The Fix posits: “Barack Obama is cool. Mitt Romney is not.” I found that irksome because I’m tired of the faux sophistication mixed with fake down-homeness (characterized by dropping “g’s”). I’m also tired of seeing his mug at sporting events. (I think he’s been at everything but the bowling championships.) And I’m really sick of his pandering to pop icons who debase the culture. Finally, I’m tired of the liberal elites’ inference that those who don’t identify with him aren’t cool but are some sort of rubes.
But Danielle Pletka took it differently: “10k dead in Syria, how cool is that? Iran about to have the makings of a nuclear weapon, how awesome is that? Islamists on the march throughout the Arab world, how rockin’ is that? Russia’s return to dictatorship, how sweet is that? Al Qaeda taking over Yemen, how wicked is that?” And one could go on in that vein since there is nothing cool about 8 percent unemployment, a gigantic debt passed on to our kids and their kids, and denying school choice to poor D.C. kids.
The coolness issue is a trap for Obama, I’d suggest. (The Fix suggests it might be: “Has Obama’s coolness and celebrity turned into a negative as the country has slogged through a slower-than-expected economic recovery?”)
Not even actually cool people want a cool incompetent as president. And those who aren’t cool (most of us, even the members of the liberal media who still idolize him) have gotten a rude reminder that rhetorical flourishes do not a decent president make. In fact, maybe Romney should run on a “last time we got ‘cool,’ so this time let’s get it right” theme. Or something like that.