Exclusive: Wanted: Candidate for President; Whiners Need Not Apply

by PAM MEISTER July 16, 2008

After Hillary Clinton's tears on the campaign trail earlier this year, many pundits and voters alike wondered if she was truly tough enough to be president. Think about it: when someone like Iran's Ahmadinejad tells our president to "get stuffed," do we want him/her to start whining like a kindergartner who was just called a "poopy-head" on the playground?

But it seems the victor in the Democrat primary, Barack Obama, may be taking over from Hillary in the "Please don't be mean to me" department. After a recent New Yorker magazine cover that depicted Obama in Muslim garb while "fist bumping" wife Michelle (complete with Afro, combat boots and assault rifle) as a picture of Osama bin Laden looks on approvingly and while an American flag burns merrily in the fireplace, Obama's campaign responded swiftly.

"The New Yorker may think, as one of their staff explained to us, that their cover is a satirical lampoon of the caricature Sen. Obama's right-wing critics have tried to create. But most readers will see it as tasteless and offensive. And we agree," said spokesman Bill Burton. Apparently in the Politics of Change playbook, anything that is even remotely critical of Obama is off the table, while his opponent remains fair game.

Aww, did Obama get his widdle feewings hurt? Welcome to the big leagues, Barry, with the towel snapping and rear-end slapping that goes along with being one of the players in the locker room.

(I wonder...was Obama a fan of "The Whiners" on Saturday Night Live?)

Considering that the New Yorker is hardly part of the "vast Right-wing conspiracy" that we've heard so much about over the past 10 or 15 years, one would think that liberal Obama supporters would understand nuance. Isn't that their specialty? And how likely is it that the bitter, gun-toting Bible thumpers who wouldn't understand this as satire actually subscribe to the New Yorker anyway? Guess the folks in flyover country don't have a monopoly on thick-headedness after all. (Pssst...that's satire for those of you didn't get it.)

And for the truly satirically-challenged, let me reiterate: the New Yorker cover was not meant to trash Obama but some of his critics who, for understandable reasons, might think that Obama is a Muslim (Muslims believe that if you are born to a line of Muslim males then you are a Muslim); that Obama thinks little of our flag (his initial disdain of the flag pin and his pal William Ayers being photographed dancing on the flag); and that Obama doesn't have a problem fraternizing with terrorists, considering his long-term relationship with admitted domestic terrorists (the aforementioned Ayers and his wife Bernadette Dohern).

If every politician ran for the tissue box every time an unflattering, satirical cartoon of him was published, I'd buy stock in Kleenex® and would be able to retire to a private island in the Caribbean in just a few years.

As Michelle Malkin pointed out on her blog the other day, Obama is hardly alone when it comes to being the subject of tasteless satire. And considering the examples she provides, the cover of the New Yorker is small potatoes. Can you imagine if President Bush protested every time he was mocked in print? Heck, he wouldn't have the time to brush his teeth, let alone tend to the needs of the nation.

Political mockery is a tradition that goes back well before the founding of the United States. And if you plan on playing with the big boys, expect to get a few bumps and scrapes along the way.

And I haven't even mentioned how rude the international press can be. Considering how liberals want so desperately to be liked by the chattering classes in Europe, how devastated will they be if Obama is derided in Der Spiegel or Le Monde, as President Bush has been so often?

So Obama, who is quick to denounce "tasteless and offensive" satire about him (even when it's produced by publications sympathetic to his candidacy), wants us to believe he's got what it takes to stand up to Iran, North Korea, China, Venezuela and Russia? This isn't high school politics where the most important decision the student council president has to make is what the theme for homecoming is going to be. Nor is it a popularity contest - although many Americans seem to be seeing this election that way. "I'm voting for the cool guy who's going to change things." What they can't tell you, however, is exactly what Obama will change and how - and why such change is necessary.

But should Obama be the next occupant of the Oval Office, there won't be any more chances to dance with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show or hear about how sexy he is from elderly female tittle tattle peddlers on The View. He and wife Michelle might get a more staid interview opportunity with Ladies Home Journal, but no more Access Hollywood appearances - which he'd just end up regretting anyway. Being the president is serious business. (I hope Obama refuses to answer if asked whether he wears boxers or briefs.)

Maybe even late night talk show hosts will finally be able to find something to make fun of him about.

Because no matter how much the media may love him, once he's the president, they won't be able to cover up/ignore every gaffe or smooth over every unpopular decision. And let's face it - every president must make tough decisions, whether it's making cabinet appointments, vetoing a bill or making decisions about foreign policy that will affect not only us, but the world.

Rick Moran suggests that Obama man up. I agree. There's no room for a whiner in the White House.

Pam Meister is the editor for FamilySecurityMatters.org.

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