Are Politicians Now Cool?

Posted on 29. Nov, 2009 by in Uncategorized

*(I’m sorry Joe Walker, you don’t have to read this if you don’t want to)*

This is a post about the Obama Gatecrashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi. I refuse to do them the service of linking to a story about their stunt, nor will I direct you to the Facebook pictures of Michaele with Joe Biden or Rahm Emanuel. That I’ve just added to their Google Trend-iness by mentioning them annoys me a little, so to spite them and their SEO, they don’t get their names in the title of my post. In fact, I will only refer to them as “them” and “they from here on out.

But I won’t discredit them completely, because they sure did make me think a little.

The couple is obviously fame hungry–nothing new in our society–but the way they went about groping for it… Were they trying to boost their status by talking their way into a White House function or by appearing with political leaders? Because the idea of being somewhere you aren’t supposed to isn’t new. But the idea that being seen with politicians is cool, as if they’re celebrities or athletes–that feels a bit new. Sure, argue JFK or maybe Reagan to an extent, but those are exceptions. I don’t think many aspiring reality TV couples conspired about getting shared “W” face time, that’s for sure.

Just the fact that they posted the pictures to Facebook is interesting. I have Facebook friends that proudly tag pictures of themselves mugging with Jay-Z or Paul Pierce. But Joe Biden? It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Not that there are D.C. socialites who would want to name-drop “Biden” over a champagne flute at a dinner function adorned in their best pearls, but that said socialites would also aspire to appear on reality television. It feels like serving donut hole hors d’oeuvres at a black tie function.

But hell, maybe that’s where we’re at as a society. Perhaps Facebook isn’t just for the kidz and “Real Housewives” not just for a certain demographic. Maybe we’re so interconnected that we’re equal consumers with fading class lines in a social media age. Perhaps I’m behind the times for failing to recognize this.

Or maybe it’s not that at all. Maybe politics are now hip and trendy (Jon Stewart and Colbert are leading the charge if so), like nerdy glasses (I own some) and skinny jeans (not so much). Maybe Barack and Michelle are the realest reality TV couple there is, and their drama dwarfs anything on TNT.

MAYBE Obama should release an official neck-tie line made by Nike with his initials embroidered on each one. Then, on Tuesday, we could all rock them like football jerseys while we’re at West Point applauding the announcement that 30,000+ more troops are headed to Afghanistan!


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