Michelle Obama said: "Let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change."
Of course, this has the Patriotic Right up in arms. So much so that Cindy McCain, whom I have never heard speak or seen a report that said she even does (!), said at a campaign event while introducing her husband: "I'm proud of my country, I don't know about you, if you heard those words earlier. I have, and always will be, proud of my country." [Same link as above] Some comments on other blogs and articles about this incident have called Ms McCain the Stepford Wife given her usual silence; that's extreme and unfair, but this AP picture is quite scary! More importantly, though - and this is something I thought of earlier but missed till I was reminded by this blog-post - was Ms McCain proud during the Abu-Ghraib torture scandal, the pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina, the White House-sponsored waiving of Geneva conventions, the underhanded campaign painting Veit Nam veteran and former Georgia Senator Max Cleland as unpatriotic and similar to Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, and the slander against Senator McCain himself during the 2000 campaign by "friends" of his now-buddy President George W Bush?
Michelle Obama has since clarified her statement, saying she meant she's proud of the political process for the first time. Which is not unreasonable considering the partisanship of the past couple decades.
Personally, I think Michelle Obama is a smart, intelligent woman perfectly capable of making reasonable arguments and holding her own opinions. I also think one can be patriotic without being jingoistic. Jingoism is characteristic of right wing nutjobs, who paint anyone without a rose-tinted view of one's country as "unpatriotic"; I have seen this in India as well. Unfortunately, the more I see of Senator McCain's campaign - his attacks last night on Senator Obama were typical Republican boiler plate - and with these few words from Cindy McCain, the less enthused I am about Senator McCain. Senator Obama had better be prepared for more such attacks if he is the eventual Democratic Presidential nominee; both Obamas will have to watch their words. More is the pity.