As a lighthearted Friday afternoon post that will nevertheless get your blood boiling, it seems that it is never wise to underestimate the levels of sycophancy to which the familiar cast of fawning Obama adorers are susceptible.
Politico revealed on Friday that a new “romantic dramedy” is in the works, and it will focus exclusively on Barack Obama’s first date with his Michelle Obama in 1989. For the cast of Hollywood idolaters whose infatuation with the president extends well beyond the elected office he occupies, this is apparently seen as a great idea. Surely it will find an audience with those who are emotionally invested in the president and his administration.
“Southside With You,” a movie documenting the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama in 1989, has cast its main characters.
Parker Sawyers will play a young Obama as he tries to woo a young lawyer named Michelle Robinson—played by Tika Sumpter—on a rendezvous to the Art Institute of Chicago, a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and a drink on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building.
“I was sold,” Michelle Obama said of the date in Peter Slevin’s recent autobiography “Michelle Obama: A Life.”
Watching the returns come in from the U.K. last night, it strikes me that there is something to be said for the British parliamentary system insofar as the highest office one can hope to attain is only that of a member of the House of Commons. Save for the fact that the British Isles remains a constitutional monarchy and the country’s head of state is a queen who enjoys a divine mandate, one could make the case that the British system is admirably republican.
Contrast this with the increasingly monarchical American presidential system, and the comparison is a stark one. In the United States, the rungs upon which a political figure can step on his or her way up the political ladder are myriad. From the mayor of a large metropolitan city, to the governor of a state, to the President of the United States; the trappings of power and authority are available to an increasing number of political aspirants.
That is not to say that the British system doesn’t have its faults. It most certainly does. But there is and always has been a nasty vestigial feature of the American character that longs for a monarch; a desire in the British character perhaps sated by the existence of one. In the 20th Century, that hole has been filled by Democratic presidents. From the Kennedys to the Obamas, those who manufacture the products of American popular culture have had a bizarre enchantment with the private lives of first families.
By distinction, the only aspect of the family lives of Republican presidents that interest filmmakers is their peculiarities. Think Nancy Reagan’s interest in necromancy or George W. Bush’s religiosity or struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. It’s hard to imagine a gauzy portrait of these former Republican presidents crafted by an unabashed admirer in Hollywood, much less such a project being greenlit, funded, and produced.
Nor would you be particularly interested in seeing such an obsequious display of fealty to an elected official. To craft a cult of personality around the personal life of a political professional should and usually does offend the taste of many conservatives. That’s a honorable character trait apparently not shared by their liberal counterparts.