Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There's something about Barry

A screen capture seemed in order here, lest you come to the understandable conclusion that I was fabricating this particular piece. The meme of Obama's unflappability has snowballed over the summer and aloof is now the new cool. The country is apparently in desperate need of a big hug, but as Michael Gerson sadly notes today, Americans have always loved Obama more than he seems to care for us. Well.

I've never really had a desire for a president who was endearing, but it's obvious that a lot of people do, so I suppose that it might be useful if the president were to take the advise of Mark Rozell and Paul Goldman, two men who really seem to care a lot.

"First, Obama has to get a nickname," because, as they point out, every modern president has had a nickname. Right. "The lack of a nickname, even an unflattering one, suggests the White House doesn’t appreciate the unnecessary distance between this likable president and his constituents." That is so astute that it's mind boggling. Our pundits are even helpful enough to provide some examples of the great presidential nicknames from the past - JFK, for example, or LBJ. Or my favorite, W. Sorry guys, those are what we call initials, and Obama already has those. But I'm sure if you want to call him BHO, it would be just fine. And no, 'Tricky Dick' or 'Slick Willie' are insults, not nicknames. Bingo with 'Ike', however, although that was over fifty years ago. The thing about nicknames is that unless you are a rapper, it's something that's given to you, not something you get, so you'd be providing this unendearing man more of a service if you just made one up for him and hope it sticks. How about appropriating Otis Redding's nickname, 'The Big O'? Problem solved, I'm warming up to the guy already.

"Second, the Obamas' Chicago home denies Obama photo opportunities that have been traditional for Oval Office residents since FDR." I guess the point here is that if you can't see the president chopping wood like Reagan or clearing brush like Bush or whatever... I don't know. I don't know what, but you say that "voters now expect images of such places" in order to see the humanity, and uh, "even his basketball time looks scripted", so I'm sure his burger eating time looks scripted, too, and his concert enjoying time. This is a problem, I guess, because I sure don't know how to solve it, and neither do you, since you conclude this point by saying "We love the City of Big Shoulders, so we aren’t saying, buy someone’s back 40."

"Third, Obama needs more public family time with Michelle and the kids." Well, hell, it's nice that you evoke John and Jackie and all the little Kennedys but that was a more innocent time when 'public family time' wasn't an oxymoron for someone of celebrity. A more innocent time that began to fade after a certain notorious incident that occurred when the principal actors were out family style, in public, in front of all those people who expect such images. You get the picture? Not gonna happen. And to be honest, you don't have three points, because your third was a continuation of your second. You want access. Aside from trying to govern a nearly ungovernable country that's not exactly seeing it's best span of years, you want Obama and family to be on display for your entertainment and adoration. Let me close out with your money quote:

"The skinny guy with a left-hand jump shot who plays hard, shoots the breeze with the guys, marvels at a beautiful wife able to outshine him and cherishes two adorable daughters who can melt his heart is underexposed."

I think you just proved that some people find him endearing.

1 comment:

  1. Well, that's why Scott Brown needs to be president. He and his family are photogenic pretty people (never mind the lack of substance), and they have experience in show biz...

    Hey, ya gotta understand: being POTUS is just another reality show....