Posted by Damozel | Obama's had a little trouble getting into blue collar mode in Pennsylvania. I admit that some perverse part of me---staunch Hillary supporter that I am---finds all this rather endearing. Weary, evidently, of bashing only Hillary, Maureen Dowd writes:
His strenuous and inadvertently hilarious efforts to woo working-class folk in Pennsylvania have only made him seem more effete. Keeping his tie firmly in place, he genteelly sipped his pint of Yuengling beer at Sharky’s sports cafe in Latrobe and bowled badly in Altoona. Challenging Obama to a bowl-off, Hillary kindly offered to “spot him two frames.” (NYT)
Bless his heart; he's trying, isn't he? After all, he did ask for beer, not vintage champagne. For his pains, Dowd calls him 'effete' and 'languid'; Hillary, on the other hand, is 'gritty' and 'a scrappy blue-collar mama.'
But if Dowd or anyone else expects me to join in bashing Obama for not being more of a posturing macho cowboy, they are in for a disappointment. I've had eight years of Bush's 'sturdy son of the soil' pose. I will never know why Americans think there is shame in having what I will call 'cosmopolitan' tastes and an educated palate or why that is somehow supposed to make a man effete.
Dowd does allow that Obama has learned from Hillary the value of courting the ladies.
Hillary has clearly raised Obama’s consciousness about the importance of courting the ladies. Touring a manufacturing plant in Allentown, Pa., Tuesday, he was flirtatious, winking and grinning at the women working there, calling one “Sweetie,” telling another she was “beautiful,” and imitating his daughters’ dance moves by twirling around.
Later, at a Scranton town hall, he went up to Denise Mercuri, a pharmacist from Dunmore wearing a Hillary button. “What do I need to do? Do you want me on my knees?” he charmed, before promising: “I’ll give you a kiss.”(NYT)
Really? I admit I might switch sides for a kiss from the attractive and charismatic Obama for the duration of the kiss. If he called me 'sweetie' along with it, I might even last 24 hours. I am deeply shallow and he is madly attractive. But then I would switch back again to get a kiss from Bill Clinton or a asmile from Hillary. I'm like that. Obama better watch it, though. Not all women have my tolerance for smarmy acts of charm.
At the Wilbur chocolate shop in Lititz Monday, he spent most of his time skittering away from chocolate goodies, as though he were a starlet obsessing on a svelte waistline.
“Oh, now,” the woman managing the shop told him with a frown, “you don’t worry about calories in a chocolate factory.”
The Times’s Michael Powell reports that, after watching five plump, white-haired women in plastic hairnets spin the chocolate into such confections as “Phantom of the Opera” masks and pink high heels, he ventured: “Do you actually eat the chocolate or do you get sick of it?” They giggled at his silliness.
He looked even more concerned when he was offered a chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting. “Oh, man.” he said. “That’s too decadent for me.”(NYT)”
I actually thought it was sort of adorable when, after being pushed past his patience for a photo op, he rather pettishly said he'd do it: "but I won't be smiling!" How much can the guy who was bugging him for the photo get for it on e-bay with that little anecdote to back it?
I'm not going soft on him or anything; I just always feel compassion---and empathy for---a fish out of water. It's the way I feel all the time.