Elizabeth Lauten, who attacked the teenage Obama daughters Friday for their alleged lack of “class” and “respect” during the White House turkey pardoning ceremony, had her own problems as a teenager, court records would seem to indicate.
In Lauten’s estimation, Sasha and Malia Obama — ages 13 and 16, respectively — committed the offenses of “making faces” during the ceremony, and dressing, according to Lauten, as if they were headed for “a spot at the bar.”
But Lauten’s own teenage offense was somewhat more serious. According to records uncovered by The Smoking Gun site, in 2000 at the age of 17, Lauten was arrested for shoplifting from a Belk department store in her native North Carolina.
As reported by The Smoking Gun, the arrest was a first offense for Lauten. Through an arrangement with the District Attorney’s office, she was able to have the charge dismissed after managing to avoid another arrest or other trouble with the law after a designated time period.
Lauten produced a nationwide response of outrage and shocked disbelief, with about 22,000 negative mentions on Facebook, when she took to her Facebook page Friday to scold the Obama daughters directly for what Lauten considered their disrespectful behavior during the turkey pardon, though many others who witnessed their body language and facial expressions recognized rather typical — and harmless — teenage responses to a ridiculous situation.
Gawker, for example, applauded the Obama girls, calling the turkey pardon tradition “stupid” and declaring that the Obama daughters’ “barely contained disdain for the production was utterly appropriate and utterly magnificent.”
But Lauten did not see it that way.
Her Friday Facebook post was soon followed by a fumbled attempt at an apology, and finally by her Monday morning resignation from her job as “communications director” for conservative Republican Tennessee congress member Stephen Fincher.
But by breaking the taboo against attacking the children of a political opponent, Lauten appears to have opened up her own closet, where various internet users can pick through the skeletons.
One Twitter user uncovered what he said was a photo of Lauten from her younger years, to show her apparent hypocrisy on the concept of “class.”
— Tom Adelsbach (@TomAdelsbach) November 30, 2014
The congressman for whom the 31-year-old Lauten worked until Monday, Stephen Fincher, was named by the nonpartisan Citizens For Responsibilty and Ethics in Washington (CREW) as one of 2011’s “Most Corrupt” members of congress.
“Rep. Fincher’s ethics issues stem from concealing thesource of a campaign loan and his failure to accurately disclose his income, assets, and liabilities on his personal financial disclosure forms,” CREW wrote in its report on the now-former employer of Elizabeth Lauten.