Monday, November 01, 2010

Tina Brown's Advice to Obama: Start Going to Church or Something

Indeed, a sound plan. Except for a couple of minor points. He hasn't had a church to go to for nearly two-and-a-half years, ever since he dispatched Jeremiah Wright under the bus. Plus, now that he's been campaigning for weeks he's got a lot of golf to catch up on.

Is this woman so naive to think Americans won't see Obama rushing to church every Sunday as a cynical ploy to help him win re-election? He should be more concerned with his failed policies instead of some cheesy photo ops.
As from Wednesday, I’d like the president to stop being so high-minded about avoiding corny symbolic theatrics and start playing to win. The absurd myth, for instance, that he's really a Muslim would be easier to knock out if he strode from the White House every Sunday with a big old Gutenberg Bible and marched his family—with the first daughters in adorable Sunday best—to the nearest Episcopalian church. Back in his Chicago Senate days, when he was seeking greater black credibility, Obama was happy enough to attend the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. What’s wrong with a bit of God-fearing symbolism of a different kind now? There was a reason Hillary Clinton showed up at the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfasts when she was trying to network across the aisles. “Worshipping in private,” as Obama does, comes off as just another form of annoying elitism.
Avoiding corny symbolic theatrics? What planet is this woman living on? His entire presidency has been one big theatrical production. Not only that, he and his wife have spent more time entertaining Hollywood types with White House parties, but Brown actually thinks they haven't been partying enough.
On the cultural-symbolic front, Obama has failed too to make the grand gesture—think of how meek his concert-and-arts initiatives have been, compared to the ones Jackie Kennedy foisted on Jack. Its strange to have a great writer-president mum on the arts.
A great writer-president? Wait, what? A great writer? Is she talking about the same Obama we know?
Rather than look with disdain at the vulgar theatrics of the Tea Party or try to capture the youth vote with an onslaught of cable comedy shows, Obama should go broad, not niche; megaphone, not dog whistle. Big gestures with a halo effect.
Yeah, maybe he ought to start making basketball picks on ESPN.

Oh, wait a minute...

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