Apparently National Buildings Are Warm

I was grousing below about–among other things–being cold in my house as we try to keep the energy bills down.

Then I saw this picture of our First Lady, Michelle Obama, wearing a killer vintage dress she got at a thrift shop for a couple grand:

Now, I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to wear one of those classic, elegant, full-skirted, Grace Kellyesque creations from the 1950′s, and it looks wonderful on Mrs. O. But as I sit here wearing heavy socks, long sleeves and a shawl, I can’t help wondering why I’m not seeing goose bumps on those fabulous, ever-naked arms! I begrudge her the warm room temperatures that allow her to wear it!

I’m guessing that the Obama’s are not subject to quite the sort of stringent home-heating rules that we’re following over here.

I wonder if it’s still “hot enough to grow orchids” in the Oval Office?

I guess when you’re not paying the bill for the heating oil, yourself, you don’t care what the thermostat says.

But you know, when you’ve declared a 7-year moratorium on all new offshore oil drilling, you’re putting oil shale development off-limits and there are no immediate plans to build nuclear energy plants…you could at least pretend you’re shivering along with the rest of this mean, cold country.

Steven Crowder looks at why we’re not allowed to be warm. It’s the “Co2? Is that right?”

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Pingback: The Anchoress | A First Things Blog

  • Ambrose Little

    Yeah, cuz that’s what we want our leaders to look like.. cold, poor, shivering. Really, this is going too far.

    [No, I think our leaders SHOULD look good. That's why I applaud the dress. But it's not really a winter dress, is it? And when the country is shivering, maybe a nod to the reality that the rest of us are living? -admin]

  • Pingback: » Financial News Update – 12/17/10 The Progressive Hunter

  • shana

    Even Jimmy Carter wore a cardigan during the 1970′s when the rest of us were shivering in our 60 degree F homes in winter.

    Even if he were actually warmer than the rest of us, he got the appearance of suffering along with Joe Q Public right.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention The Anchoress | A First Things Blog --

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    We also don’t necessarily want our leaders constantly partying, dining on wagyu steak, taking frequent, state-funded vacations and flaunting expensive clothing during a time when many Americans are out of work, and will have a hard time re-entering the job market.

    At least a nod to reality would be nice, here.

  • Nora

    Well that was pretty interesting.

    For some reason beyond my understanding, certain commenters find, more often than not, that their comments go into spam. This is true for dryvalleys, JDC, you and a few other regulars (including a family member) and I don’t know why. These others seem to understand that if I don’t see their comments immediately, I will eventually empty the spam filter, discover their comments and release them. As, in fact, I did with this initial comment which–while unfriendly–seemed to me to be fair to release since you’re entitled to your opinion.

    I only check the spam filter a few times a day, though, when I have time. It was interesting to discover your 7-8 comments in spam just now and realize that since you’d assumed I was holding your comments back (why would I, when I had approved this one and have, as far as I know, always approved your confrontations) your comments had steadily devolved into the vicious and foul-mouthed attacks on me, the people I love, and so forth.

    So…you hadn’t been banned. You were just in the spam filter, and prior to tonight, I wouldn’t have thought you “ban-worthy.”

    But you’ve earned it. And since you’re such a paragon of honesty, you surely know that you’ve earned it.


  • Lisa Graas

    Ditto. Last night one of the kids turned the thermostat up to 78 and I was A-ppalled.

  • Jenny

    In the past we have turned the thermostat down at night to save money. But this year we have an infant in the house who wakes up at night if it gets too cold (we figured this out the hard way). So we can either go without sleep or pony up the big bucks. I really like to sleep so I’m not looking forward to the heating bills.

  • smf

    I seem to recall a wise author writing that in times of plenty a king should lead his people in feasting. In times of want the king should be the first of his people to tighten his belt.

    Now it would indeed seem this is the sort of time to put on winter clothing during the winter. It is possible that for this public festivitiy they turned the thermostat up and the rest of the time it is set to a more normal temperature, that I suppose would make some sense, after all who doesn’t bump up the thermostat a bit if hosting a party in the winter time?

    As for the cold child, you really don’t have to keep your entire home toasty warm just to keep an infant warm. You can fiddle with your vents to concentrate more heat in the young one’s room. Or you could use one of those safe sorts of heaters in that room. No need to go broke on heating just to sleep.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Laura, I’d be mad if it was Laura Bush, under the same economic circumstances, too.

    Reversing your example, if Laura Bush had shown up in such an expensive gown, during a time of ecnonomic meltdown, would you have criticized her? Or do you only get angry when Michelle, or her husband, is criticized?

    Screaming and shouting insults doesn’t get your point across.

    If this blog offends you so deeply, no one is forcing you to read it.

    (“Go Fug Yourself” and “The Sartorialist” are fun fashion blogs, if you’d like to take a look at those.)

  • Jeff

    Hard times for thee, but not for me…

  • Sue from Buffalo

    Nora, The Anchoress liked the dress so cut the snarkiness.

    This blog is excellent. Not a piece of garbage. You’re…missing…the…point.

    The Obamas reek of hypocrisy. This dress is absolutely gorgeous and right up my alley but it is COLD. They want us to tighten our belts but to them, tightening their belts means buying a gorgeous dress from a thrift store (yeah, right) to show off her arms and cranking up the heat. By the way, that thrift store dress costs $2000??

    Geesh, we have to explain this to you, Nora?


    It’s all about image. And not very good at that.

    In your words: puh-leeze!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Sorry I got your name wrong, Nora.

    The rest of my comment still stands.

  • Lark

    Should “Christmas in Washington” be available only to those who purchase cable (airing on TNT)? Are the public networks turning down the thermometer too?

  • Fran Rossi Szypylczyn

    While we do not always agree dear Anchoress, I always respect you. Which is why I am simply saying that I think that this is a stretch.

  • Judith L

    For me the issue is that the First Couple is constantly preaching about something that we need to deny ourselves. But their own lifestyle is consistent conspicuous consumption. They have become the poster children of Limousine Liberalism. It. Gets. Old.

  • Heather

    I completely agree. Although one of the perks of being The First Lady is that you can wear beautiful dresses that cost a fortune to show off your beauitful arms, in a very rich environment which happens to be a The White House! *sigh* we can’t all be the first lady!

  • Foxfier

    Some sort of a cute little jacket thing would have been a nice nod to the temperature– even if it was one of those sort-of-see-through things, if there’s no wind it makes things warmer.

    we use a nice little $15 space heater for my daughter’s room for the same reason. It helps that we also have the window nicely covered so heat can’t leak out as easily.

    Sue from Buffalo-
    may as well ignore Nora. Just a rude troll our host somehow got the attention of.

  • Mandy P.

    I agree completely, Elizabeth. And for those who would criticize our host for her observations, I doubt she’s bringing this up to be petty.

    The fact is, this isn’t an isolated incident of our First Couple being tone deaf in similar fashion. The past two years we have seen them live in extravagance while a great portion of the rest of us are suffering. I think we all understand that our President and his family have to have a certain air about them in order to maintain credibility here and abroad. I certainly don’t begrudge them that and I doubt our host does. However, there is a difference between the appearance of professionalism- which is required in the White House- and pure opulence. The latter of which is what I feel like I’ve seen so far from the President and his wife. And it’s really inappropriate for them to be “living it up”- on our dime, no less- while the rest of the country struggles.

  • Becky

    Elizabeth, I have a low tolerance for being cold (i get the impression that you do too)Anyway, I highly recommend “cuddle duds”–a type of “long johns” that fit nicely under your clothes. They have made a huge difference in my comfort level!

    [Now that you remind me...I must go find mine! admin]

  • F

    Anchoress, Darling, its a winter dress for us out here in California where frigid means 49 degrees.

    Remember last year when the White House was kept at 72 degrees and was it Rham E who said that OB1 liked it tropical while Kentuckyans died in the ice storms that the MMM never really discussed? Yeah. They like it warm.

    Think czars pre revolution.

  • Posey

    I get into bed to read read; so, i can keep my feet warm!!! & I live in NorthernCA

  • Posey

    I get into bed to read ; so, i can keep my feet warm!!! &scarf around my neck. I live in Northern CA

  • jeff

    Her arms like both of them are vastly overrated.

  • Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » ENERGY CONSERVATION is for the little people. Like taxes. Duh….

  • dymphna

    To be fair, none of my evening dresses have sleeves. One is even strapless. Would it make you feel any warmer if she was dressed in a sack?

  • Nmissi

    I’m not usually one to defend the First Lady’s sartorial sense- she usually looks as if she’s trying too hard. But that dress is lovely, and if it’s true she bought it secondhand, it might even be a practical purchase, somewhat cheaper than the typical designer dress a First Lady would be sporting for such occasions. And perhaps there was a pretty wrap or bolero lying around that could render it more seasonally appropriate.

    [I have no criticism at all of the dress. I love the dress and--as I say pretty clearly--it looks lovely on her. I have a problem with shivering because oil prices are rising, have risen appreciably just since her husband declared the latest drilling moratorium, and we're doing nothing to look at oil shale processing, we're not building nuclear energy plants. The government is just saying "no" to energy--except it seems, wind farms--and we're all paying a stiff price for it or going cold. This is not really about the dress. And yes, had she managed a lovely shawl, casually draped over arms, I probably wouldn't even have noticed anything beyond the lovely dress. But over here shivering...I noticed how comfortable she looked! :-) -admin]

  • KLH

    Of course they keep the national buildings warm. If it gets cold the snakes in charge will fall asleep

  • Jones

    Silly blogger! Thermostats are for chumps.

  • Pingback: Clearing the Browser Tabs – A Very Bloggy Saturday Edition

  • Andrea Shea King

    As long as the Obamas are getting the job done for their bosses (the global elites), George Soros and Co. will do whatever’s necessary to keep them “sweet”.

    The toys, the trips, the jewelry, the sartorial splendor, the golf, etc. are their compensation for having to live in the White House that Michelle hates (ask Carla Bruni) while she and hubby shovel our country into the socialist ground.

    Once their job is done, Michelle and Obama will continue to be rewarded by their string-pulling benefactors.

    Except for his thin skin, I doubt the Obamas could give two crumbs for the folks who are left to eat cake, as evidenced by the last two years of their high living.

    Yes the dress is lovely…

  • Christine the Soccer Mom

    I think one of the other things is the whole “she got it at a second-hand shop” thing, which turns out that she still spent more on that dress than I spend on my food and mortgage for a month. I bought a dress second-hand for the Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree in October (and also one each for my two girls). Then I splurged and bought a brand-new shrug to go with it. Including five pairs of pantyhose (the girls left theirs home when we went & I bought them more), I spent under $50. Even if you count the tux we bought hubby it was still under $600. (The tux goes a long way when you wear it at least twice a year.)

    Anyway, I guess thrift shopping means something different when you’re in her shoes than it means in my shoes. For me, it means heading to Goodwill. For her, it means going to a swanky place where a “deal” is a $2500 one-of-a-kind dress.


  • Laura from Long Island

    It’s possible that Mrs. Obama ‘suffers’ for the sake of being fashionable……..

    Or maybe she’s just hot and hormonal like half the women in this country!

  • Independent

    Yes, Presidents and First Ladies have always been targets of criticism. But there is a fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of energy use (and wealth in general).

    Republicans tend to believe that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the most desirable outcome. So ideally each of us would be able to heat and cool our houses to whatever temperature suited us best. Democrats are more likely to tell us to give up some of our individual liberties and things that make us happy, for some supposed common good.

    That’s why it rankles more when elite Democrats are caught not making the same type of sacrifices that they expect from the rest of us.

  • dymphna

    I don’t like Michelle. I strongly dislike Obama but I can’t bring myself to be angry because another woman looks comfortable in her dress. That’s just small. I’m sorry.

  • Nate Whilk

    This is a special occasion, the Christmas concert, and you don’t want guests and the performers to be uncomfortable. So I’m inclined to let this one go with a raised eyebrow at most.

    But I agree completely on the larger point, that those telling us to save energy don’t do it themselves.

  • Maria

    Beautiful dress. She wasn’t at home in the White House. She was filming a special for television at the National Building Museum under huge klieg lights for the TV set. Those lights give off plenty of heat. Him I can’t stand but in this case I say leave Michelle alone. There’s too much “heat” here but not the kind that warms a room.

  • Pingback: Random Thoughts » Hypocrisy

  • Pingback: Ed Driscoll » Let Them Eat Tofu

  • Mandy

    Ok so the dress was really nice, but I wish commentators would stop talking about her arms. It is just boring. The larger issue here is the hypocrisy of this bunch. After I received my first oil delivery I realized that I have to save for heat this winter. I never had to do that before. Meanwhile, no oil drilling, no nuclear plants, oil shale, etc. And wind farms are killing Eagles and are otherwise useless. After all it takes electricity to run the things when the wind doesn’t blow. Electricity comes from burning coal which Obama wants to eliminate. Once coal is gone how will we charge our nice little electric cars than nobpody wants? The world has turned upside down.

  • CV

    Well, the elf is wearing sleeves :-) Maybe Michelle is an especially hardy sort like my young son, who would wear only a hoody outside all winter long is I let him (although that could just be a guy thing).

    I chalk this up to Michelle’s usual tone-deafness..the same attitude that enables her to be regularly photographed eating cheeseburgers, fries and pancakes whilst lecturing the rest of us on childhood obesity and health care.

    I think if she’s going to pick something like that as her personal cause then she should be equally dedicated to eating only salads in public for the four years (please God not eight) that she spends in the White House. But that’s just me.

    Nice dress though :-)