Presidential Rock Star? | Teen Ink

Presidential Rock Star? MAG

February 26, 2009
By Yiren Lu BRONZE, Rohnert Park, California
Yiren Lu BRONZE, Rohnert Park, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

On Monday we celebrated the birthday of a man who gave his life for civil rights, and on Tuesday we inaugurated our first black ­president.

It was fitting. A little PR-happy, perhaps, a little campy, but if one could overlook the fact that Obama has already been compared to every half-decent leader from Lincoln to JFK, it was fitting.

It was certainly more fitting than a comparison I saw last week on “Showbiz Tonight”: Brangelina (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) versus the Obamas (Barack and Michelle) – which couple is more famous? It’s one thing for Al Gore to win an Oscar; it’s quite another when Sasha Obama needs a press release to explain why she was fiddling around with a digital camera. Chelsea Clinton didn’t start trends. Malia is not Miley. Michelle is not Oprah (and no, Oprah does not deserve a cabinet position).

We all know that Obama is young, vibrant, ­someone new and different. But if there’s anything we have learned from the last eight years – from Bush getting a shoe chucked at him in Baghdad, from the romantic life of Nicolas Sarkozy, from the heroic efforts of Captain “Sully,” who landed his plane in the Hudson River – it is the value of competence, dignity, gravitas.

Having Jennifer Lopez call the most powerful man in the world a “rock star” and “the biggest A-lister in a room full of A-listers” in no way confers gravitas upon him. That just sets him up for caricature.

We need to realize that he is our president. He’s facing two wars, the worst economy since the Great Depression, China and Russia resurgent, a budget ­crisis, healthcare crisis, energy crisis, Gaza crisis, plus a finicky Congress. He doesn’t need to deal with his face on sneakers, skateboards, or toilet paper. And since when do presidents have their own line of cologne?

The only other political figure I can think of who has inspired such a cult of idolization and commercialization is Che Guevara. Ironically, the very success of Guevara’s iconography has subverted his true ideological legacy. Few of those who sport his swarthy, spirited face on their T-shirts or notebooks today know what he did, or even what he believed in.

That’s my greatest fear for Obama. I’m afraid that we’ll go through two terms with this eloquent, ambiguous man, and we’ll never move past the adoration phase. We’ll never really know which promises he kept, which advisors he fired, which bills he vetoed, because we’ll be too enamored with his dog, his daughters, and his wife’s Oscar de la Renta. We’ll hold him back from being presidential, doing his job, while at the same time, we won’t hold him accountable.

During the first year or so of the campaign, the ­excitement was understandable. But by now even Sarah Palin has gone back to quietly running her state (okay, maybe not so quietly), and it’s time for a change in attitude. We must respect the privacy of the Obama children, regardless of the historical nature of a black family in the White House. Meanwhile, the media should spend its precious sound bites on more worthwhile, underserved topics, like conjoined twins or homicides.

As for Barack Obama, it’s time to ditch the red ­carpet, get down here with the rest of us, and save America from the supposed impending doom. That’s what we’re paying him for, right?

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This article has 23 comments.

on Mar. 25 2011 at 3:08 pm
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. SILVER, Plymouth, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
See everything, Overlook a lot, Correct a little.

hmmmm, that's ironic...

on Feb. 13 2011 at 2:37 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 324 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

I agree with you on everything but your closing statement. Although the USA president is internationally famous, he or she does not actually make that much money. Not a lot of our money goes towards paying him or her. But, yes, I get your point. We elected him to do that job, and he isn't really. But don't take that the wrong way! I am a definite Obama lover. I just think he isn't doing as much as he could be doing. :)

GiselleD. GOLD said...
on Dec. 4 2010 at 11:53 pm
GiselleD. GOLD, Aurora, Colorado
11 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
Are you serious?

This is excellent and I totally agree with what you're saying. I believe, also, that if Obama really means what he sayid he was going to do, then he needs to get a move on, being halfway through his term and having done, essentially, nothing.

on Jul. 27 2010 at 4:28 pm
Tintinnabulation BRONZE, Glen Arm, Maryland
4 articles 0 photos 46 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Long enough have you dreamed contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes,
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life."-Walt Whitman

That red fist...isn't that a symbol for socialism?

i<3steven! said...
on Feb. 26 2010 at 3:51 pm
i<3steven!, Newcastle, California
0 articles 0 photos 95 comments

Favorite Quote:
Inside Joke

definitely tru, and i also think that we should give him a chance cuz lotsa people h* him and that's wrong!!

on Jan. 31 2010 at 5:29 pm
emajin96! BRONZE, Millersville, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:

Awesome piece!!!! Loved your insight; totally true.

on Nov. 4 2009 at 6:25 pm
CaseyLeigh PLATINUM, Moraga, California
31 articles 6 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to.

This piece is absolutely true. I love it.

on Oct. 11 2009 at 5:03 pm
FlyleafFreak DIAMOND, Loveland, Colorado
51 articles 0 photos 203 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I have faith in fools;self confidence my friends call it"~Edger Allan Poe
"In this world of infinite insanity, your friends are the best psychiatrists you will ever have."~Me

Yes, I totally agree. I really dislike Obama and I didn't want him to win. BUT I didn't want McCain to win either. California is broke, and setting a deadline for Guantanimo Bay? Okay, so then where are we going to put the terroists, who hate America with every fiber of their being and there followers? Over here, closer to all our loved ones? I understand the country was already on a downhill slide, but the way the media AND OBAMA set himself up, it was like, In one year I will fix everything and we will be great again. Okay, I don't care if Abe Lincoln or JFK was alive today, don't set yourself up as Jesus or the greatest president the country will ever have.

on Aug. 6 2009 at 4:24 pm
oppenheimlily BRONZE, Furlong, Pennsylvania
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
first i want to say great job! This had great structure, and fantastic backing! However, I do not agree that people shouldn't be idolizing him. Though he isn't a "rock star" Barack Obama is the type of person teens should be idolizing. He does things to make the world a better place, how good could you get? What does Vanessa Hudgens or Robert Pattinson do, kids idolize them? What I am trying to point out is that Barack Obama is the person we SHOULD be idolizing, over the stars who just do drugs and other bad things. I mean, why not? He is a great influence to kids. Though I agree when you say the media needs to leave him alone. He needs to do his job. Anyway, great article!

on Aug. 5 2009 at 6:56 pm
swimmergirl GOLD, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
16 articles 1 photo 14 comments
Agreed and for the record has anyone ever noticed that he never actually states how he is going to fix our country's problems he only says that he will. To me this means either he has no idea how he is going to fix the problems or he knows the people won't like it. I personally think that he should be impeached and; how is that hope and change working out for ya!!!

on Aug. 3 2009 at 7:41 pm
kiwi12 PLATINUM, Austin, Texas
28 articles 10 photos 365 comments
Agreed. But Sarah Palin backed down from her office of running Alaska, FYI.

He could do a really good job, or a really bad one like he is promising..

on Jun. 24 2009 at 7:26 pm
IRBFGW DIAMOND, Cincinnati, Ohio
53 articles 1 photo 223 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hey, assbutt!" Supernatural, Castiel.

This is true. I am very happy Obama won, and I support him 100%, but I think the media should let him do his JOB not follow him trying to get a story. Obama is president, not a rockstar.

rubiesrrare said...
on May. 29 2009 at 9:04 pm
i think that this piece was well written and well to those of you that are using this to voice your opinions on the man in charge of the country, think about this: obama is making history- and not just because he is the first African American president either! if we have a president that is doing something so that we (as teens) are still paying off this debt when we are of retirement age and so that most of my friends that are in the army aren't going to die in some god-forsaken country, then personally i think that i could deal with a some towels and tee shirts with his face on them. think about it, if abe lincoln or jfk were alive today you'd better believe that they would probably be BETTER publicized than obama and where would yall stand then?

on May. 19 2009 at 2:29 pm
oodles12 BRONZE, Towson, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Actually Obama has done alot. He's really buckling down on the situation in Iran and the Palestinian/Israel issue.

He Set a deadline for the closing of Guantanimo Bay.

He set up a meeting in Cairo with Arab officials

Fast-tracked the process to apply new fuel standards to 2011 car models AND initiated steps to allow California to set its own standards for auto emissions that are stricter than that of the Federal government.

Signed a detailed executive order to ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

Asked the military leadership to engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq.

Signed an order banning gifts from lobbyists and banning anyone from working in an agency they had lobbied in previous years.

And unlike previous presidents he walks the middle line between Israel and other Arab Nations. Please do background research and be well informed before writing an article that criticizes someone. He's not praised because he's the president, he's praised because he symbolizes the American dream. He doesnt ask for this awe, it's simply given to him.

Wally said...
on May. 19 2009 at 1:59 pm
I feel exactly the same way, it is geting ridiculous. Just the other day i saw his wife on some "hottest woman of 2009" thing. I fiercly waved my arms in a "What the hell" position and wondered if i become famous and make wishfull promises and have a hot wife, would I become president? oh nuts, I don't have a dog.

on May. 3 2009 at 12:34 pm
I'm not really into Obama but I wasn't much of a McCain fan either. I do think Obama needs to buckle down and make the major changes first, then go for the smaller. Everything about our economy is falling apart, and I think he needs to prove he can help us, like he promised. I haven't seen much proof yet. But I do believe that he'll catch up. I think soon he will do good on his word. But until then, I am really anxious.

elfman said...
on Apr. 29 2009 at 3:05 pm
i agree with this peace as obama is just a stare right now and not even doing much of his job.... he needs to buckle down and get to work.


HOPEMVP said...
on Apr. 27 2009 at 4:42 pm
Thers is too much merchendise on Obama as a president as whole. I mean books, posters, t-shirts, even puzzles! Where does the REAL OPINION start. I really think that "Obama just thinks he's a Rockstar".

racheel said...
on Apr. 13 2009 at 2:59 am
This is so true. Obama is not a celebrity. He is the president, and should be spending more time focused on the problems in America, not the upcoming cocktail party. He's a politician, not a socialite.

on Apr. 8 2009 at 7:33 pm
DinosoarJen DIAMOND, Scottsville, New York
86 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just another casualty.
It's sad but true.
And even dead I'm still ahead
of most of you.

If you hadn't noticed, he's letting it happen. He isn't protesting it. He's going on those shows and publicizing himself. No one is forcing to step into the lime light, he's taking conscious steps. Tell HIM to ditch the red carpet, not us.