Leaving Them Wanting More
It has become commonplace for people to refer to Barack Obama as a “rock star” or a “global rock star,” in part because of his predilection for appearing in front of enormous crowds in stadiums with sets designed by Madonna’s production coordinator. But the analogy is imprecise. Obama is undeniably a star, but he’s not a rock star. Aside from drag queens, rock stars are the most exaggerated performers possible; they present themselves in wild garb and ghoulish makeup, and when they perform, they do so without inhibition or reticence.
Our president is very nearly the opposite. Even though he speaks more frequently and makes more television appearances than any president ever has, he usually tosses off his performances as though he doesn’t care what he’s saying or what he’s doing. He shows emotion in only two ways: flashes of anger that ripple the smooth surface of his affect like a rock dropped by a child from a height into a still pond, and climactic urgent preachment. Otherwise, he often seems barely to have a pulse.
About the Author