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Ed Driscoll

Oh, and Speaking of Puritanical Obama

November 28th, 2010 - 5:13 pm

“I love you, man,” Obama said. “I want you to look after yourself. Eat the salad.”

Kyle Smith of the New York Post on “How the nanny president sees himself — and us”

In “Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside Obama’s White House,” MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe, a writer sympathetic to the president, reports the prosaic backroom details of the White House struggles from early this year, but occasionally stumbles upon an off-the-cuff revelation that’s much more interesting.

One staffer was conspicuously overweight. The president, in an incident that Wolffe believes proves how caring the man is, took it upon himself to present the aide with a salad for lunch — “then listened to him protest that he could take care of his own health. ‘I love you, man,’ Obama said. ‘I want you to look after yourself. Eat the salad.’ ”

I love you, man. Eat the salad. That is the Obama presidency in a plastic see-through clamshell. (Hold the ranch dressing!) The president loves us. He knows what’s best for us. We should bow to his superior wisdom.

Jimmy Carter obsessed over the White House tennis court schedule. President Obama wants to be your life coach, guidance counselor and spouse, kicking your shins under the dinner table when you order chocolate cake instead of steamed celery.

The president has to deal with transnational terrorism, arms control, unemployment, the deficit, health care and limiting damage from the Joe Biden Gaffe-u-tron. Add in the possibility of North Korea throwing a nuclear tantrum, and it seems unlikely that Obama is going to have time to follow me into Wendy’s. Yet there he is, pushing for all restaurant chains to post calorie counts, as already required in New York. Like much of liberalism, this little nudge isn’t a terrible idea, but it does impose a cost on business with little apparent benefit.

The “eat the salad” command is echoed throughout the book, which finds Obama in emergency mode at all times and always convinced that his combination of charisma, intelligence and moral authority makes him uniquely qualified to solve any problem that has bedeviled humanity for any number of generations. As Obama sees the hapless White House underling — an oaf who has never heard of salad and has been waiting for a visionary to guide him to the land of arugula — he sees the world.

It’s Obama on Your Shoulder — complete with a nascent Elmer Gantry-like purely for public consumption religious streak!

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