As we inch toward the inauguration, Obamamania seems to be alive and well. While in Borders recently, I saw a veritable plethora of books about The OneTM. A particularly large tome was placed strategically so that shoppers would see it immediately upon entering the store. Unfortunately, the desired effect was spoiled by its being next to Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party. I know, I know. This conversation isn’t helping Michelle Obama’s kids — nor was my loud guffawing. Fortunately, proper decorum was restored when I saw more books and special edition(!) magazines placed — dare I say lovingly? — in a special display near the checkout. The only things missing were candles and incense, but I’ll give the store managers the benefit of the doubt, due to the potential fire hazard. Safety first, I always say.
With all of the books, pins, plates, hats, t-shirts, coins, and even soda available to the adoring throngs, I’m beginning to feel like the Brits must have felt back in 1981, when Lady Diana was getting ready to marry Prince Charles. Will men be requesting the Obama haircut? When will the official Obama tea cozy and tea towel set be available for the happy homemaker? And give us more of those beefcake photos, please. My cubicle could use some excitement.
It’s not just Obama himself who is on the receiving end of all of this adulation — although I’m sure you’ll agree it’s well deserved. Wife Michelle has been dubbed by some the new Jackie O, ready to usher in a new era of glitz and glamour in Washington. Even as we speak, Georgetown hostesses are wondering how to lure the Obamas to their dinners and cocktail parties. And the first day of school for little Malia and Sasha became a major news event. Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, co-anchorettes of Good Morning America, were practically beside themselves with emotion as they described the girls’ new school and how Obama must be “choked up” about the girls’ first day. I have to wonder: will the media be on hand, flash bulbs popping, tape rolling, and microphones at the ready on that fateful day when Michelle takes the girls to the pharmacy for that first purchase of acne medication? I wouldn’t put it past them.
So, January 20 will usher in a new era:
- Out with George Bush and his obsessive, overindulgent workouts; in with Barack Obama and his workouts that give him a “chance to reflect” and leave him “revved up.”
- Say goodbye to the status quo; say hello to much of Bill Clinton’s old guard.
- It’s unseemly to have a lavish inauguration during wartime, but okay to eat cake to celebrate during a recession.
- Did you miss the presence of Hollywood’s glitterati in Washington during the last eight years? Relax: the stars will once again be shining in our nation’s capital. And who knows? Perhaps the Lincoln Bedroom will once again become a port of call for our nation’s most celebrated entertainers-cum-policy experts.
- No more bashing of the president! From now on, it’s good vibrations for all, according to this Drudge Report flash: “‘We are just not interested in anyone so highly critical of President-elect Obama, right now,’ a Today insider reveals. ‘It’s such a downer. It’s just not the time, and it’s not what our audience wants, either.’” Today eventually relented, allowing Ann Coulter to bask in Matt Lauer’s presence. Nielsen numbers trump ideology nearly every time.
The oceans are receding, the planet is healing, and the left has finally found its long-lost patriotism, although they are not quite sure what to do with it. (I could make a few suggestions.) Welcome to the Obama Nation! Check your wallet at the door.