So President Obama is in California today making the rounds and reaching out to the people. He means to promote his "economic message" in much the same way that an author promotes a book or an actor promotes the release of a movie. There was the big rally yesterday in Orange County and tonight he’ll round out the trip with an appearance on Jay Leno. The Dallas Morning News is among those not impressed with the Leno appearance. But to hear the breathless and giddy coverage of the local media is to be transported in memory back to a misspent adolescence when adulation of this sort was much too freely given.
It is difficult to watch the "man on the street" interviews with Obama supporters. Usually, they are asked why they are willing to tent it for the sake of a chance to see their hero . . . what is it about this guy that has made him the hottest ticket in town? Their answers reflect incredulity at the question when they are not merely vacant. The lucky ones, decked out in their Obama gear like so many concert-goers, flashed their "tickets" before the camera with a triumphant air. A few, made suddenly conscious (if not quite embarrassed) of their fawning behavior, made pretense of coming armed with serious questions. Their questions had a common thread: i.e., "When do I get my bailout?" One guy wanted to know when he’d get medical insurance without having to have a job. One gal--a state worker now subject to furlough in bankrupt California--wanted to know whether she could get compensation from the Feds for that lost pay so she could make her mortgage.
It’s almost always a mistake to watch too much local news as it has a way of sucking you in. And this night, it did. But as I continued to watch it was near impossible to avoid making comparisons between the Orange County campers and the crowd gathered outside of the "Octomom" Nadia Suleman’s house. That crowd was hoping to get a glimpse of the just-released two of the famous eight. But this rowdy crowd had one thing over the OC Obama-maniacs: at least they were honest: "Look into the camera, honey!" shouted one star-struck (and clearly disturbed) mother when her young daughter scored an interview with the local FOX outlet.
I’m very glad not to be anywhere near Burbank this evening . . .