Following a nine-day, eight-country tour that carried the ambition and stagecraft of a presidential state visit, Obama has found himself in an unusual position: the butt of jokes.
Jon Stewart teased that the presumptive Democratic nominee traveled to Israel to visit his birthplace at Bethlehem’s Manger Square. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd amplified the McCain campaign’s private nickname for Obama (“The One”).
And the snickers about Obama’s perceived smugness may have a very real political impact as McCain’s camp launched its most forceful effort yet to define him negatively. It released a TV ad Wednesday describing Obama as the “biggest celebrity in the world,” comparable to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, stars who are famous for attitude rather than accomplishments.
The harsher treatment from comedians and columnists — coupled with the shift by McCain from attacking on policy to character issues — underscores the fine line that Obama is walking between confident and cocky. Once at pains to present himself as presidential, Obama now faces criticism for doing it too well.
“I was puzzled by this notion that somehow what we were doing was in any way different from what Sen. McCain or a lot of presidential candidates have done in the past,” Obama said Sunday, speaking about his trip at a conference of minority journalists. “Now, I admit we did it really well. But that shouldn’t be a strike against me.”
1. Jon Stewart has been calling President Bush everything but Chimpy McFuckstick for at least five years now, yet we do not have a trend story currently illustrating that the President is, in fact, a lower primate who wields a stick for fucking with.
2. Maureen Dowd is an idiot, and is a bellwether only for other bellwethers, which is to say, she has no problems you could pay me to care about.
3. Oh myfucking GOD. Look. I am not in the mood for this. It’s hot and humid. I am incapable of bullshit right now. How many of you out there would like a president who has trouble finding his own ass without a map, who trips over the names of foreign dignitaries and is met the world over with every sign of creative rage and derision absentan actual Longcat? I’m serious, how many want somebody who sucks at the meager qualification of “seeming presidential?” How many want someone who seems kind of tentative about the job, who’s embarrassed by his own skills, and would like to crawl in a hole and die for having the eternal effrontery to ask for you votes? How many of you want a president like that? Raise your hands.
Okay, you, you’re in the wrong room. McCain campaign is thataway.