Screenshot - 10_4_2017 , 10_38_15 AM
Screenshot/Robert Kraychik

Former First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women on Tuesday, where she compared her husband's presidency to that of Donald Trump's — and not in favorable terms for the sitting president.

“Many of the young people today, they only know Barack Obama as their president and what that standard felt like and what kind of messages were being talked about,” she said. “They grew up only under hope and possibility and options and opportunity and creating more space.”

Under President Trump, the nation's unemployment rate has continued to plummet, median wages have seen a modest increase, the stock market continues to reach new heights, and the overall economy is improving. In addition, black unemployment hit a historic low.

“I think they will feel some of what's happening now as intrinsically not what they were taught,” she added in an apparent reference to the Trump administration.

 

“They are more open, in ways. I think they are less tolerant of obvious inequities. I think that this generation will look at what is happening now in the world and they will say, 'This doesn't feel right because this wasn't what I was taught,'” Mrs. Obama continued.

Former President Obama also made a surprise guest appearance to wish his wife a happy anniversary.

“Hey, honey,” Mr. Obama said. “Listen, I know you are with all these important, Pennsylvania women ... but I had to crash this party because today we have been married for 25 years.”

Mrs. Obama also attributed much of the nation's political division to the lack of diversity in the Congress.

“It's a feeling of color, almost. On one side of the room, it's literally gray and white, literally, that's the color palette on one side of the room,” she said. “On the other side of the room, there's yellows and blues and whites and greens. Physically, there's a difference in color, in the tone. Because one side, all men, all white. On the other side, some women, some people of color.”

Putting aside any evaluation of Mrs. Obama's claim, this is the ethnic and racial demographic breakdown of the 115th Congress, according to Pew Research:

In the Senate, 10 of 100 members now belong to a racial or ethnic minority group, up from three in 2001.

House minority increases have largely come among newly elected Democrats, though Republicans have also seen an uptick. Since 2001, the number of House Democrats who are minorities increased by 27, from 56 then to 83 now. There was an increase of eight representatives among House Republicans over the same period, rising from four then to 12 now.

According to the U.S. Senate, there are two African-American men: Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). There is one African-American woman: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). In addition, there are two Asian-American women: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI). There are three Hispanic-American men: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). There is one Hispanic-American woman: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

“Whites account for 81 percent of the current Congress but represent just 62 percent of the population,” Pew Research also noted.

If Michelle Obama's remarks are any indication, neither she nor her husband will be finishing criticizing the Trump presidency or the Republican Party anytime soon.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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