I don’t want to go too hard on President Obama for not taking part in the wave at a White Sox game today. Being the
President is a stressful job. Take a look at a picture of almost any president on Inauguration Day and at the end of their time in office and it looks like they’ve went on a Crusade with Indiana Jones and didn’t choose wisely…
However, I will say this: the picture of him at the game, detached from the crowd, eerily plays into a meme that has been around about for a long time (it just took awhile for independents and Peggy Noonan to realize it). Personally, I’m not a huge fan of “the wave,” and I can understand how doing so would also subject him to some goofy picture juxtaposed against an oil-drenched animal corpse…but one can’t
escape the fact that the weirdness quotient is beginning to fill the void created by the disappearance of his popularity. Barack Obama is now an interesting mix of Milli Vanilli and Michael Jackson. I’ve covered the Milli Vanilli angle before, but I think the Jackson analogy needs to be explored a bit more:
First of all, everyone loved Michael Jackson at the height of his popularity. Everyone. And if you don’t think Thriller is a classic album you have problems. Like Barack Obama, people of all ages, races, and religions went gaga over his skills (until it turned into a bad romance). However, deep down I think everyone knew early on that Michael had some serious issues connecting with everyday people. President Obama has a very similar dynamic. A quick Google search will turn up countless articles on the subject, whether it’s conservative ire over the “bitter clingers” debacle, liberal filmmaker Spike Lee’s frustration at the robotic handling of the Gulf oil spill, The White House’s handling of the health care debate, the lack of a timely response to the attempted terrorist attack over Christmas, and so on and so forth.
Right now conservatives think he’s a Smooth Criminal. Liberals want to Scream over his handling of any number of public policy issues. The people of Louisiana and Florida are saying They Don’t Care About Us. And independent voters can’t quite put their finger on it, but they sense something’s amiss—just as the rest of us did when Michael Jackson started casting Macaulay Culkin in his music videos.
Barack Obama: it’s time to look at the Man In the Mirror, because right now you’re treating the United States as if it was Michael Jackon’s Never Never Land Ranch. And we all know how, financially, that turned out…