Hard-hitting LA Times piece: Obama date night a "fascination and inspiration"

Three jets to ferry all necessary personnel from D.C. to NYC: $24,000. Security detail and associated expenditures, like NYPD protection: Tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more. “Fascination and inspiration”: Priceless.

The good news? Jon Stewart’s got some new material for Monday.

Our parents did some version of it, cards and cocktails with the neighbors, but our generation had to elevate it to a term of art. And now the impossibly elegant Obamas — he was sleek and tie-less, she wore black — have only raised the bar with a third date night since Inauguration Day.

They flew to Kennedy Airport in a mini Air Force One, (who knew it came in mini?) coptered into Manhattan, ate organic in a chic Greenwich Village restaurant (known to elicit “ecstatic whispering about the quality of summer peas”) and saw a play that didn’t even have any show tunes…

If all this blather about one Saturday night feels like last-week’s jelly doughnuts when everyone else has moved on to Obama’s speech to the world’s Muslims, then why were the tabloids still honking about “President Obama and Michelle’s Picture Perfect Marriage” even as he was en route to Saudi Arabia?…

Seeing the First Couple out once in awhile, holding hands, just might be something for us to aspire to: a table set for two, sport coat, high heels, a real conversation.

Note that this swill, replete with cooing over the progressively chichi organic place they ate at, is filed under “National News.” The goofiest part, I think, isn’t the mindless fawning, it’s the self-deception about what it is they’re fawning over. Supposedly it’s a story about romance but it’s really a story about class, not unlike when world media slobbered over the “storybook” wedding pageantry of Charles and Diana that produced a marriage that wasn’t so storybook. It’s the grandiosity of the gesture, not the gesture itself, that’s captivating. As for that picture perfect marriage, if you believe Olby crony Richard Wolffe, they have something in common with Charles and Di there too. Ah well. Viva elegance!