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The Nancy Reagification of Michelle Obama -$94,000 Costco Ring

For all of the inane chatter comparing Michelle Obama to Jacqueline Kennedy, it looks like her run as first lady might look more like Nancy Regan's. Yesterday the top story on Drudge Report was that Barack Obama PURPORTEDLY purchased a diamond ring for his wife. This was newsworthy because the PURPORTED ring PURPORTEDLY cost a whopping $30,000. BIG MONEY! (NOT). Here are some blog reactions:
Bling bling! How generous of Obama! I’m sure this is his first step to stimulate the ailing economy and show he is a man of the people. Way to flash the cash while the rest of us are tightening our belts. True leadership! The ring costs what a lot of Americans make in a year!

If you have that much excess cash, why not donate it to Michelle’s favorite charity as a thank you? What a waste! Stop the ACLU

Here is another one

Michelle Antoinette gets a new bauble: a diamond and rhodium ring worth over $30,000. Shown (close to actual size) above.

Remember when she said Bush’s $600 rebate checks were a pittance that couldn’t even buy a nice pair of earrings? Well, now we know what sort of jewelry she’ll settle for. And it would sure take a lot of rebate checks to buy earrings to match that rhodium whopper.

Which will look gorgeous when paired with any of Michelle’s signature fashion choices, made from only the finest old couches, of course. Hill Buzz,Diamonds are Michelle Antoinette’s best friends,

And from Michell Malkin

2) Is it really a good idea to have let this slip just days after a Wal-Mart temporary worker died in a hyper-consumerist stampede?

3) Speaking of bad timing, is it really a good idea to be crowing about this extravagant present when — as Barack Obama so ably reminded us in campaign infomerical before Election Day — Americans are hurting in the midst of tough economic times that will only get tougher?

4) What is it with some women who feel entitled to receive lavish presents from their husbands for work that should be its own reward? Reminds me of this ridiculous “Push Present” phenomenon involving women who expect big-ticket gifts from their husbands for bearing their children (see Dr. Helen’s column here).

For those that missed it, they are attempting to compare Michelle Obama to Marie Antoinette. This harkens back to Lobster-gate. I said it then I will say if again...assuming the story is true, what's the problem?

Nancy Reagan

When I was a wee lass I vaguely remember that the rap on Nancy Reagan was that she was materialistic and  out of touch  because she purchased some new china for the White House during an economic downturn.  They are basically implying or outright saying the same things about MIchelle Obama.

But back to the ring. You can get a $30,000 ring at Costco. Here's a Costco Ring for $94,000. You can buy it online along with those delightful blueberry muffins I love. These people are millionaires. They both graduated from Harvard Law. Michelle Obama brought home the bacon for years so that hubby could pursue his dream. Now they are both reaping the fruits of their labor. In the olden days, we used to call those kinds of partnerships "marriages".

I have serious doubts about this whole $30,000 ring story. First, what jewelry designer would brag about a piddly $30,000 ring. 3,000,000, yes, but not 30,000. Second, would Barack Obama really be so careless as to purchase anything from a blabbermouth jeweler?  But even if he did, there isn't anything exceptional about rich people buying jewelry. Heck Kobe Bryant purportedly spent $4 Million on a tacky yellow diamond ring. If this story is true, at least Barack Obama had the sense to pay wholesale and not retail.

SO what do these stories say about us?

Is it the cost of the ring during these economic times? Or is it who the ring was purchased for? Do we expect Michelle Obama to serve baked chicken leg quarters with mashed potatoes and green beans at every White House state Dinner? The truth is that there is a long history of "folks" having a problem with Black people living well and for the next four years they are goign to have two Black folks living well right in front of their eyes.

The real issue isn't whether or not Barack Obama got Michelle Obama a ring from Costco. The issue is why a $30,000 ring purportedly purchased by a multimillionaire bothers people.

For the record. I thought the whole $150,000 Palin wardrobe dust up was silly  too. I've seen "ladies who lunch,"$150,000 is nothing to them.

Reader Comments (35)

The fact that this was a headline was amazing to me. I for one don't care if this story is true. I think there are bigger issues here in the country right now. I don't think people realize how easilyWe are so focused on superficial things we don't even realize that we are being distracted.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGod's Man

Amen to both the Michelle and Palin comments.

i think the issue with Palin though was that the RNC was paying for it and they were losing the race...folk felt there were better things to spend the money on.

A 30,000$ ring...that's some cheap jewelry when u thin about how much the make. They were paying that on school fees for one of the kids probably.


There's no pleasing some folks when Black folk are involved.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I'm not bothered by this at all. The Obama's had plenty of money do do this before on their own without their government paycheck (that'still in the mail).

People have to find something to say negatively about him. Where were these people when Cindy wore more than one outfit that costs as much as this ring?

If he wants to show his love and appreciation he should. There's no need for his to answer to anyone. I wonder if Laura Bush has 'expensive' taste? Surely that wedding cost more than $90,000? It's not our business. I don't care. People need to get a life and enjoy what they have, what they can pay for and not how anybody else is electing to spend their hard earned money.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercinco

I'm no fan of the Obamas and I agree 30K is a mere drop in the bucket with the kind of loot these folks have. Besides Michelle needed a new ring the one she had was pretty pitiful. I always wondered why her rock was so small.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterConservative Black Woman

That is the biggest crock in the world..there are
more important things going on in this world.
Don't you know that people use that as an excuse
to keep that ring. People are saying if the inaugural
of O is grand..that the next day it won't matter..
well guess what this whole ring business smacks
of hypocrisy..I will make sure I watch closely
on 1/20/09..to see what Michelle is wearing
The Nancy Reagification of MO is right!

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce

I totally feel you on this one! While I could think of a ton of things to do with 30k right now, I don't begrudge Prez O if he does indeed does make the purchase (some may see it as an investment) for First Lady.

Another site I frequent was all up in arms about Malia and Sasha going to private school, and called the Obama's fraudulent for not sending them to public school. Why? Because she didn't feel that *she* shouldn't be paying for his children to go to private school while her own attend public school. Nevermind the fact that it comes out of his presidential salary - she still feels like his children need to go to public school instead.

How dare a (black)man want to send his children to one of the better schools in the area...even if he is the POTUS. *smh*

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterShesBeautyByDesign

The story isn't even true.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterC

Your doubts are right! An Obama aide denies the story according to Politico:


December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

I wonder how come people always feel justified in telling other folks how to spend their own hard-earned money. It would be something else if the Obama's money was inherited or stolen. But that is not the case. I'm glad the story is fake. I hope folks find something else to waste their time worrying about.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterOriginalwombman

Fake or no, who is anybody to say about what a man does with his OWN money? He did not exploit others to get it, he earned it. No one discusses what others do with their money.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRevvy Rev

This does sound like lobster-gate. I just saw an article where Obama and the jeweler are denying the ring all together. People getting all upset over something that's not true and something that is none of their business. It seems like some people don't want to see a hard working brotha (that's not a NFL'er or NBA"er or Rapper) be able to buy something nice for his wife. And yes 30K is a drop in the bucket for the Obamas. There are plenty of people out here that have paid off their bills, mortgages, car notes and have nice savings accounts and if they want to spend a lil money...Let them...a 5K ring can be a 30K ring to someone else and be a 1 million dollar ring for Kobe Bryants wife ..Just work within your budget....

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK

I think a good point is made comparing the Palin $150K debacle to the current Michelle Obama rhodium ringate. True or no, so what? Michelle earned it and deserves it. From a capitalist's perspective at least the Obamas are putting money back into the economy.

As for the issue with public vs. private school. I think the issue of hypocrisy is Obama's opposition to school choice and school vouchers, all the while sending his children to the best schools money can by. Why not allow other minority and low income parents the same opportunity that his family has?

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZabeth


There are wars, rumors of wars, continued recession, increased unemployment, poverty, real crimes, homeless people and families, flourishing racism, etc.

Oh, thats right those issues are of little concern to some! Some in our wonderful country want to use the intelligence of this nation to discuss a jewelry purchase...(*shrug)

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercinco

How sad of these idiotic bloggers to comment on an ALLEGED gift. The story isn't even true. It's been debunked. You don't have to be a journalist to double-check your sources.

When did Michelle Obama express entitlement for lavish gifts? Why don't they just say that Michelle doesn't deserve anything? I would respect them more if they would just keep it real.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymiss

I agree. What is the big deal? They have money. They can afford it, and there are people spending THAT kind of money and more, every second that we breath. They can't win. If he had purchased a $300 or $3000 ring, it would be even a greater story, with accusations of ulterior motive flooding the airwaves. Gift or no gift, it's THEIR money. I wish somebody would tell me how to spend my hard earned money.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter2Unruly

That was really a ridiculous story, but it shows how petty folks would rather waste their time. Thanks for the heads up, I will continue to support the new 1st family with positive chatter. Just perhaps it will help do away with mindless $30,000 ring purchase gossip.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThat Girl

@2unruly: I wish someone woudl have the poor judgement to tell me how to spend my money as well (as long as I'm not living off of someone else). I also wish I had been in the room when the ford CEO said he's "fine where he is" regarding possible symbolic 1$ salaries for the big 3 CEO's. They would have had to carry me out of the room because I would have cut up on C-span.
I kinda wish the story were true because Michelle deserves it. And what's wrong with a "push present"? Don't hate.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZoopath

Whether it was true or not, people would have something to say even if Obama gave his sweetie a ring out of a Cracker Jack box. Not worth mentioning, let along a headline.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

OH forget all the logic, reason, whatever. Let's just hate! It feels so good.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermiriam

Hmm, true this is a non story. Expect more of it, though. Many of us have enjoyed calling George Bush the village idiot for 8 years. So, I have no doubt the right will be more than happy to sharpen their claws on Obama.

I think he can take it though. I mean, after all, he's the president elect. He can buy his wife whatever the heck he likes.

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYme

"The truth is that there is a long history of “folks” having a problem with Black people living well and for the next four years they are goign to have two Black folks living well right in front of their eyes."

Amen to that Gina....Amen!

December 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSelena

Oh well more distraction crap. I expect nothing less than BS carping from Drudge anyway. It's not like he's going to hold his fellow Rethugs accountable for how they've messed up the country or the Wall Street execs using 52% of that bailout for their bonuses. That would be actually reporting. He's the Rush Limbaugh of the internet but not nearly as interesting. All these haters had better get used to seeing Black people doing well or go jump off a bridge.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFaith

All I'm going to say is that I'm glad this isn't true.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

A British tabloid was the first medium to run this story. It's no surprise that Drudge and Malkin (although MM has her moments) were the first IDIOTS to report this.

Drudge's name should be MUD after he was the first to blow up the Ashley Todd hoax for which he has refused to apologize.

Again, First Lady Obama comes out smelling like a rose. She strikes me as the type of person who may like nice things, but who is also practical.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

I think this is about something deeper. There are a lot of people out there who think a black woman isn't worthy of an expensive gift. When I was in college, some of the black men didn't want to give their girlfriends roses for Valentine's Day. However they had no problem doing so if they were dating a white girl.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEva

Eva black men who can't give flowers or who can't even pick them or think to grow them?

Wow sometimes the earth really needs to be scorched and I'm not being sarcastic this time. Anyway Michelle Obama should be treated like a queen by her husband with his own money. Why should there be any drama regarding that?

Make some hoopla and noise when he uses taxpayers' money.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterak


What I meant was that when I was in college, many of the black men wouldn't buy their girlfriend's (black girlfriend's) roses but later, when some of those same men dated white girls they gave them roses. It was as if they didn't feel the black women were "worthy" of giving them a gift for Valentine's Day.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEva

Do people read news, or only rumor? An Obama aide already said that the ring story is not true. Even if it was - so? As long as it's their money.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterM


Yep, I've heard about that with my parents. When my father would describe gifts or outings with his wife- flowers, dinners, plays, etc. - his co-workers were often surprised to find out that she, like him, is black.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlunanoire

When I was in college, some of the black men didn’t want to give their girlfriends roses for Valentine’s Day. However they had no problem doing so if they were dating a white girl

Before, during and after college, I never witnessed anything of the sort. Black men routinely presented their girlfriends with gifts, including flowers and the very few who later dated white women treated them no better and sometimes not as well.

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRocky

This story is so fake and I'm wondering why Drudge-bucket hasn't been laughed right off of the net after he reported that so-called "assault" on the McCain campaign worker (what's that broad's name again?). However, if it were true, why would people be so up in arms that Barack loves his wife enough to want to purchase something like that? It's his money--he earned it through hard work so he should be able to spend it where and on whom he chooses.

Once again this proves that mainstream society still has low expectations of blacks. We are not expected to want better and to DO better for themselves or our children. We are not expected to work hard for success or to enjoy the fruits of our labors. We are not expected to be ambitious or to be intelligent. What's really sad is that with all the issues we are going through as a country, some idiots are just looking for a reason to whine and to spread hate and dissention. Charles Barkley was right--there are stupid people out there and they all listen to people like Drudge, Malkin, O'Reilly and Hannity.

December 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKymberlyn

Y/all forgot Neil Cavuto, the Fox news talking head. He said on his show, that Obama lost the election in August, because he was trying to talk to Hillary C, and then offered to pay back some of her campaign debt. Looks like it didn't turn out

Live and let live would be nice. Believe me, if Obama doesn't work out in 4 years, it will be Bye................... The GOP is really working up to this idea. 2-3 more seats in the Senate is a start.

December 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEve G

IMHO, a large part of the issue here, is that americans don't believe black women are worthy of having baubles affectionately lavished upon them, by doting husbands, no less. This reminds me of all the carping at Oprah when she was so proud of her girls school in africa. Many euro-americans blogged and spoke that those girls didn't need such fancy things. Yet lil Kaitlyn and Megan deserve a pony?

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBlues N Catfish

This is not true. It's the jewelers effort to draw free advertising dollars to their hunk of junk. If President Elect did purchase something this extravagant, we'd never know about it.

December 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanie

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