The Hillary attack that wasn't

What Michelle Obama did and didn't say.

Published August 21, 2007 4:44PM (EDT)

Did Michelle Obama "slam" Hillary Clinton? That's the question Matt Drudge is asking in large type right now. The problem for Drudge and others hoping that they've got another Elizabeth Edwards situation on their hands? The answer is pretty obviously no.

In a story in the Chicago Sun-Times today, Barack Obama's wife is quoted as saying, "If you can't run your own house, you can't run the White House."

The Sun-Times says the line "could be interpreted as a swipe at the Clintons," but that's only if you ignore the fact that Michelle Obama is clearly talking about her own family life, not anyone else's. Here's TPM's Election Central on what she actually said on the campaign trail:

"One of the most important things that we need to know about the next president of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House. So, so we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he's traveling around, I do day trips. That means I get up in the morning, I get the girls ready, I get them off, I go and do trips, I'm home before bedtime. So the girls know that I was gone somewhere, but they don't care. They just know that I was at home to tuck them in at night, and it keeps them grounded, and, and children, the children in our country have to know that they come first. And our girls do and that's why we're doing this. We're in this race for not just our children, but all of our children."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton Michelle Obama War Room