Framing the Dialogue

What About Barack?

Recent events triggered the memory of a quaint movie starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss titled What About Bob.  In this 1991 comedy, a dependent, neurotic, and manipulative patient, played by Bill Murray, shows up at his doctor’s vacation and ingratiates himself with the family.  The Dr. Leo Marvin, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is frustrated by the incessant intrusions.  At one point in the movie Dreyfuss screams as Bob again intrudes into his family life:

“You think he’s gone.  He’s not gone.  That’s the whole point.  He’s never gone!”

I was feeling like Dr. Marvin over the past week and in particular yesterday as I watched the NCAA Basketball tournament.  I could not seem to get away from Barack.  It seemed like every commercial was Barack, Barack, Barack.  I did not freak out like Dr. Marvin, but I started to think about how our President seems to be everywhere, all the time, everyday.  We never get a break from him.

“You think he’s gone.  He’s not gone.  That’s the whole point.  He’s never gone!”

What has President Obama got against the White House?  He never seems to be there.  He has been in office for two months and here are some of the highlights of his traveling show:

February 7, 2009 – Just two weeks after taking the oath, Obama leaves for a retreat to Camp David.  White House press secretary described President Obama as restless.  I would prefer that he be hard working and maybe a leader or maybe even the “decider.”

February 9, 2009 – Elkhart, Indiana to stump for his stimulus package.  Some might question why he was not in Washington negotiating/writing the legislation.

February 10, 2009 – Fort Myers, Florida to again schlep his stimulus plan.  Here is an interesting quote from the White House:

“White House officials said one reason for the president to break free of the Washington debate and sell his economic plan among the people it is designed to help.  The other is for the president simply to get away from the White House, the gated address that has quickly become his office and his family’s home since Jan. 20th.”

February 12, 2009 – Springfield, Illinois to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

February 17, 2009 – President Barack Obama signs the hard fought and “emergency” stimulus legislation in Denver, Colorado.  It was interesting timing that the stimulus had to be passed on a special session on a Saturday afternoon after the House of Representatives had less than 12 hours to read the more than 1,000 page bill.

The bill was such an emergency that President Obama left Washington for a family vacation before signing the bill three days after its emergency passage.  Did I mention that it was emergency legislation?

February 19, 2009 – President travels to Canada to meet with the Canadian Prime Minister.  It was not mentioned whether they discussed Obama’s earlier comments about dumping NAFTA.  In the interest of full disclosure, his spokesperson admitted to Canadien authorities that it was just “campaign rhetoric.”

March 3, 2009 – The Obamas snub and insult Great Britain’s Gordon Brown and his wife.  While it is true that he was in Washington at the time, it would have been better had he been out of town.  Read what the British press are reporting.

March 17, 2009ESPN appearance to fill out his picks for the NCAA tournament.  In his defense this was taped at the White House.  It is interesting how the media fawns over these media events.  Remember how President Bush was excoriated on September 11, 2001 when he finished reading to students even after he was advised of the first reports of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center. 

While lives are not being lost, Obama has repeatedly described our economy as being in “crisis.”  I wonder how he justifies his fiddling while Wall Street burns (that’s a reference to Emperor Nero playing the fiddle while Rome was burning – cutting edge commentary at Framing the Dialogue). 

Obama also had to be in Washington to “repay” Pittsburgh Steelers owner/president for his support during the campaign.  This photograph embittered many Pittsburgh Steelers fans as they felt that politicizing the sports team was sacrilegious.  It should be noted that Dan Rooney seems to be a great pick to be ambassador to Ireland.  It is unfortunate that the appointment is tainted by the politics that appears to be pay-to-play.

March 19, 2009 – Appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Jay Leno probably asked tougher questions than any reporter that has interviewed President Obama.  Here are some of Leno’s questions:

“Let me ask you this. Now, I heard them say, well, one of the problems is it’s contractual and if we don’t pay these bonuses, well, they can sue us. All the time people say, so sue me.”

“Well, here’s something that kind of scared me. Today they passed this thing that says we’re going to tax 90 percent of these bonuses. And the part that scares me is, I mean, you’re a good guy — if the government decides they don’t like a guy, all of a sudden, hey, we’re going to tax you and then, boom, and it passes. I mean, that seems a little scary as a taxpayer”

“I just read today about Merrill Lynch. They handed out $3.6 billion — it’s not even million anymore, it’s billions in bonuses. I know it would make me feel good — shouldn’t somebody go to jail? I say that because I watch those people in New York, even people who had lost everything — when Bernard Madoff went to jail, at least they felt they got something.”

“Yes — because when I was a kid, we would — banks or credit cards would lend you money so you would pay it back. Now they lend you money so you can’t pay it back. It’s like we were talking before, I mentioned we all saw A Wonderful Life — Mr. Potter, the meanest man — remember he owned the whole town? You know what he charged on a mortgage? Two percent.”

“Well, when will the money — this money was given out to the banks. I would have thought by this time it would have sort of trickled down to Main Street, to people wanting to get loans — I mean, it all went out there months and months ago. Where is it?”

Read the whole transcript.  Mr. Leno, a trained stand-up comedian outshined any of the “journalists” with his insightful and pointed questions.

The new media spent more time on his gaffe when he compared his poor bowling skills to participants in the Special Olympics.  Wow. 

March 20, 2009 – Taped his 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft.  While it did not air until the 23rd, it was taped within his first two months.  At one point in the interview, President Obama seemed to forget that 60 Minutes is supposed to be a serious news magazine.   Here is the exchange:

“You’re sitting here. And you’re- you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he’s sitting there just making jokes about money-‘ How do you deal with- I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asked at one point.

“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft said.

Maybe Barack Obama thought he was on The Daily Show.

I am not sure if this is a complete list and this list does not include the myriad of speeches and statements and news conferences that he has held.  I have a case of Obama Saturation.

You think he’s gone.  He’s not gone.  That’s the whole point.  He’s never gone!”

3 CommentsLeave one

  1. A Frog As A Metaphor - Framing the Dialogue says:

    […] Perhaps our only hope for true hope and change is when the huddled, MSM-viewing masses figure out the charade.  There is some evidence that tides are turning as Obama’s approval ratings are dropping.  Maybe they are just getting tired of seeing him ALL OF THE TIME! […]

  2. 1984 - Framing the Dialogue says:

    […] to enforce the rules.  I know that it might be difficult, but try to imagine a society where the leader’s image was everywhere all of the time.  Every time you picked up a paper, turned on the radio or television, there he was over and over […]

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