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ACTUALLY, THERE IS a third theme: cliche race jokes. Indeed, the man who is supposed to be above that sort of thing not only goes there, he goes there with some frequency.
At a South Carolina Democratic debate, Obama declined to state whether Bill Clinton had qualified as, in Toni Morrison’s words, “the first black president” because “I would have to investigate more Bill’s dancing abilities, you know, some of this other stuff before I accurately judged whether he was in fact a ‘brother.’”
Or at an event in Atlanta he told a young, mostly black crowd “You can’t find a job unless you are a really, really good basketball player. Which most of you brothers are not. I know you think you are. But you’re not.
“You are overrated in your own mind. You will not play in the NBA. You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Little Wayne, but probably not. In which case you need to stay in school.”
Most of his attempts at humor are mixed with “I’m Great” jokes. The Emmitt Smith joke came with a reference to Obama’s popular talk show appearance in which he shimmied with Ellen DeGeneres. (The public swooned at his stiff dancing, because at least it wasn’t as stiff as Al Gore or John Kerry.) The go-to-school joke only works because you wouldn’t expect the Senator Barack Obama to name check “Lil Wayne.”
Slate’s Chris Beam observed that Obama actually “laughs at his own jokes, a staccato ‘heh’ that sounds naked when spoken into a mic in a large auditorium.” He’s laughing at us.
J. Peter Freire is managing editor of The American Spectator and a 2008 Phillips Fellow.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online