Although they may be successful, I find the new “Barack” fundraising appeals shortsighted and a little disrespectful. (This comes from the “when I fell off my dinosaur,” part of my personality).
The ads invite you to “Meet, Barack and Michelle.” Some of the ads offer you the opportunity to buy lunch or dinner with the happy couple. While they claim you don’t have to donate to win – that is not really true. You can donate as little as $3, or as much as $40,000. (What happened to campaign finance?) But whether or not you have to donate to enter to be intimate with the First Couple, is not the point. (My personal favorite is the lottery that flies you to the Democratic convention, covers your expenses and provides front row seats, not sure what front row is available) but this is not what I wanted to blob about.
If you were given a chance to meet Dave and Iris or the President of the United States and the First Lady, which would you choose? Don’t try to be kind, I know we’re far more entertaining. But the President of the United States of America, is truly special. Why would you diminish the importance of the Presidency, by calling him Barack, instead of Mr. President. He is not just a regular guy. He is the Commander in Chief and someone who is supposed to find ways to make your life better. He is the leader of the Western world. He has access to every mode of transportation available. He could even take a space ship if he made friends with Branson – which he could also do. As much fun as Dave and Iris are, they are not going to change your life in any important way.
Jimmy Carter, was just plain folks, one of the people, like you or even me. He won the election in 1976. It was thrilling when Jimmy and Rosalyn got out of their limo to walk down Pennsylvania Ave during the inauguration. It didn’t take long before people all over the nation started to rethink the “ordinary” people tag. This was best exampled in 1980 when Ronald Reagan defeated him. Most people loved the Reagan glamour, and spending, and rhetoric. They want their leaders to be exceptional and that includes, not just one of the great unwashed, (and I mean that in the nicest possible way). I’ve said this before: most people aspire to be rich, or famous, or even terrific parents. The notion of aspiring to be middle class, requires a person to think of themselves as less than that. Even people who have to choose between medication, food, and fuel, like to think that the decisions their extraordinary (nothing to do with party politics), leaders make will guide them down a path to “more than they ever imagined was possible.” Not all of want to take on that kind of responsibility. We want the benefits of accomplishment, without doing the work.
It is not cool for the President to agree to settle for less than all the titles and the pomp of this office. People love to think that however they help the President will help the country, not just Barack and Michelle as individuals. Allowing him to be called by anything less, diminishes his stature. Romney is wealthy beyond most of our dreams, but generally that doesn’t make people angry. Romney saved the Olympics. He built a successful business. He put people to work. Any other information is peripheral. It would make more sense for the President and other elected Democrats to repeatedly say, “I am the President, and I know how to get things done. But the Republicans and Tea Party people don’t care about you, or your life. Their sole agenda has been to make sure this President couldn’t get anything done. And in that they have done a brilliant job.” We’re just sayin’.... Iris