November 10, 2014

"When I watched Romney, I thought: that's probably what I'd be like if I ran for president."

"I'd be stilted and awkward and overly calculating. Probably most people I know would be. Most normal people would be uncomfortable as national politicians. Very few people would be as cool and effortless as Obama."

Says my son John, who's 33, in what was an IM'd dialogue with Alex Knepper, who's 24. The conversation took place "a few weeks ago," so it doesn't reflect the 2014 election.

55 comments:

tim in vermont said...

More like, you wouldn't get the fawning press coverage and massive benefit of the doubt that Obama got.

Original Mike said...

"Very few people would be as cool and effortless as Obama."

Few people have what it takes to be a con man.

Gahrie said...

Obama was great at getting elected, but shitty in governing. Mitt was shitty in getting elected, but would have been great in governing.

Unfortunately, the LIVs are only interested in packaging.

rehajm said...

Gahrie for the win!

Mark O said...

Acting and being cool and effortless is much easier when there is no worry about telling the truth or being caught in those lies.

tim in vermont said...

Now was supposed to be the time when we all marched down Main Street playing Seventy Six Trombones after fixing all of the nation's problems on the "Think System"

Ask any librarian. The only problem with Obama's plan is that the world is not really a musical comedy.

jacksonjay said...

As we say in Texas, "All hat and no cattle."

Henry said...

That reminds me of a statement I once read about Regis Philbin, that what made this totally unremarkable celebrity remarkable was his total ease in front of a camera.

Fernandinande said...

cool and effortless

Thanks to the psychopathy.

bgates said...

"Effortless". He really makes going to ball games and playing golf look easy, doesn't he?

Chuck said...

This could be a separate Althouse blog post; . Who in our lives was the best President we never had? Some might say McGovern over the second term Nixon. Some might say Gerald Ford over Carter, although Ford was indeed a President. Adlai Stevenson? Nah.

I'm not the biggest John McCain fan, and I'm not so sure about where the country would be with a President McCain, and with Meghan McCain as First Daughter. (Although idiot kids never slowed down Reagan.)

I think there is an excellent case to be made that Mitt Romney is the Best President We Didn't Get.

rhhardin said...

I should run for President.

The entire campaign could be waged in comment threads.

No TV.

All business after I'm elected would be conducted in comment threads, as well.

Meade said...

As we say in Texas, "All hat and no cattle."

As we say in Wisconsin, "All farm cap, no dairy barn."

Curious George said...

"Very few people would be as cool and effortless as Obama."

As long as the prompter's on. Free wheelin' it, not so cool.

Meade said...

"I think there is an excellent case to be made that Mitt Romney is the Best President We Didn't Get."

The Only Best President We Didn't Get But Still Could Have.

Meade said...

rhhardin said...
I should run for President.
The entire campaign could be waged in comment threads.
No TV.
All business after I'm elected would be conducted in comment threads, as well.


"the power to [delete] involves the power to destroy,"

Ann Althouse said...

"All hat and no cattle."

It’s disheartening that hats are often considered more substantial than the men who wear them – as if men are an afterthought compared to their haberdashery.

Original Mike said...

"As we say in Wisconsin, 'All farm cap, no dairy barn.'"

You're not from around here, are you?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
"All hat and no cattle."

"It’s disheartening that hats are often considered more substantial than the men who wear them – as if men are an afterthought compared to their haberdashery."

As we say in Washington "Obama has no haberdashery..."

sean said...

Wow, do most people find Obama cool and effortless? I find his false folksiness (e.g., the use the word "folks," the dropped g's) annoying, since I know it's an act. I felt the same about the first George Bush and his pork rinds.

The politicians I have thought genuine in my life are Bill Clinton, who made it clear that he combined high intelligence with vulgar tastes, and Ronald Reagan, who made it clear that he combined popular values with a taste for elegance. Reagan's mix is closer to my own nature, but both were genuine in their own ways.

Balfegor said...

Re: Achilles:

As we say in Washington "Obama has no haberdashery..."

Sure he has. At least two, in fact. If we take "haberdashery" to mean hats, which I guess it does nowadays.

Michael K said...

"Few people have what it takes to be a con man."

Bingo !

Romney was only the guy who had made millions rescuing failing companies. What could he know ?

dwick said...

Cool and effortless?
Only as long as he's reading from a teleprompter. uh... John evidently hasn't uh... listened to many of Obama's eh... press conferences and uh... off-the-cuff remarks. Obama obviously skipped out on those Toastmasters classes so he could either campaign or play golf.

I heard him again just last night making his first remarks from Asia. I felt like Madison Bumgarner listening to the ChevyGuy painfully stammering through a few sentences awarding the World Series MVP trophy a couple weeks back. "...blah blah uh - blah... democracy and stuff."

n.n said...

Without a burdensome conscience, it's easy to maintain a cool and effortless persona. All that is required is the proper planning and a suitable "john" to flush emotional baggage.

tim in vermont said...

"no haberdashery"?

I thought his creased pants qualified him for the office.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Obama is cool? LOL! Yeah, he's the Fonz! Only the biggest geeks would consider a snide dork like Obama cool. The chickenshit chump couldn't even keep his cool when some nobody at a polling place warned him not to touch his girlfriend. The president got all mad and flustered and started muttering like a sullen punk. LMAO! Obama is Urkel minus the sense of humor. But effortless, yes. As in, skipping school and blowing off your job to go golfing, effortless. As in, not giving an effort, effortless. Yeah, he's that kind of effortless. But Aaay, he's the Fonz!

Freeman Hunt said...

Running for President means making corny speeches and hours of small talk everyday for at least a year. It also means people paying attention to you all the time during the same period. If you win, that period is extended by four years. Also if you win, you spend four years surrounded at all times by the political class, journalists, and sycophants but perhaps I repeat myself.

Horrible.

I'm amazed that they find people willing to do it.

Meade said...

Original Mike said...
"As we say in Wisconsin, 'All farm cap, no dairy barn.'"

You're not from around here, are you?

You mean we DON'T say that?

Original Mike said...

No, we don't.

Try this instead: "The Bears still suck"
You'll fit right in.

Meade said...

"I'm amazed that they find people willing to do it."

Ironically, it's your amazement that is one of things that uniquely qualifies you for the job, Freems.

- Meade, chairman of the Free People for Freeman for President 2040

Meade said...

I'm printing up the bumper stickers as I type:
Freeman Hunt: The Greatest President We Haven't Had Yet

Meade said...

@Original Mike: that sounds more like Rand Paul than Scott Walker. Go Packers is Scott Walker.

Original Mike said...

Scott Walker got it wrong. It's not "Go Packers". It's "Go Pack Go". Everybody knows that. I'm sure Walker knows it too, but chose to dumb it down for the rest of the country.

Meade said...

Yeah, well, it's morning again in Wisconsin.

Old chant (when you just want them to, you know, go): Go Pack Go.

New chant (when you want them to politely destroy Chicago): Go Packers.

Original Mike said...

We don't want to politely destroy Chicago. We want to crush them, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Meade said...

Hey easy there, Lambeau. We still might want their women's votes in 2016.

Original Mike said...

Chicago women's votes? That ship sailed a long time ago.

Freeman Hunt said...

Let's see. If I ran in 2040, I'd have your vote, Meade, probably the vote of Walter. E. Williams if he's not dead, and the votes of my best friends, loyalty being what it is. I don't want to commit my vote without knowing who is running against me, so that's five votes. I think the other guy will have at least six votes, so it looks like we're going to lose. I'm sorry. It has been an honor to have been your candidate for the previous forty-five seconds.

Original Mike said...

You have my vote, Freeman. I'll even vote twice.

Anonymous said...

Also if you win, you almost certainly have to give the orders to kill people...

so there's that.

Unknown said...

I'd have said "All kegerator, no beer."

averagejoe said...

Oy, people are still asserting that Obama is "cool". The same ones who contend that he has a "first class temperament" I suppose, and insist on repeating the lie that he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. But hey, at least they were right about the world loving America again if we elected Hussein president. And that happened, right? Because there's at least one country we have improved relations with since Bush left office, right? ...Yeah, didn't think so...

MaxedOutMama said...

But didn't we (the voters) generally LIKE Obama's verbal Cool?

I don't mean to be mean, but his presidential predecessor was not a verbal guy. Both Bushes were sort of in the Special Olympics class when it came to presidential gab, and the second was worse than the first. I think most people were ATTRACTED by Obama's rhetorical abilities.

Maybe the natural reversion will make voters value coherence more than glibness in the next cycle, but at the time I remember admiring Obama for his verbal ability.

MaxedOutMama said...

Freeman Hunt - if you promise to leave my uterus out of it, count me in.

Robert Cook said...

Who says--or thinks--anyone who wants to be President is normal?

By definition, they're not!

Robert Cook said...

"Wow, do most people find Obama cool and effortless? I find his false folksiness (e.g., the use the word "folks," the dropped g's) annoying, since I know it's an act. I felt the same about the first George Bush and his pork rinds."

I agree, but I include G.W. Bush: they all are/were stiff and fake in their public personas.

"The politicians I have thought genuine in my life are Bill Clinton, who made it clear that he combined high intelligence with vulgar tastes, and Ronald Reagan, who made it clear that he combined popular values with a taste for elegance. Reagan's mix is closer to my own nature, but both were genuine in their own ways."

I disagree; Clinton and Reagan were also both fakes...they were just more skilled at their pretenses to being "genuine." (Reagan was an actor, for pete's sake.)

DavidD said...

It's easy to be "cool and effortless" when you're a blank slate just waiting for others to project their expectations on you; it's amazing, really, that our mainstream media--I know, right?--didn't call him out on this.

I mean, it's political Nirvana to be seen as a blank slate--but to tell the rubes that you're happy they see you as a blank slate, to let the rubes see the little man behind the Great Oz's curtain, now that's just ridiculous.

n.n said...

Obama's teleprompter was widely admired for its cool and effortless presentation.

BrianE said...

I disagree; Clinton and Reagan were also both fakes...they were just more skilled at their pretenses to being "genuine." (Reagan was an actor, for pete's sake.)- Robert Cook

I'm curious how you know that.

And if a person acts differently in public situations, say in the workplace, that he does in private, does that make the person a fake?

Doug said...


It’s disheartening that hats are often considered more substantial than the men who wear them – as if men are an afterthought compared to their haberdashery.

I can't believe someone as otherwise smart and discerning as you hasn't figured out what that saying implies.

Meade said...

Freeman Hunt said...
"I'm sorry. It has been an honor to have been your candidate for the previous forty-five seconds."

Alright, Freems. I respect your decision. All best wishes and thank you for your service.

- Meade, chairman of the Free People for rhhardin for President 2016

Anonymous said...

I'll be the Vice-President for any candidate that wants me. Unless they are a Nazi. I would never be the Vice-President for a Nazi. Attorney General, maybe. I want to keep my options open.

Quaestor said...

It’s disheartening that hats are often considered more substantial than the men who wear them – as if men are an afterthought compared to their haberdashery.

How about all tits and no interesting personality?

Quaestor said...

pssst, Doug... it was a joke.

Carnifex said...

It speaks well of your son not being a psychopathic liar like the HNIC.