First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, were at the Homestead-Miami Speedway to promote Joining Forces, an organization that promotes the hiring and training of veterans, when they were booed by some NASCAR fans as they served as the grand marshals for the racing circuit's final event Sunday. They were joined by Army Sgt. Andrew Barry, a veteran of the Afghan and Iraqi wars who now volunteers at an Orlando, Fla., veterans center, and his family. The clip shows that people cheer for the soldier, but boo when the two women's names are announced. There are some audible sounds of approval, but they seem to be mostly drowned out by the dissenters.
It would not be too difficult to overanalyze this incident. Sports fans tend to be raucous, especially after they have been well lubricated. It is possible the NASCAR crowd would have booed the Second Coming if it came before the big race.
On the other hand, Mrs. Obama has delved into controversy in her pet cause of getting people to eat healthy. Her campaign against childhood obesity, while well intentioned, is being greeted by many people as an attack on their parenting. A lot of two-income households do not have the time or the energy to cook a traditional family dinner where nutrition can be controlled to a certain extent. In too many homes, home delivered fast food or something that can be nuked quickly in the microwave have become the featured dinner. Harried parents are not likely to take very well someone lecturing them about feeding their children properly, especially if they are eschewing playing at the park for lying about with their game boys.
By and large, "It's a sad statement on our political discourse if the booing was indeed directed at Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden," said ABC News Senior Political Reporter Rick Klein. "They were appearing on behalf of military families, a cause which transcends party lines."