Idol Chatter

President Obama is a rock star! He and his family have shown up at more parties, events, gatherings, celebrations, fundraisers and other pre-Inauguration activities than movie stars on Oscar night.
And the cameras have been there.
Therefore, this may be the first month of my adult life that I’m happy about what my daughters will see as they comb the pop culture magazines in the coming week. They won’t see too much Britney. They won’t see too much Lindsay. They probably won’t see any Paris.
No, instead, they will see the President and Mrs. Obama. They’ll see their kids. They’ll see what they wore to all the major events. They’ll see what they did. They’ll see them at parties, at speeches, and rallies. They’ll see them dancing. They’ll see them kissing. They’ll see him looking determined. They’ll see them smiling and celebrating.
And thus will end the works of candidate Obama and President-elect Obama, and will launch the works of President and Mrs. Obama. And they–for now–are Pop Culture Rock Stars.

In my kids’ lifetime, never has a President been so accessible and at ease in public as this one. (President Clinton used to have that honor, but even he pales in comparison to this). In my lifetime, only President Reagan was this popular, but his popularity wasn’t this universal, and he still looked like my parents’ President, who I could support, too.
The Obamas will certainly face challenges ahead. At some point, there will be slip-up. But for now–even though I may not agree with his every political aim or policy strategy–I’m thrilled that he’s drawn my kids into the process. And he’s done it not by being “Presidential,” but by redefining what it means to be “Presidential” and transcending not only race but generations as well. He and Mrs. Obama actually look comfortable having a good time with people…and in that way, they’re laying out the Red Carpet for us all—not just looking fashionable on it, like the Hollywood stars do. I look forward to the results.

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