March 16, 2008
Swooning: Then and Now
Barack Obama seems to have the power to make women, even liberal feminists, swoon, as Kyle-Anne Shiver's recent article delightfully discussed. But she betrays her youth.
For old-timers like me, there's nothing new about women shrieking and swooning while an anemically thin, bony faced young man croons to them. In the 1940's, this was so common whenever Frank Sinatra sang that it became a stock joke in radio shows and movie cartoons.
And Obama even looks a bit like Sinatra. If you think I'm imagining it, take a look at a photo of Sinatra when he was Obama's present age. The resemblance was even more striking at the height of Sinatra's swooning era.
This "swoon factor" seems to be connected, in a manner unfathomable to men, to the maternal instinct, which is the least rational thing in women. The most prominent feature shared by Obama and the young Sinatra is their thinness---an apparent acute undernourishment. Any Jewish mother worth her matzos feels an irresistible urge to stuff Obama with food---or, if need be, votes. Even iron maidens like Maureen Dowd are reduced to fatuously cooing over Obama as if he were a baby.
Obama's swoon-maternity appeal is a powerful vote-getter that poor Hillary simply can't cope with; she's not the least bit cuddly. And it's going to be a tough issue for McCain to contend with. I'd suggest he start by going on a diet. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons