Continetti is guest-blogging for The Post.
The Politico story “Wistful Obama Faces Turning 50” has to be the most ridiculous thing I've read in a while. For starters, Obama’s birthday isn't until August—why run this now? Then there’s the totally overstated thesis and mawkish language:
Listen closely to the president of the United States these days, and you will hear the creaks and groans of an American male nearing the midcentury mark.
Barack Obama will turn 50 just a few months from now, on August 4 — a milestone that already seems to be shadowing the presidential mood. In recent speeches, references to the burdens of office are woven constantly with references to the burdens of middle age.
Take a look, he tells audiences, at the bags under his eyes. He sometimes mentions his daughters — racing, it seems to him, out of childhood and into adolescence. Then, invariably, he mentions his hair. Perhaps you have noticed: It is turning gray.
The president's hair is turning gray? OH, MY GOD. How on EARTH are we going to deal with this?
The rest of the piece reads like it was written by an Organizing for America volunteer:
And even before he burst onto the national scene with his keynote address to the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Obama’s career had been marked by youthful achievement: president of the Harvard Law Review in his 20s, a law professor and state legislator in his 30s and to the U.S. Senate and the presidency in his 40s.
Now, however, Obama seems to be inviting audiences to see him as a middle-aged man of experience — bent and even bloodied by his Washington tenure but not broken by it.
Hmm, let’s see: Obama’s poll numbers are in the doldrums, the economy is stuck in neutral, the deficit is more than 10 percent of GDP and expected to be that way for a while, taxes are set to increase in 2012, gas is at $4 a gallon and rising, American troops are fighting in Afghanistan and are stationed across the globe, NATO has intervened in Libya, the Arab world is in turmoil, Iran wants the bomb, Pakistan looks like it’s in the middle of a one-way trip to Dante's ninth circle, the Eurozone may break apart, China’s economy is in danger of overheating while its government cracks down on dissidents and its military is arming, and in a little over a year from now a Republican presidential candidate is going to look into the camera and ask Americans, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
Maybe that's why Obama's hair is turning gray.