Robert Stein 1924-2014

Contact Information

If anyone has comments, questions or condolences, please feel free to send a private message to the family at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Obama Gotchya Bubble

How much reality does a President need? As Barack Obama nurses an upper lip with 12 stitches from a flying elbow in a basketball scrimmage, Wall Street Journal doyenne Peggy Noonan advises him to escape the White House bubble by hiring "a special assistant for reality" to "advocate for the average, a representative for the normal."

Whose normal? The full text, which Rupert Murdoch did not hide behind a pay wall this weekend, is a frequent business flyer's screed against air terminal patdowns that ends with a call for firing Janet Napolitano.

At the same time, the President is telling Barbara Walters, "We are going to have work on the problem" of security screenings:

"I understand people's frustrations with it, but I also know that if there was an explosion in the air that killed a couple of hundred people...and it turned out that we could have prevented it possibly... that would be something that would be pretty upsetting to most of us--including me."

But Noonan, who put Clint Eastwood's "Read my lips" into Bush I's no-new-tax pledge, wants Obama to know that "every businessman in America already thinks you've been grabbing his gonads."

To that end, she evokes John Wayne passing through a scanner to see a TSA person "walking toward him, snapping his rubber gloves. Guy gets up close to Wayne, starts feeling his waist and hips. Wayne says, Touch the jewels, Pilgrim, and I'll knock you into tomorrow.'"

Sounds like the folks at the Wall Street Journal could use a special assistant for reality even more than the President to screen out past-century cowboy images intended to put him in the wrong, no matter what he does.

As they reach for the gotcha clich├ęs, the Reality Aide could draw down on them and warn, "Make my day."

Meanwhile, Obama might want to woo all those business critics by playing less basketball and going out to hit a few golf balls like all those average, normal presidents used to do.

Update: A conservative GOP Congressman, Peter King writes in another Murdoch publication, the New York Post:

"The debate over security scanning and pat-downs has reached such a fever pitch, it seems that people are forgetting that the enemy isn't the Transportation Security Administration--it's al Qaeda.

"I don't want my children or grandchildren getting on a plane that's going to be blown apart in the sky...If people have constructive suggestions to make, please make them. But to threaten to shut down the system is irresponsible.

"They are putting people in danger by trying to intimidate the TSA into backing down on their security measures."

Peter King, meet Peggy Noonan.


Harley King said...

Thanks for the story about the basketball injury. I had not heard that. I prefer that he plays basketball rather than golf since it is a much better game. If he still has the legs for it, I say go for it.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think, for people like Hannity, Limbaugh, Noonan, Beck, Palin, and Murdoch, their greatest joy would come with a horrendous attack on Obama's watch.

Blakeantor said...

This is just part of Colbert's "Keep fear alive" joke. Unfortunately, the joke is on us. I truly would like for the American public to start thinking about just how far this security theater will be allowed to go.