because he's like me.
Any two human beings are likely to have something in common, even if it's superficial. I'm like John McCain and Joe Biden and Sarah Palin because we are all Caucasian. I have another genetic trait in common with McCain in that we're both left handed.
I'm like Barack Hussein Obama because we're both nerds. In fact, we are both alpha nerds, nerds that other non-nerds just don't mess with much, and other nerds look to us as the go-to nerd in many situations.
Talking to a friend from New York City on the phone this weekend, we both commented on Obama's nerdiness. The common phrase in politics for nerd is policy wonk, and most certainly both Clintons and Gore would be so described, but for me, I think Obama is more like two failed Democratic presidents of the past Adlai Stevenson and Michael Dukakis. Stevenson wasn't a bad candidate, really, but he ran twice against Eisenhower, the greatest war hero of the 20th Century. Dukakis, though he had a Mediterranean background, was not like a character from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. In fact, he was more like Ian's parents, the cold fish whose son was marrying into the Greek family. Many people attribute his loss to the work of scummy Bush operative Lee Atwater, but Dukakis was held back by his funny name, his short stature and passionless character, best caricatured by Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live, who in one skit outed Dukakis as an alien from a planet where emotions are unknown.
Barack isn't cold. Barack is cool. His smile and his family give him a great likability, but when he talks, it's clear that he thinks like a nerd. Unlike Adlai, he's not running against an unbeatable hero. Unlike Dukakis, he's significantly taller than his opponent. In U.S. presidential campaigns, the taller candidate usually wins. The main exceptions to this rule are that George W. Bush beat taller candidates twice, or should we say, when the dust cleared, he had more electoral votes.
Who but a nerd like me would remember such trivia?
At the Al Smith dinner this year, both candidates donned tuxedos and told jokes, as is the tradition. This should have favored McCain, since he actually tells jokes more readily, though the press is hounding him for some of the bad jokes he's told. Obama's writers gave him a perfect line, both self deprecating and self aggrandizing, but most especially nerdy. "Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't born in a manger." Obama said. "I was sent here from the planet Krypton by my father Jor-El."
To get the joke, you need to know some origin myths. I'm not Jesus, I'm Superman is what he said, but he said it in funny nerd talk. Intentionally funny nerd talk.
Do we know anyone else who talks in intentionally funny nerd-ese?
Yes, we do, hypothetical question asker. Matty Boy talks that way. And that is just one reason why this blog supports Barack Hussein Obama for president.
I certainly wouldn't want the job myself, but of the choices we have today, only one of candidates looks like he can get it done.