With Barack Obama the jokes always on us
Posted by danishova on March 21, 2009
Amidst the kerfuffle over Barack’s gaffetastic appearance on Leno, Michelle Malkin asks, “Why can’t Obama tell a good joke?” and provides a one word answer: E.G.O. Michelle links to a piece by J.P. Freire, who analyzed Obama the jokester last Fall for The American Spectator (Title: Barack Oboring.)
The problem isn’t that Obama attempts jokes now and again that don’t come off. The problem is that his humor is completely chilly. His repertoire is an awkward collection of self-conscious half jokes. And whenever he thinks on his feet to come up with a quick retort, the results are decidedly sub-sub-par.
Chilly is a good word, as is creepy. I’ll provide evidence shortly.
GENERALLY SPEAKING, there are two themes for Obama "jokes": "I’m Great," and "I’m Only Pretty Great."
Yep. He later goes on to say:
ACTUALLY, THERE IS a third theme: cliche race jokes. Indeed, the man who is supposed to be above that sort of thing not only goes there, he goes there with some frequency.
By pointing to Obama’s use of race jokes, we’re getting closer to the creepy part. Friere finishes his piece with this:
Slate‘s Chris Beam observed that Obama actually "laughs at his own jokes, a staccato ‘heh’ that sounds naked when spoken into a mic in a large auditorium." He’s laughing at us.
To borrow from Obama’s own rhetoric, “heh” is the clue we’ve been looking for. Beam has picked up on something profound here, but this was early January 2008, and the chilliest and creepiest examples were still to come - weeks later, on January 23, 2008 in Sumter, South Carolina:
Note the creepy smile, the “heh”, the laugh that follows – all the chilly clues that he knows full well that as he invokes Malcolm X he is hoodwinking and bamboozling the audience. He is speaking in code, telling an unfunny ‘joke’ which ruthlessly tars his opponent (at that time it was Hillary Clinton) as a racist. Heh, indeed.
This creepy joke was a real winner for Barack. So much so that he went on to use it over and over again throughout his campaign, later switching his target from Hillary Clinton to John McCain, throwing in a few “okey-dokes” for good measure.
The American people have been hoodwinked and bamboozled. They’ve fallen for the ol’ okey-doke. The jokes on us.
(By the way, If you don’t like that presentation, here’s a different edit of the same footage, without the creepy background music. Barack is creepy enough – we don’t need to pile on. In this version, the bamboozling comes at the end.)