Like Don Draper, Barack Obama Can Never Go Home

In watching the seventh season of AMC's inspired hit series Mad Men unfold, I found myself thinking of the Obama presidency, also in its seventh season.  (No spoilers until article's end). For those who may not have seen the series, the principal character of Mad Men is a sophisticated and self-possessed creative director for a New York ad agency named Don Draper.  In many ways, Draper fits the mold of the American Adam, a highly competent individualist with no fixed past and no set future.  This archetype has been a staple of American expression, from Cooper's Natty Bumpo to Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby to just about every character Clint Eastwood has ever played, some of whom don't even have a name, let alone a history. Like Gatsby – and, more to the point, like Barack Obama – Draper has invented himself.  Viewers learn early in the first season that he is not really who he says he is.  He went to Korea as a no-account...(Read Full Article)