Barack, Meet Jackie

I just need to say this to my man Obama:

Dear Mr. President,

Don’t take this the wrong way. In my book you’re great. I voted for you in ’08 and I intend to vote for you next year but I think you have to get some serious coaching for your speeches because you sound like such an insufferable  smarty-pants. I’m not sure if it’s the way your voice goes up at the end of certain sentences and down at the end of others but the net effect isn’t good. You sound like a know-it-all, an intellectual, or “pointy-head” which in this country is not the way you want to be perceived. (Look at how they  sneered at Adlai Stevenson. At Woodrow Wilson, former president of Princeton.)

I’ve been listening over and over to the voice of “our” Jackie, in this audio tape made when she he spoke to Arthur Schlesinger Jr. just four months after the death of the husband Jack whom she so obviously loved despite his rabbity ways. She says,

I was so happy that I could do something that made [Jack] proud of me because I’ll tell you one wonderful about him: I was really… I was never any different once I was in the White House than I was before but the press made you different. Suddenly everything that had been a liability before –  your hair, that you spoke French, that you didn’t just adore to campaign and you didn’t bake bread with flour up your arms…. You know everyone thought I was a snob and hated politics. Well Jack never made me feel that I was a liability to him but I was!

You have to listen to this, Mr. President, even if you did see last night’s Diane Sawyer special.. My point is that here she was, the child of immense privilege and she seems so humble and down to earth. And here’s you, raised by a single mother, visited only once by your grandiose and overbearing father after his abandonment of you as an infant,  moved from one part of the world to another…. Why can’t YOU talk like a regular person if even Jackie could? I think you can. I seem to remember you doing it that long-ago Time Before.      

It took like 500 years of history to get you and your wonderful family into the White House, Mr President. I can’t bear the thought that you might only have only one term there.

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15 thoughts on “Barack, Meet Jackie

  1. Perhaps, what you hear is what is there!! Like what you see is what you get. I believe Barack is quite authentic… and he scares me. But then, I’m repelled by most polititians, especially those who make a life’s work out of it. Would rather see true “Statesmen” who “serve” one term and rotate out.

    Barack is a fine person and will do well where ever he lands but he has had his chance and it doesn’t appear to be working very well. Sorry, but we can’t agree on everything! 🙂

  2. I watched Turner Classics Movies last night to see a wonderful 1950 show, Young Man with a Horn, based on the book by Dorothy Baker, and starring a very young Kirk Douglas. This was about the legendary Bix Biederbeck, trumpet jazzman, who broke apart when he was unable to find the notes that only he could hear. Beautiful jazz classics, ghosted by Harry James and ostensibly played by Douglas, make this a film close to my heart. Other artists include Hoagy Carmichael on the piano and Doris Day singing memorable songs from the era. A young Lauren Bacall plays a witchy part, which II wish she didn’t!

    Sorry to say, Terry, I am not a fan of Barack, but I do like Jackie a whole lot.

  3. Another champ was Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” portraying a man who truly cared about his country and his constituents. I think seating a CEO who sends his work to China next to Mrs. Obama spoke volumes about where our president’s priorities lie. The solar company who got so much money in a bailout is now bankrupt? Where’s the change that was supposed to be good for the country? Where’s the concern with our Congress when they sit in their protected status and judge whether the elderly, poor or sick should continue to get Social Security and affordable health insurance that won’t go bankrupt within a year? Why is Mrs. Obama appearing on a TV show “Extreme Makeover”? Quite a difference between her and Jackie, who, even when dressed in her French clothing and traveling to other countries always came across as humble and therefore very classy. I don’t want to hear any more about how Pres. Bush made mistakes or other previous presidents. That is in the past; we are supposed to be moving forward. Pointing fingers backward in an effort to excuse an inability to handle the job he has solves absolutely nothing.

  4. Everyone wants to like him. Much in the way we want to like a car we bought that turns out to be a lemon. It reflects poorly on our judgement that the car is inadequate, therefore, we find excuses for the car for a long time before we finally admit that we made a mistake and get rid of the car. In the business world, this is called the “halo effect.” Face it: Obama has been a complete failure both in ideology and execution. It is time to move on.

  5. Every time I think President Obama is a miserable failure…

    I remember that his predecessor was George W. Bush, who started a war of choice and let a major American city, rich in history, drown.

    Then I feel a little better. I just wish I felt a lot better.

  6. I bet you Obama bashers will vote to re-elect him now that it’s May, 2012 and you ‘ve seen the pathetic right wing ideologues that vied for the republican nomination. Go ahead and put Romney in and see our great nation transformed completely into an oligarchy right quick. The supreme court abetted the transition of power from the people to the corporations.

    1. Obama has done a much better job defending the country from terror attacks than I thought he would. However, we are still in Afghanistan, which is now his war, not Bush’s. Need to get out of there. The economy is still very anemic, and everything he has done on that score has been wrong.
      Newt and Sanctimonious Santorum are nut cases, no question. However, Romney appears to me to be far better qualified to run the economy than the current crew

  7. Consider: Jackie was female, when the only power women tended to accrue was through marriage, and she was brought up in an era when the ladylike thing to do was to act submissive and polite even if you were seething inside, because that’s how rich women of privilege were supposed to behave.

    Also, Jackie wasn’t running a country. So IMO she is a flawed role model for a President’s behavior.

    BTW, I have to laugh whenever “I don’t want to hear any more about how Pres. Bush made mistakes or other previous presidents.” Usually that is a sentiment stated by those who voted for President I Could Have a Beer With but who are loath to admit that now. Why is that, I wonder?

    When it comes to their track record of FAIL, Republicans tend to segue right from “now is not the time to point fingers” to “let’s not dwell on the past,” as if the problems the current occupant of the White House were left by his predecessor instead appeared out of nowhere, as if by magic.

    But I digress. As for thinking the President has to come across as a “regular guy.” I had quite enough of that for the past eight years, thankyouverymuch. He’s the leader of the free world, not the guy who flips burgers or washes my car, and I think radiating some confidence and gravitas is not only appropriate but necessary. If that intimidates people’s lack of self-esteem or hits their “You think you’re bettern’ me!” resentment trigger, well, tough–because dammit, I LIKE having a President who talks like an intelligent person. I don’t cringe anymore when I turn on the TV and hear a Presidential address. Instead, I feel pride that this time the voters got it right and chose a leader who doesn’t make me feel embarrassed to be American.

    1. This is all true of course: it is sill to compare them. I remember that series of interviews Jacquie did with Arthur Schlesinger just after Jack’s death where she says she would consult Jack to know what to say about the issues of the day. A different time all right.

      I still love Obama when he speaks to smaller crowds; there’s just a pose he strikes with his chin way up that I don’t think does him any favors; also he sounds didactic sometimes.

      I hear that last sentence allright.

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