The XX Factor

First Couple, Forced PDA


Michelle Cottle at the New Republic argues that the first couple are now stuck with the PDA, because the public expects it. Like Groundhog Day , only it’s date night happening over and over, no escape.

The barriers between public and private have long been eroding, and every modern president has had to deal with the resulting overexposure. Something, however, feels different this time around. While previous First Couples have accepted intrusions into their personal lives, they have appeared to do so reluctantly, and only at the prodding of a relentless media. The Obamas, by contrast, seem almost eager to make their private life, especially the romantic bits, part of the national conversation. It’s unquestionably entertaining. But is it a good idea?

Photograph of Barack and Michelle Obama by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images.