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50 Shades of Cool: The Many Faces of President Obama

Mar 162014
 
 By , March 16, 2014

President Obama as Shapeshifter

It was more amusing than piano-playing kittens to see Barack Obama plug the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis’ internet comedy show. Not late night. Not basic cable. An internet show: “Between 2 Ferns.” Even funnier was the President trotting out the same expression he normally reserves for Bill O’Reilly interviews.

The Chief Executive is apparently working his way down the marketing food chain. Next it’ll be ObamaCare coupons under windshield wipers in the parking lots of flea markets. Then a series of laminated ads posted above urinals. Won’t be long before Joe Biden is wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.

The president is not new to the humor game. He’s proven his comedy chops o’plenty at previous functions, but even professional comedians have problems holding their own with the bearded Hangover franchise comic’s trademark condescending snark. 44, however, traded disdainful barbs like a Catskills trained tummler. Looks like the ordeal of dealing with Hillary’s State Department staff finally paid off. Can’t wait for him speak to Putin with the same sort of Borscht Belt pushback.

This was Comedy Obama at his finest. Just one of the many guises we’ve seen Honolulu’s favorite son adopt. There’s Diplomatic Obama. Arrogant Obama. Tolerant Obama. Supercilious Obama. Hollywood Obama. Mississippi Obama. New Boss Obama. And Same as the Old Boss Obama.

Might explain why the country is this close to contracting a serious case of Multiple Presidential Personality Disorder. He’s President Sybil. Playing more roles than the tall kid who shaves at a summer Shakespeare camp.

Doctors say the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder can be traced to trauma and its entirely possible the Republican Party is responsible for these many faces of Eve, er, Barack. For 5 years the President has been hit in the head more often than an armless soccer goalie in a World Cup shootout. Of course, he could be setting himself up for an insanity defense. Mitch McConnell would be well advised to hire extra security.

The Oval Office Shapeshifter’s pre-POTUS resume was pretty tame. Kenyan. Kansan. Hawaiian. Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. State Senator. U.S. Senator. Marijuana advocate. Audacity encourager.

It’s only since 2009 that we’ve been treated to a kaleidoscope of eccentric facets. He’s a jock. A nerd. Cheerleader. Teacher’s pet. Motorcycle riding bad boy. Probably a closet band geek. Party standard bearer. Good will ambassador. Policy enforcer. Al Green impersonator.

He’s half-black. He’s half-white. Ramrod. Contortionist. Healer. Divider. Defender of transparency. Master spy. Outlaw. Sheriff. Muslim. Christian. Politician. Citizen. Figurehead. Hood ornament. White hatted hero. Melodramatic villain. A puppet, a poet, a pawn and a king.

Even the GOP can’t decide if he’s a hopeless novice or a demagoguing dictator. The right wing paints him as a radical jihadist while left wing progressives whine he’s a cowering conciliator. Making him a little bit Malcolm X and a little bit Urkel.

Barack Obama is harder to pin down than an eel in a butter sculpture. A Nobel Peace Prize winner or the Manchurian Candidate. He’s either the classiest of cats or Captain Clueless. Relentless shark or a spineless jellyfish. Power mad knight errant or lute strumming eunuch. Or maybe he’s all of them.

50 shades of cool. Or drool. Perspective is everything.

Will Durst is a nationally acclaimed, award-winning political stand-up comedian and writer. His column has been published in the Humor Times magazine for over 20 years. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his CDs, including “Elect to Laugh,” and check his calendar of personal appearances, including his hit one-man show, “Boomeraging: From LSD to OMG.”


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The New York Times says Emmy-nominated comedian and writer Will Durst “is quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today.” The Humor Times says "Durst is the Sage of Satire, the Learned Lampooner, the King of Political Satire!" Check his website, willdurst.com, for upcoming stand-up performance dates. Will's books, including Elect to Laugh! A Hilarious, Common Sense Guide to American Politics are available at Amazon and better bookstores all over this great land of ours. From Ulysses Press.
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