There’s a video floating around of Margaret Thatcher unabashedly refusing to comply with a talk show host’s gimmick, which is to have guests jump in place.
It occurred to me how different this is from the cloying eagerness of modern American politicians to leap through any degrading hoop as ordered to reassure the American public that they are just like them. Have a look at how dignified she was compared to our current president and many of his contemporaries.
Note the contrast to candidate in Obama in 2007, who hopped right in with both feet in order to fulfill a similar gimmick demanded by Ellen DeGeneres, who makes her guests look foolish dancing with her.
Here’s your president:
The dignity of the presidency surely was abandoned when Bill Clinton showed up in the Oval Office and not only – contrary to Ronald Reagan’s habit – removed his jacket, but his pants too. Obama, of course, has lovingly maintained a low level of respectfulness for the Office, happily being photographed with his feet up on any piece of furniture he can find and appearing on any moronic popular TV show that will have him.
There is a strain in American politics that asks politicians to show they are regular people, born, say, in log cabins. But to be a regular guy is not to be a buffoon pleading for acceptance. Obama is not alone in this. I’m sure Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal and any number of the potential GOP candidates would not hesitate to dance with Ellen and punch her speed bag.
Maybe there’s still some a candidate out there somewhere who’d rather work for votes than sing for their supper. Such a person might also be relied upon not to ask “How high?” when Kim Jong-Un says “Jump!” These little things do matter, you know.