May 24, 2008

Obama "looks like his own Secret Service agent."

"So cool."

You never see Hillary Clinton or John McCain or any other presidential candidate wearing sunglasses. Or.... wait... did Bill Clinton wear sunglasses when he played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show?

Did you remember it right? Even without sunglasses though, Bill Clinton was projecting coolness. He was the last Democrat to win the presidency, so... maybe coolness is required. Maybe being a Southern governor is required. We shall see. Maybe it's coolness that works for the Democratic candidate. UPDATE: In the comments, Pissed Off Hillbilly: "Clinton played 2 songs that night. He wore sunglasses on the second one, Heartbreak Hotel." Ah! So that wasn't the embellishment of memory. And maybe we can catch somebody else in sunglasses: More? Maybe they are Transitions lenses.

18 comments:

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

Clinton played 2 songs that night. He wore sunglasses on the second one, Heartbreak Hotel.

George said...

I've seen enough 'cool' idols flitter by to know that many need Dr. Feelgood to create the illusion.

Was JFK 'cool'? Or was he was sniveling wreck after his summit with Khrushchev?

Look at the bowdlerized JFK quotes in yesterday's NYT op-ed—“He just beat the hell out of me. I’ve got a terrible problem if he thinks I’m inexperienced and have no guts. Until we remove those ideas we won’t get anywhere with him.” Now look at the unexpurgated description (and quotes). Time's James Reston describes the leader of the free world having a nervous barackdown. He's sprawled on a sofa, hat over his face. "distraught," "rambling" "for several minutes" "moaning" that the Soviet leader "Probably thinks I'm stupid."

That's the real JFK—a wretch, a junkie.

So much for manufactured 'cool.'

Obama's reputation as a legislator is someone who avoids casting difficult votes, who has had pre-existing bills dropped in his lap (in Illinois) to make him look good, and who, unlike McCain, never negotiated with the other side. If he can't go at it hammer and tong with the GOP, what's he going to do with Iran? Strike a pose?

rhhardin said...

It's the Ray-Ban effect. The natives start imitating Americans they admire.

peter hoh said...

Good post over at jac. Until he referenced his mom, I had not connected the dots.

Skyler said...

Obama's appeal? Cool? Come on, have we really become that pathetic that a pencil neck, a sunken chest and atrophic arms are cool?

McCain has screwed up arms, but those are "honorable scars" as they say. Obama has never had any muscles at all.

I mean seriously, it gets a bunch of silly press, but can we really elect a man that is such a whimp that he can't bowl more than a 34? If he can't control a ten pound ball better than that, how can he control the free world?

Yes, you might say that's superficial, but that was the topic.

peter hoh said...

Well Skyler, we all know how well things turned out the last time the more manly man was elected.

Chip Ahoy said...

Pretends to read Iraq Study Group.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, Peter. We all know.

Kev said...

Two saxophone posts in a row! I'm in blog heaven... (LOL)

What was intriguing to me (as someone just finishing a graduate music degree when the Clinton-on-Arsenio thing first took place) was, first, that Clinton just wasn't that good as a saxophonist, and second, that most people tended to kiss up to him anyway. I remember the likes of Lionel Hampton (who should have known better; the man had an eye for talent) saying things like "He can join my band anytime!" with regards to Clinton. Maybe they were on the same political page, so Hamp overlooked the musical mediocrity?

On the other hand, Branford Marsalis, when asked about Clinton's chops, or lack thereof, said something to the effect of "I don't care what anyone says; he just needs to put that thing down." (I discussed this here a couple of years ago; it's cool to finally have an excuse to use that "link to a specific comment" trick that someone posted here last week).

And finally, a piece of trivia: A former colleague of mine, a flute teacher, played in the Arkansas All-State Band with Clinton. She brought the programs to school to prove it.

George said...

McCain's medical history says that while he was a POW he tried to commit suicide.

Twice.

Uncool.

He's been there and back.

That's cool.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

In terms of cool there is a wide gulf between playing in the Arkansas All State band and playing a lonely soliliquy at the Blue Note at two a.m. He was a band dweeb not John Coltrane.

amba said...

Didn't know John had a blog. I thought "Who is this character talking about his mom all the time? He's quoting her, she must have a blog."

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

Ooh, mercy. That is not a flattering photo of Hillary in glasses.

Here are some others:

Hillary buying reading glasses

Hillary wearing those reading glasses

Hillary looking like she's pissed in gold-rimmed reading glasses

Hillary channel Janis Joplin

Bill and Hill (Bill wearing Panama Hat)

Bill Clinton wearing reading glasses

Ooh, you know this is heresy for a Republican like me, but sometimes, just sometimes, when the light catches Bill just right...he's yummy.

/off to shower

Cheers,
Victoria

Kev said...

In terms of cool there is a wide gulf between playing in the Arkansas All State band and playing a lonely soliliquy at the Blue Note at two a.m. He was a band dweeb not John Coltrane.

Well said. (In my previous comment, I agree with Branford, not Hamp.)

And believe me, when the flute teacher I mentioned earlier was out of earshot, we often mused about how much easier it must have been to make All-State in Arkansas than here in Texas. (That's not so much a slam on our neighbor to the northeast as it is a comparison of the huge pool of entrants here vs. there.)

jdeeripper said...

Cool old people

Cheney likes the ladies

blake said...

C'mon people! Obama is channelling Will Smith in "Men in Black."

And John McCain? Tommy Lee Jones.


So, Ruth Anne, you're saying that McCain is "old and busted" and Obama is "the new hotness"?