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October 28, 2009
The First Say-to-Play President
We have a Say-to-Play President.
We all know what Pay-to-Play means. Former Illinois Governor Rod “Blago” Blagojevich elevated that phrase to national prominence. Now, once again straight out of Chicagoland politics, comes another phrase: Say-to-Play.
President Obama deploys his oratorical tools more than any president in memory. Eisenhower was a General, and talked like one – when he had to. Nixon was way short of spellbinding. Carter lectured like a tenured Sunday school teacher. Reagan was a professional orator, and it showed. Bush 41 was flat. Clinton’s skills lay elsewhere, sometimes literally. And, with a few exceptions, like on 9/11, Bush 43 was weak.
Obama the Candidate, though, mesmerized his swooning supporters by saying things. What he said didn’t much matter. His trump card, strong suit, ace in the whole, big stick on the campaign trail was saying. That’s what candidates do, after all. They say things. A lot of things.
As President, he’s still in a campaign mode, doing a lot of saying. He’s on TV more than the GIECO lizard, the Shamwow guy, and Congressman Alan Grayson (FL) combined and squared – saying things.
But that’s not his first love. That’s reserved for playing. Playing golf and playing basketball, specifically. This from Politico.com:
President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he's already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years…Obama ties Pres. Bush in the number of rounds of golf played in office: 24. [It] took Bush 2 yrs & 10 months.
In his golf outing last Sunday, Obama broke the gender barrier and included a woman. Gender inclusiveness. Clinton rules in that category.
His pick-up basketball games are well known. But, so far, no females have been included on the court and boards. It’s only a matter of time.
But there are plenty of both sexes at the regular White House parties.
Presidents have long used the White House as a platform to showcase the best of music and the arts: Chester Arthur staged the first formal East Room concert in the late 1800s. But the Obama’s are demonstrating a commitment to use the White House to promote the arts in a huge way. (Source)
It’s all about promoting the arts. The parties help out new, young artists, like Earth, Wind and Fire and Charlie Pride, as they struggle to break into the arts biz. Not to mention two virtually unknowns, Wynton Marsalis and Tony Bennett.
The Presidents speaks and he plays. Sleeps some, too, probably.
The first Say-to-Play President. Party on, Mr. President. Wahoo!