Commentary Magazine


Maybe Her Curlers Are a Little Too Tight

In Forbes, Elisabeth Eaves celebrates Barack Obama  as “The Cosmopolitan President,” but she sounds truly excited about a character closer to Obama, The Backpack President. What follows is the most ridiculous, myopic endorsement of a politician I’ve ever come across:

I was attracted to candidate Obama in part because of, not despite, his dislocated background. I identified with it. It meant sympathy for my own stints living abroad and my habit of roving around the world for work, education and pleasure.

I’m not alone: Obama’s background meant that he understood the life of an enormous swathe of young Americans. We are predominately urban, coastal, college educated, under 40 and our sense of normal is not Peggy Noonan’s or George W. Bush’s. In my world, it is stranger not to have lived abroad than to have done so.

Maybe they can trade scrapbooks.

Eaves does get around to more penetrating analysis of “[her] world”:

Discovering last week that my new hairdresser was from Uzbekistan made me feel reassured that all was right in the world. Maybe that’s the same sense of reassurance that members of an older, more stationary generation got from knowing that someone was one of their own.

I guess she thinks American immigration began with her jet-setting generation.

This, one needs to remember, is not taken from the diary page of a college freshman doing a semester abroad; this is the work of a successful journalist at an esteemed publication. This is the enlightened circle of smarty-pants who hated George W. Bush, feared Sarah Palin, and voted in our next president. Start your weekend off with a laugh and read the whole thing.