There’s a Republican primary going on right now, so most of the political attention is being sucked up by the Pretty Boy and the Troll. I feel for our Republican brethren here at Pajiba for their lack of quality choices. We’ve been there. You’re having our 2004 right now. It’s OK. It will pass. By 2016, maybe you’ll have a likable, dynamic, interesting and intelligent candidate for whom you’re not embarrassed to vote. I mean that sincerely.
But with all the attention on the GOP, poor Obama is being overlooked. On our side of the political spectrum: No, we’re not completely crazy about what Obama’s done for the last four years. The economy is slowly turning around, we’re out of Iraq, and there’s some sort of health care system in place that might be realized in a meaningful way in a year or three.
But, so much of that change — for good or bad — has very little to do with the President. There was a Freakonomics podcast not too long ago that addressed the question of just how much real power the President has, and the results were surprising. Yes, he has the ability to affect some change through executive orders, he can bomb other countries without much oversight, and there are certain recess appointments he can make without involving another branch of our government. But essentially, we have a huge bureaucratic government. The President stands at the top of it, but his real power is extremely limited. The Freakonomics podcast made the comparison of the president’s power to that of a baseball manager: He can switch around the lineup, but he doesn’t have a lot of control over personnel and he can’t make hitters hit better. He’s a cheerleader. He gives pep talks. And while I loathe the idea of voting for a candidate because he’s someone you might want to have a beer with, there is something to it. You want a Cheerleader in Chief who is personable enough to connect with the citizens, which will in turn make those pep talks more effective.
You can certainly make an argument that Barack Obama lacks that ability (although, that’s a difficult argument to make when you’re comparing him to the current field of Republican contenders), but I think the fact that he and the First Lady are willing to occasionally do something undignified or unpresidential speaks volumes about their cheer-leading capacity. At the very least, it makes it far more difficult to stay unhappy with our President.
Here are eight of the most notable examples of why — even if they’re not the most effective Presidential couple — they are the most endearing.
Barack Obama Dances on “Ellen
President Obama Sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”
Michelle Obama Does Push-Ups on “Ellen”
President and Michelle Obama Dance with Indian Children
President Obama Dances on “Ellen” Again
President Obama Dances at Fiesta Latina
Michelle Obama Dances on “Ellen”
Michelle Obama Dances on “iCarly”