#ObamainHistory: All Hail President Zelig Lemon Moodring
The Washington Free Beacon "Illustrates White House's insertion of Obama into other presidential biographies." Click over for the Photoshops -- and then stop by the "Obama In History" Tumblr site for even more, along with Twitchy, which rounds up reaction on Twitter to the "unexpectedly" fragile ego of our 44th president.
But even before news broke yesterday that Obama's staff were busy inserting their boss's name into the bios of past presidents ranging from Coolidge to Clinton, Mr. Obama certainly had a Zelig-like reputation. When he wrote in 2006, “I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” he wasn’t kidding — on Monday, an Atlantic writer dubbed him, “Barack Obama: Our First Gay-Female-Hispanic-Asian-Jewish President,” running down the various encomiums Obama’s received from Andrew Sullivan, Kathleen Parker, Geraldo Rivera and other
incredibly cheap dates fawning acolytes, including:
First Jewish President: Like this week’s issue of Newsweek, New York magazine went big on their Morrison reappropriation. Former White House counsel Abner Mikva told John Heilemann “When this all is over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president.” The magazine made it their cover.
First Asian-American President: In 2009, Associated Foreign Press ran with the headline, “Obama the first Asian-American president?” As evidence, the article notes that in his first hundred days, “Obama appointed a record three Asian-Americans cabinet members and quickly focused his attention across the Pacific. He invited Japan’s prime minister as his first guest and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to Asia on her maiden trip.”
First Hispanic President: Geraldo Rivera spoke in March 2009 about the hopes the Hispanic community had for Obama’s immigration policies, alleging “Barack Obama is the first Hispanic president the same way Bill Clinton was the first black [one].”
Upon further consideration though, perhaps comparing him to Woody Allen and Tom Hanks' sad-sack Zelig and Forrest Gump figures lends too much dignity to the 44th president. Given his love of Carter-era environmentalism and sclerotic Big Government bureaucracy, I'd say he's much closer to being the second coming of Chevy Chase's Peter Lemon Moodring parody from the early days of SNL:
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But in a world morphed routinely by the president's biographers at the Ministry of Truth, one thing remains true. Though Elvis is indeed everywhere, Barack Obama has no Elvis in him.