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Are you President and First Lady? Or Are You Rock Stars?

My 100 Day Assessment.

I am so proud of President and First Lady Obama. I absolutely LOVE them. I can’t think of a better couple to represent everything good about black people and America.

First Lady Michelle Obama is my hero. She shows how an educated woman can be strong, accomplished, and still be appreciated and loved by her man for her strength and just being who she is. And the fact that she is more chocolate than vanilla makes me beam with pride!

President Obama shows how even the unlikeliest of men can be president. A black man born to a white woman. A black man stereotypically raised without ever really knowing his father. A black man with a name that, post 911, almost sounds anti-American. But he did it. He harnessed America’s desire for a change, a new day. And here we are, celebrating his first 100 days in office.

Donna Brazile gave a comprehensive assessment of President Obama’s first 100 days in office. She gave President Obama a B+ on the stimulus plan. On the 2010 fiscal budget that will create jobs with investments in education, health care, and clean energy while cutting taxes for middle-class families, she gave him an A-. Finally, for handling of national security, foreign affairs and our image abroad, she graded our president an A+. I am in compete agreement Brazile's assessment. She is one of the sharpest political minds America has and I am proud to claim her as a sista’. But to further her assessment, I add a category called public exposure. For that, I give President Obama a D+.

What is my public exposure category? Public exposure accounts for how much non-political exposure the president gets. And in my opinion, he has been getting entirely too much.
When was the last time you have walked into a store and did not see President or First Lady Obama on the cover of some magazine? I know they are the new ‘it’ couple, and rightfully so, but my concern is that all of these interviews they are granting will hurt them in the long run.

I understand that “everything Obama” sells. This is reminiscent of the Bee Gee’s craze of the 70’s; Michael Jackson of the 80’s; Madonna of the 90’s; Beyonce’ of the new millennium. But the Bee Gee’s, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Beyonce’ are rock stars. That is their job. They don’t do anything else, really. But President Obama has a real job; a serious one at that. And being on somebody’s cover every week diminishes the respect of his position.

Here is a list of magazine covers the Obama’s have graced and/or interviews they have given: Men’s Vogue, US Weekly, Essence, People, Ebony, Time, Vibe, GQ, Newsweek, Jet, Rolling Stone, Women’s Weekly, Wired, Life, O Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Vanity Fair, and tons more than I can possibly name. Now, with this month’s issue of Essence, they are dragging Mother Robinson into this thing. Mrs. Robinson, please don’t fall prey… don’t get bitten by the rock star bug!

I know the Obama’s can’t control the magazines that run their image without their consent. But they give an awful lot of interviews with their consent. Is that what we really want from an American President? A rock star- like following? I personally prefer my president to be a president and not a music-less Michael Jackson.

And remember President Obama’s appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno? The only thing that came out of that was the gaffe he made about the Special Olympics. Keep in mind that it is the objective of those shows to get you to relax, let your guard down, and talk freely. President Obama did that and see what happened? Is there really prestige around being the first sitting president to appear on a late night talk show? I think not. I think there are some firsts that President Obama should not aspire to be.

Donna Brazile said, “Considering that he still has 1,360 days to go, I'm fastening my seatbelt. It will be a bumpy ride. But I will thoroughly enjoy watching Obama's journey of restoration and revival. Our 44th president may not be perfect, but he's in the game, scoring wins for America while the opposition still figures out how to play.”

With the coming and going of President Obama’s first 100 days, what would I like to see from him in the next 100 days? Actually, I’d like to see less on him… on the magazine racks, that is! Edit

1 comment

I'm actually happy that Obama is getting a lot of print coverage. First, it cements his popularity. Second, it allows him to control his image. And third, it brings some reminisce of balanced media coverage. I listen to talk radio a lot and I'm addicted to the cable news channels and political satire shows. And what I’m hearing from the right are constant attacks, misinformation, and outright lies about Obama. Even when a legitimate critique of Obama surfaces, it's drowned out by demented reasoning and vitriol which immediately compromises the commentator's credibility. Delete Reply

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