While noting with pleasure that Adam Serwer won the day yesterday, I stumbled across this ridiculous article by the New York Times' David Carr. Pivoting off of the Salahi drama, Carr tries to establish that the Obama administration's use of new technology, combined with frequent media appearances by the president and the first lady, is somehow a danger to the presidency. It's a bit of ramble. Apparently, Carr thinks if people see a lot of Obama -- the White House Photo Stream is an offender -- that makes them tire of him, and that will result in ... his "jumping the shark"? Let me tell you, Carr, as long as the President of the United States can send 30,000 soldiers anywhere he pleases and move hundreds of billions of dollars around during a time of economic distress, the presidency isn't going to go the way of Happy Days.
The Obama administration has been what was promised -- open, technologically friendly, democratic with a small-d. They're the first administration of the new media age, and they're doing their best to take advantage of it. Who cares if Michelle Obama goes on Jay Leno? (Well, he's not funny and hosts a terrible show, but that's more of an aesthetic complaint from this reporter.) The idea that Obama -- the man who took an 11-hour meeting about Afghanistan on Thanksgiving? -- is somehow not working enough is silly as well. Maybe his plans aren't working, but it's not because he isn't.
The last few paragraphs, where Carr delivers a weird dig at Michelle for not being enough like Jackie Kennedy, seem just tacky. "Minimum information given with maximum politeness" was Jackie's slogan, and Michelle isn't meeting Carr's standards in that department, which seems both inaccurate and retrograde in a world where the First Lady can be more than merely the First Hostess. And I'm sure tawdry goings-on in the Kennedy White House were much better for the country than this current situation. Me, I'm just happy that people have the chance to feel connected with the presidency, even if it gets boring -- because that's what life is like sometimes. We could use a little less mystique around high office in this country.
For better analysis of the White House Photo Stream, allow me to recommend this.
-- Tim Fernholz
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