Obama sets tone for election with joke about Romney’s stiffness
posted at 10:41 am on April 5, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
Election Day 2012 is seven months from tomorrow, but it is going to be long seven months judging from the tone the president is setting. On Monday, he threw the first punch in another “fight he is willing to have,” calling out the Supreme Court for daring to consider overturning his signature health care legislation.
On Tuesday, he extended his sneer campaign, cracking wise over the admittedly peculiar use of the word marvelous by presumptive GOP candidate Mitt Romney to describe the budget proposal drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan.
The occasion was an Associated Press luncheon, meaning Obama was among friends. His comedic dig comes at the 2:29 mark in this video. After commenting that marvelous “isn’t a word you often hear when it comes to describing a budget” and receiving a supportive cackle from the audience, the comedian-in-chief brought down the house with this knee-slapper: “It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.”
The joke was meant to portray Romney as stiff and out of touch. This perception of the former Massachusetts governor is not unique to the president or even the Democratic party. It is widely held, fostered in part by the candidate’s own stumbles on the campaign trail. His ill-chosen remark about not being “concerned about the very poor” has already been stripped of its context and featured in Obama campaign ads. With nominee status all but conferred on Romney, his handlers will now need to go into overdrive in working to overcome this image.
Having said this, let’s go back to the president’s one-liner on Tuesday. It now seems obvious that Obama was absent from law school the day they taught Marbury v. Madison, but has he also never heard the old saw about people who live in glass houses? Here is perhaps the most dour and humorless man ever to sit in the Oval Office taking shots at another person’s rigidity!
But I’ve saved the best for last. The real proof is in the pudding. Here is Obama on three separate occasion (ht/ Dylan Byers at Politico):
I think [Michelle Obama] is somebody who they can identify with because she’s had to balance a lot of different issues. So she’s doing a marvelous job. I’m very, very proud of her. —President Obama, July 5, 2009. [Emphasis added]
Indeed, our marvelous surroundings today, just steps from where Chile lost its democracy decades ago, is a testament to Chile’s progress and its undying democratic spirit. —President Obama, March 21, 2011. [Emphasis added]
It is right for us to celebrate Dr. King’s marvelous oratory, but it is worth remembering that progress did not come from words alone. —President Obama, October 16, 2011. [Emphasis added]
Another saying Obama might want to familiarize himself with is “He who laughs last, laughs best.”
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