The Obama Show

The Madcap Lives of Barack and Michelle ...


Dodging everything from living room ottomans to most anything else a political family can deftly navigate around without tripping to the floor ...

 


   


Indeed, when I initially happen-chanced upon the Obamas featured on the cover of 'TV Guide' during my supermarket checkout event, I couldn’t help but think, “how perfect” ... The Mocha-Mint version of Rob and Laura Petrie had, indeed, made it to the White House. It was only then – at that very moment – that the couple I favored had, somehow, become real …

In truth, I had never previously seen the Obamas – or the political season they came to dominate – as something that could be transposed to the small screen. I, in fact, had viewed the entire campaign of 2008 in far larger, cinematic terms. While I don’t recall the precise day that a familiar bell rang in my head, I do know that it was about half-way through the primary season that it occurred to me what I was witnessing – and watching ... In short, Campaign 2008 was a Paddy Chayefsky script … as directed by Robert Altman. The surreal merger of ‘Network’ and ‘Nashville’ … as viewed on acid.

And you probably think I’m kidding. But when one simply compresses time – as most of cinema does – further itemizing people and events in overview form as a ‘film draft’, the … ensemble cast … surely begins to look as if they were modeled after a Chayefsky/Altman cinematic realization. The kicker is that few of the actual characters require much in the way of Hollywood-style script enhancement. Many, indeed, may be portrayed straight 'out of the box' ... On with The Show ...
 


The Central Cast Overview:

Barack Obama – The junior, African-American senator from Illinois who would run for the highest office in the land on a lark after playing a round of ‘Truth or Dare’, where the latter option was unhesitatingly preferred.

Michelle Obama – The candidate’s wife, playing the role of the angry Angela Davis militant, though fully camouflaged as a matter of concealment by campaign operatives. (Wardrobe Department: See The Gap, AJ Wright, and Marshalls).

Hillary Clinton – The former First Lady and world’s most celebrated cuckold as the heir-apparent for the presidency. Long anticipated that she would screech the inaugural address, if elected. But for the campaign, itself, she would go soft, with a tear. Then hard. Then soft. Then hard again. The tactical-binary Viagra of American politics. Speaking of which …

Bill Clinton – Candidate Hillary’s husband who also happened to be the former President of The United States. Often best remembered for an Oval Office affair with a White House intern during his presidency. Had once been politically brilliant, but loses his touch at the expense of his candidate spouse. Stunned and angered by the imponderable notion that his wife – as well as his own legacy – could be dwarfed by a green-leaf, Obama candidacy that out-maneuvered his own prowess. Becomes increasingly embittered behind the scenes while remaining camera-ready with a drop-jawed smile.

John Edwards – The mirror-gazing, narcissistic candidate with the a southern-charm accent and a dedicated, cancer-inflicted wife. Has an affair with a campaign staffer shooting a trail documentary with a home video camera. Think of the BBC reporter, Opal, from ‘Nashville’. Edwards is followed by the tabloidian press, capturing his exit from a hotel rendezvous, further speculating that he was the father of the campaign staffer’s newborn.

Plumber Joe (Wurzelbacher) – Would ask candidate Obama if he believed in the American Dream at the head of a driveway in Toledo, Ohio. And, with this simple act, would become a new media sensation as an iconistic representation of the 'common man', further agreeing to be used on the Republican campaign trail all expenses paid with his rally-cry presence. Would additionally become a repetitive topic during presidential debates, prompting the news media to surround his house in search of his reaction and insightful comments regarding the utterance of his name. Televised guest appearances on conservative talk shows would ensue while Joe the non-licensed plumber would endeavor to parlay the pandemonium into a change of career-path with a book contract and country-western recording career. A run for public office would further be entertained ...

||  PAUSE …

Is this just beginning to seem so ‘Chayesfky’ and ‘Altman’ yet?    Let’s continue …

>  PLAY …

Reverend Wright – Candidate Obama’s proclaimed spiritual leader who temporarily derails the campaign with the video replay of his anti-white, damn-America rhetoric, delivered from the pulpit. Momentarily dominates the presidential race, as well as the nation’s race-consciousness.

Bill Ayers – Anti-war activist from the 1960s and co-founder of the radical-left Weather Underground, supplemented by his involvement with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Participated in the bombings of the New York City Police Headquarters, the United States Capitol Building, and the Pentagon. Would be tied to candidate Obama while more recently serving as a professor at The University of Illinois at Chicago, holding the current titles of ‘Distinguished Professor of Education’ and ‘Senior University Scholar’ …

Oprah Winfrey – Popular, morning television fluff host whose televised endorsement singlehandedly catapults the Obama campaign from the negligible margins onto the central page.

Rudy Giuliani – Former cross-dressing comic as the Mayor of New York, regarded as nominee-apparent after saving all of New York City from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome following the 9-11 attacks. Ultimately terrorized by his own campaign strategists who brought his race to a quick, pancaked collapse, leaving behind Republican rubble and debris in its wake to vie for the party’s nomination ...

Mitt Romney – The former and curiously Republican Governor of Massachusetts who offers a new kind of synthesized and cheap counterfeit knock-off of what a conservative is said to be, now available off-the-rack. Made in China, but alas, raised as a Mormon. Otherwise, picture-perfect on the campaign trail with some one of his wives …

Mike Huckabee – The amiable and folksy, bass-playing, Keith Richards-worshipping Reverend-Preacher-Governor of Arkansas running for president on a shoestring budget, operating out of a small rental van selling flowers at busy intersections. After putting up an admirable, but losing fight, a conservative cable news network gives him his own one-hour television program as a campaign-loss, consolation prize.

John McCain – The Republican candidate, finally nominated for his Oscar after years of party neglect. War Hero. Prisoner of War, partially crippled by the experience. Can’t comb his own hair, without assistance. Awkward presence, all around ... And the Republican party’s curious selection as their presidential candidate to counter the smooth-talking and far more polished political presence of Barack Obama.

Sarah Palin – Not to be confused with John McCain’s actual vice-presidential pick, but rather, the selection of campaign operatives wishing to offset the historic novelty of the opposing African-American candidate on the Democratic side. Clothes whore, while fashion illiterate. Previous, flute-tooting beauty pageant contestant. Barbie Doll sports reporter in Anchorage. And, ultimately, the one who Alaskans would select as their Governor. Husband, a celebrated snowmobile racer. While moose-hunting from a helicopter, her unwed daughter becomes pregnant with the participation of a fellow underage teen, named Levi, soon forced to participate on the campaign trail with the encouragement of a shotgun, as well as at the GOP convention. Combined with sporadic cameo appearances of the bastard child, named ‘Tripp’, as an homage to father Levi’s drug-addicted mother. Character ultimately rejected and revised by Chayefsky and Altman due to over-the-top, implausible improbability – even for Hollywood.


And, in consideration of the above, I could only be reminded of Robert Altman’s opening title sequence of ‘Nashville’ with Henry Gibson as Haven Hamilton singing, “we must be doing something right … to last … two hun-dred years.”

 

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