Why Obama really won the Nobel Peace Prize: because unicorns *heart* him.
I’ll say this for President-elect Obama: he has balls. Ten official balls, at last count, where he’ll personally be on display. Who knows how many unofficial ones there will be?
But here’s the thing about Obama’s balls: they’re big. And while his staff claims he’s got the first-ever Neighborhood Ball, the neighborhood around the White House pretty much threw their own ball when they stormed the president’s house after Andrew Jackson was elected. (His balls were apparently too small for their liking.)
Of course, taxpayers need not fret: we’re not footing the bill for Obama’s big balls. That’s the job of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has been busily raising funds to fete Obama’s balls. Sure, actors and other artsy types are happy to fork over $10,000 per head for one of Obama’s balls — and Oprah hasn’t named her going rate yet — but even those steep prices don’t cover the entire expense associated with his balls.
Taxpayers will pay in part for Obama’s balls by footing the bill for House and Senate members to plan the inauguration and balls, by paying for the preparation of alternate locations in the event of inclement weather, by paying for the archiving of documents relating — however tangentially — to the inauguration itself. Oh, and we’ll also pay for the massive security force (Secret Service, Capitol Police, U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard) needed to not only secure D.C. and the various environs of Obama’s balls, but to also screen each and every individual who personally attends Obama’s balls.
Perhaps this is what Michelle Obama meant when she said Obama would make us work? Even though she may have warned us, it’s rather infuriating to realize we, too, are now tasked with the responsibility of supporting Obama’s balls although few of us can afford our own. And, meanwhile, we’re all getting the shaft.
When Obama’s campaign made such a big deal over John McCain’s inexperience with email, Republicans swiftly responded that such things aren’t relevant when it comes to being presidential material. Of course, the libs refused to believe it, but it turns out the Right was right.
In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful. (Source: NY Times)
I suspect that in the days to come we’re going to find out the Right was right about a lot more, too.
Michael Novak’s column today at National Review Online focuses on Sarah Palin’s folksy diction, and the knee-jerk assumption of ignorance it leads some to make.
I wonder if most of the people who are today dissing Sarah Palin, at least among a few conservatives I greatly admire, are more accustomed to debating highly educated liberals. Could it be that they understand the diction of journalism and the academy better than they understand the speech of most of America? They understand the maturity, sophistication, and rationalization of their own world better than the simpler but truer instincts of most of America. [...]
I remember how shocked H. L. Mencken was when he arrived in tiny Dayton, Tennessee, for the Scopes trial, only to find copies of his own publication The American Mercury on sale in the local drug store, and to meet several people in town who subscribed. He actually thought the yokels and the yahoos read nothing. That was the tone Sarah Palin picked up in Katie Couric, who demanded that Sarah produce a reading list. Sarah was too insulted to care to reply.
It’s an interesting premise, that pundits (both conservative and liberal alike) hear phrases like “you betcha” and assume they’re shorthand for an intellectual shortcoming, rather than a reflection of someone confident enough in her own intellectual abilities that she doesn’t have to trot out big words to prove herself smart. To be honest, that’s something I’ve always liked about Palin: she speaks like many of the people I know. Hell, she speaks like me, although without the potty mouth.
If there’s one thing this election has made painfully clear it’s just how easily American voters are swayed by images. Of last night’s Obamathon informercial, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said “He had me at the waving wheat.” Throughout McCain’s candidacy, the image of him as an old man — reinforced for pop culture by SNL’s description of his crippled arms, gnarled fingers making air quotes and, yes, even the unbleached teeth — have persisted despite the fact that McCain is a vigorous individual, seventy-something years old or not. And, of course, let’s not forget the brouhaha over Palin’s wardrobe, a damned-if-she-did (to the tune of $150,000… some of which is my money and I consider it well spent) and damned-if-she-didn’t (as in, you just know the style mags would take her to task over wearing a $30 coat from Tar-jay).
Oh, we like to think we’re long on substance but, fact is, most of us base our opinions on sound bites, headlines and what our friends will think. (Answer: if they’re really your friends they already knew your leanings and accepted you because of them.)
With respect to Sarah Palin, that tendency to superficially summarize and dismiss is made even more evident by her foes’ swift reversal in opinion after meeting her. As Fred Barnes wrote in The Weekly Standard: to know her is to respect her.
Lorne Michaels is the longtime executive producer of Saturday Night Live. Sarah Palin appeared on SNL in mid-October, after which Michaels noted, “Her politics aren’t my politics.” But that wasn’t all he said. “I think Palin will continue to be underestimated,” Michaels told EW.com. “I watched the way she connected with people, and you can see that she’s a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she’s had a huge impact. People connect to her.”
Many of Palin’s supporters say, as Rammer said so eloquently in the comments here: “I speak what I believe. I avoid cynicism and irony. I am Sarah Palin, except that she works harder than me.”
Therein lies the backhand of the “out of touch” allegations that have flown throughout this election. For decades we have elected politicians with the assumption they should somehow be morally superior to us, more educated, better traveled and more deeply read. Then, as Clinton and Edwards’ and even Dubya’s own checkered past have proven, we grow outraged when we discover that, like us, they have feet of clay.
One constant theme among the Obamaniacs? That he’s just like them. Except, unless they went to an exclusive private high school and had an Ivy League education, he’s not. But Sarah Palin? You betcha. She’s just like so many of us.
Maybe that’s why the elitists, who’ve spent their lives trying to overcompensate for their own perceived shortcomings, tear her down. And maybe it’s why so many of us, who’ve come to accept our own limitations, finally see in her the chance to realize the American dream our mothers promised: study hard and one day you, too, may be President.
Tonight’s the night when Barack Obama’s 30-minute commercial will air on CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. That’s right: all your channels will belong to him except for the Disney Channel, much to the relief of Obama’s kid who also doesn’t want to be forced to watch him.
Personally, I think his strategy is going to backfire. People are sick of this election, but they’re also sick of not being able to afford to go out to the movies or for dinner as entertainment. I have to wonder how many people, stuck at home, are going to resent Obama’s choice to preempt their chance to relax. Talk about being out of touch with the average working person….
Chicago is building a $2 million stage for Obama to declare victory.