April 12, 2010

POTUS: President of This United Stardom

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In November 2008 the United States of America elected Barack Obama as the 44th President of our country. Obama was different than other Presidents of the past — no I am not talking about his skin color — he was a celebrity.

President Obama made history — again, not with his skin color — when he became the first sitting President to appear on a talk show He appeared on Jay Leno’s infamous talk show in March of 2009 to promote his economic rescue plan to, what Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called, a “unique audience.”

While Obama was criticized for his decision to discuss our economic situation with a comedian, one might see where Obama was going with this. His whole campaign was based on grassroots and youth. Maybe going on Leno was a more effective way of communicating with his political base than having a press conference on the major networks. It was actually a fairly innovative idea.

The United States is unique in that we expect the leader of our country to be a beloved figurehead and to make all of our important decisions. In a country like Great Britain, they have a Prime Minister to handle all official business, and a royal family to be admired. Obama has cleared struggled to maintain both roles — as it appears he favors the position of beloved figurehead. This is not to say he hasn’t done presidential things — he definitely has — he just makes sure he is VERY much in the spotlight as well.

Obama’s shot to stardom began when this woman Oprah Winfrey took a liking to him. She made it her personal mission to have him be our President, and she succeeded. When you have Oprah on your side, there is no stopping your inevitable celebrification. And like celebrities, Obama began to see himself all over magazine covers. Chalk it up to election hype? No, that was only the beginning.

Matt Lauer told Obama he had achieved a “rock star status” during an interview in Obama’s first month as President. And like any good rock star, Obama felt the need to send his condolences when we lost another rock star.

After Michael Jackson died, Gibbs told reporters: “Look, [Barack] said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown’s 25th anniversary. But the president also said, you know, look, he had aspects of his life [that] were sad and tragic.”

Okay, fine. Send your condolences to the Jackson family … clearly the King of Pop’s death shook the country a little bit…

But if he ever forgot that he was now the biggest rock star (especially with MJ out of his way), Spencer and Heidi reminded him of just how powerful his stardom is. “Speidi,” Spencer said, “is Barack and Michelle famous, not Kardashian famous […] The fact that USA Today said we’re the third most famous couple in the world after Brangelina and The Obamas is amazing.”

When Matt Lauer and Spencer Pratt comment on your celebrity power, it must set off something in your head that says ‘I can comment on ANYTHING in the celebrity world and people will listen’ (something I clearly think I can do also…).

And Obama decided he could take on a second job — cultural commentator.

He started quietly — calling Kanye West a “jackass” after he interrupted Taylor Swift at the VMAs. His off-the-record comment got a lot of attention but Obama couldn’t have been all that embarrassed because he didn’t stop.

So he commented on the Tiger Woods scandal. “I don’t want to comment on his personal relationship with his wife and family,” he started (but couldn’t help but to continue) “but I’m a strong believer that anybody can look within themselves, find their flaws and fix them,” Obama told People Magazine. He also said he was sure Tiger feels “terrible” about his indiscretions and “I suspect that he will try to put his life back together again.”

In March he continued to comment on Tiger saying, “I think that Tiger has acknowledged that he betrayed his family, and that’s a personal issue that he’s got to work out. I hope they’ve worked it out, and I’m sure he’s going to still be a terrific golfer.”

There are inevitably more things for Obama to comment on or appear on in the future. He has lots of celebrity friends and White House visitors to gossip about and visit. But what he should really be concerned with is being the head of the country — not the beloved figurehead / cultural commentator. But if he really wants to stay in the celebrity world, he could adopt Diddy. That’s what the 3rd most famous couple would do at least…

P.S. Watch Obama continue to promote his latest project, The U.S. Presidency, on American Idol (Idol Gives Back) on April 21.

Original Author: Cara Sprunk