I was reading an article by Eve Fairbanks in "Politics Magazine" about authenticity. It was an interesting article from a writer who I have a fair amount of respect for. Ms. Fairbanks took issue with A-merry-cans and their insatiable appetite for an authentic President.
Fairbanks takes aim at the three main players in this primary season's run for the Presidency. She calls out Hillary Clinton for making millions of dollars in the past few years, and yet casting herself as a woman of the people. A regular blue collar girl. To her millions of followers, that made her authentic, and to the A-merry-can voter, that made her more than electable.
John McCain is seen as authentic because he can't "control his mouth", and the whole independent maverick thing is a label that was given to him by a fawning press, led by writers such as E.J. Dionne, who were spurred on by the "straight talk express" dog and pony show.
So because of this love of authenticity by the A-merry-can electorate, the "O" man had a problem. Because, unlike Hillary and McCain, he was not seen as authentic. Too "chilly", too "polished", and his speeches were too "egg-heady" (hey, those were her words, not mine). Fairbanks suggested at the time, that Obama could not compete with Hillary's "blue collar" persona, or John McCain's "loud mouth" authenticity; so he was starting behind the eight ball from the get go.
Now Obamaholics will tell you that their man was and is the most authentic, and Fairbanks acknowledges this in her piece. She says that Obamaholics claim their man is the most authentic because he is the most cool, polished, and the most at ease in his skin. But careful Obamaholics, the frat boy was seen by many A-merry-cans as the most at ease in his skin, and the most cool. And of course you all see where that got us. I mean why should we trade competence for authenticity? Still, that seems to be what the A-mery-can electorate craves; authenticity over all else. They loved that Reagan didn't they? They thought he was a real cowboy, when in truth, he was nothing but a damn second rate actor, and one of the worse Presidents, ever. Right up there with the frat boy. Why the "O" man is trying to go back to that, I will never know.
Yes folks, even your beloved "O" man is trying to seem authentic. He is trying to become more patriotic (somehow A-merry-cans associate being patriotic with being authentic), more down to earth, more middle A-merry-ca, more...well, authentic. He is trying to get elected by seeming authentic to folks who value such things, and cool and comfortable to the Obamaholics. It's a tough trick, but if anybody can pull it off, I think he can.
Still, I don't know. The very thought of an authentic politician just doesn't sit right with me. That's kind of like a whore calling herself shy, don't you think? In this day an age most politicians seem to have the ability to lie to their opponents, their supporters, and most of all, to themselves. Because politics is totally antithetical to authenticity, yet A-merry-cans try to connect the two.
Authenticity, I guess, is like beauty, it's in the eyes of the beholder. And right about now the "O" man and Mr. Morton are hoping that A-merry-cans will look at them and see their soul mate.
With the "O" man, of course, that will be literal.