbart's ASH is getting sued – he's a stone-cold bigot and proud of his white cape and robe in his closet!!

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Mrs DemocratGirl

    Why is government the solution for everything even lack self-control.

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    Political cartoons have been an American tradition since the election of George Washington. However, mocking the first lady's campaign on fostering good eating habits is misguided.

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Fixer2010

    Pathetic. Really Pathetic. I bet this cartoon was written/drawn by a lard butt Republican.

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Bill

    She could stand to lose a few pounds....

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. jimmm

    It just shows the venom that conservatives have. I don't recall liberals ever going after Laura Bush, despite the fact that they dispised her husband, but mostly his policies. I always though the first ladies were off limits...well I guess Hilary took some heat, but not after she got out of the heathcare debate.

    What's next....will they go after the kids?

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Debra

    It is kind of funny that Breitbart would make fun of Mrs. Obama's weight when he's a fat pig. A little projection here? But typical of the Rethuglican so-called 'patriot', somebody who wants to tear America down not build her up.

    February 14, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Karen

    And this is a shock to anyone why?
    President and First Lady Obama could collectively find a cure for cancer, AIDS, and every other malady known to man and the hostiles from the fringe of the Consertiave universe would still pull this crap.
    The only way it stops is if people on both sides of the isle stand up and say ENOUGH!

    February 14, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. j

    Haters gonna hate

    February 14, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. mike

    I think we all know why she would be depicted in this way, don't we? Let's not play dumb! Breitbart is scum.

    February 14, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. Canadian Jim

    It's not even a funny cartoon. Why is it that Conservatives are so bereft of humour, they aren't witty or clever, they have no sense of irony or satire, they just call names like pre-pubescent boys and throw rocks. HUmour, aside from slapstick and toilet humour requires higher order thinking and intelligence. I found the same lack of intelligent humour in the comments from CPAC. Just name calling, no genuine clever stuff. THey're just not funny.

    February 14, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Jacon Anderson

    There are very good reasons why obesity rates are skyrocketing. First, formula fed babies tend to have greater risk of being obese. Next, bottle fed babies have the next greatest risk of being obese, and finally, putting babies onto solid food too soon has a risk for obesity in children.

    Mom's that go back to work quickly after birth tend to bottle/formula feed their babies, and then switch to solid food much sooner. Also during the 80's 90's the formula industry pushed that their formula was healthier than breast milk. HAHA. Look into the Nestle incident in Africa....they killed thousands.

    Whoops, all the reasons of obesity in kids these days is exposed.

    February 14, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. DAT

    One never has to look far for proof that the world has an abundance of idiots.

    February 14, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  19. Independent In Albany

    " The man behind the site is blogger and conservative firebrand Andrew Breitbart" Sad what passes for conservatism these days. Breibart is a NEOCON. Get it right for christ's sake!

    February 14, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Flora

    It's probably a sign that the president is doing well if conservative d-bags like Breitbart have nothing else to target besides his wife.

    Seriously, this guy is nothing more than a hate-filled creep hiding behing his title of journalist. He has yet to come out with anything intelligent, unbaised, or beneficial – just pound after pound of mean-spirited childishness. And if any of you have a better idea of how we should tackle this obesity problem, step forward or shut up. Just because this is a free country doesn't mean that ordering a salad is socialist.

    February 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  21. Darth Vadik, CA

    jeff, alabama

    If I can agree with you on any one thing, that means there is still hope left that we can be one nation again. So it looks like we do have some hope left.

    February 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. ellid

    Breitbart is a liar and a racist. Disgusting.

    February 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. tom

    The hypocrisy on the left is just astounding. There was groups like code pink calling Bush a baby killer…. Protesting at both Mount David and his private residency in Texas, yet no one said anything about respect. Someone threw a shoe at Bush at a press conference and the liberal media just laughed at the assault… No the shoe is on the other foot and these fake liberals are tripping all over themselves yelling for Andrew to be respectful? This is exactly why I think liberals are lower that worm poop, and why the hypocrisy with michelles menu is telling close to obamas budget.

    February 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Dave

    Ahh, more nonsense and hate. I think Andrew Breitbart needs to get a real job making something that benefits people rather than tears them down. What exactly does this guy do for his money? Let's see....

    He publishes a hateful conservative blog (not to say all conservatives are hateful; just the ones who read his blog on a regular basis) and gets someone to finance it. The reason I say someone must be financing it is because there is only one advertisement (Groupon) and I know that doesn't pay the bills. This blog enables this otherwise meaningless pile of dung to spew his twisted logic for all the loonies out there to soak up. When will this type of idiocy ever end? Was anyone this critical of Laura Bush during her Literacy crusade? I don't think so.

    February 14, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. JOhn

    Now they are against Healthy Children too? This is a perfect example of how lost the republican party has become. WIth out a clue of direction or policy after thier idiology failed at such a massive level, all they have left is bitterness and hate. They have gotten to the point where all they have to do is say something ugly and hate filled and their cult members repeat it without question. Today's GOP is a fraud.

    February 14, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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