Tag Archives: Melody Barnes

How years of friendship turned into marriage

The Washington Post has launched a new weekly Sunday feature called OnLove which focuses on couples and weddings.  This week features four couples including White House Chief Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes who recently wed Marland Buckner Jr.  Melody and Marland  were married on June 13 at the Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.

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At Last, Ever After
It Took Years of Friendship Before Melody Barnes and Marland Buckner Forged the Bonds of a Relationship That ‘Felt Like Home’

By Ellen McCarthy
The Washington Post

We swing our eyes around
as well as side to side
to see the world.
To choose, renounce,
this, or that —
call it a council between equals
call it love.
— Alice Walker, “Beyond What”

The time for conforming, if there ever was one, had passed. Melody Barnes, at 40, had become too much herself to engage in shape-shifting for the sake of romance.

Besides, she was doing just fine. More than that — she was a revered political staffer who spent nearly a decade as senior counsel to Sen. Edward Kennedy, a woman who painted watercolors and took acting classes in her spare time, whose curiosity about the world had only grown over the years. She was a woman who would come to serve as President Obama’s domestic policy adviser, who never married but had a life rich with family and friends.

Among those many friends was Marland Buckner. They met in the late 1990s, when Buckner worked as chief of staff to Rep. Harold Ford Jr., and within a few years wound up in the same tightknit social circle of political types who’d often gather for barbecues, weekend trips and movie nights.

“I always remember thinking, when we got together, ‘What a nice person,’ ” Barnes says of the man she married June 13 in front of a crowd that included Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett. “He was always the one who made sure everything was organized, and would make sure no one was stuck in the kitchen doing dishes.”

But at the time, she didn’t think much more than that. Nice guy. Just a friend.

When the group met in Annapolis for crabs by the bay on Labor Day weekend in 2007, Buckner was seated by Barnes, whom he’d known well for three years by then. Then he reached for a crab out of her pile.

“I was hungry . . . so I figured, ‘I’ll help myself,’ ” recalls Buckner, 42, who worked as a lobbyist for Microsoft before opening his own firm in February 2008. “And she — well, there’s really no other way to put this — she threatened to stab me. With her knife.”

“And I meant it,” Barnes chimes in during a rare afternoon off from the White House.

Congrats to Melody and Marland.

You can read the rest here at the Washington Post and check out the wedding photo gallery. The New York Times also has an article about Melody and Marland.

Another couple featured in today’s OnLove section is Betty and Edgar Glick.

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Betty and Edgar have been married for 65 years and have one son.

‘Even if You’re Angry, You Still Kiss Each Other’
A Few Dates and a Few Simple Rules Formed the Glicks’ Firm Foundation

By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 21, 2009

65 Years In

Sure, Betty Glick’s been married, rather delightedly, to the same fellow for 6 1/2 decades. There’s a strategy behind the longevity, and she’s happy to share it: “Be nice.”

You expected something more elaborate? Well, maybe that’s the problem. It’s a relationship, not advanced astrophysics, and you just stick with it, day after day after 23,876th day, trying, at least, to be nice to each other.

Because “if you’re going to be cruel, unkind, say mean things,” she explains, “it spoils it immediately.”

Of course things haven’t always been perfect in the lives of Edgar and Betty Glick. Really, it’s amazing that things worked out as well as they have. They got married the fourth time they saw each other, in February 1944, and three weeks later Edgar shipped off to Italy.

“Here’s two kids, 19 and 20. It’s a war. They’ve seen each other three times over a year-and-a-half. They get married. And I wouldn’t give you 20 cents for the chances of that marriage lasting,” says Edgar, now 85, from an armchair in their Reston home.

The two met on a blind date in 1942. He was a Pittsburgh boy who drove up to Erie after a friend told him to “date Betty Shapiro — she’s fun!” They went out twice before he left for Army duty. And that was it, until a friend told Betty that Edgar was in Sioux Falls, S.D., sick with pneumonia doctors thought would kill him.

Congrats to Betty and Edgar on their 65 years of marriage.  It’s nice to read about couples who’ve been married for more than 50 years.

Check out the entire about Betty and Edgar Glick at the Washington Post.

The sisterhood of Obama women

Today’s Washington Post has a very interesting article about the sisterhood of Obama women. The article is titled The Ties That Align: Administration’s Black Women Form A Strong Sisterhood.  The women featured in the article include Cassandra Butts, Mona Sutphen, Lisa Jackson, Valerie Jarrett, Melody Barnes, Susan Rice and Desiree Rogers.

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The Ties That Align
Administration’s Black Women Form A Strong Sisterhood

By Krissah Thompson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Like two old girlfriends catching up, they ignored onlookers, hugged and laughed.

Donna Brazile, the political strategist and Washington veteran, peppered Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson with questions.

“How are the kids?” “Have you contacted the church? I don’t go every Sunday but they know me.”

Before she left, Jackson had an open invitation to Brazile’s place for home-cooked red beans and rice, served up every Monday night.

“The sisterhood in this town, there’s deep history here,” Jackson said.

The “Obama women” — as African American women who’ve taken big jobs in his administration have been nicknamed — mark another step in the long journey of black women from outsiders to gatekeepers in political Washington. They have quietly entered their jobs with little attention paid to the fact that they are the largest contingent of high-ranking black women to work for a president.

Many are firsts — as in the first black woman to run the Domestic Policy Council, the first black EPA chief and the first black woman to be deputy chief of staff. Last week, Obama tapped Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg to lead the Food and Drug Administration. If confirmed, Hamburg — who is biracial (her mother is African American, her father Jewish) — will also be a first.

Seven of about three dozen senior positions on President Obama’s team are filled by African American women. Veterans in town see them as part of the steady evolution of power for black women, not only in the White House but also across the country — in the business world, in academia, in policy circles.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a District native who served in the Carter administration, said the significance of Obama sending Valerie Jarrett to represent the administration at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, days after he took office, was not lost on her. There, Jarrett was introduced by economist Klaus Schwab as “President Obama’s personal representative; influential adviser; trusted confidante. . . . When she speaks, she speaks really with his voice.”

To Norton, it was an indication of the broad authority that black women now wield.

“I’m not sure there’s ever been a black woman who has enjoyed as much of the president’s confidence as Valerie Jarrett. She has not been compartmentalized and is used in a variety of ways that I think is a first,” Norton said. “The Obama women are a sign of how far we’ve come.”

Inside the young administration, the women said they have been slammed with work and left with little time to think about their place in history. But there are moments.

I really enjoyed this article.  It feels good to read positive news about black women.  I’m sure some folks will have a problem with this article cause it blows away all the negativity they’ve had thrown at them by the mainstream media and some black folks as well when it comes to black women.

You can read the entire article here.

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