I'm not the first to observe that Barack Obama owes much of his current popularity to the fact that he is a living, breathing Rorschach Test. People don't know much about his politics; they like the fact that he is a smart, engaging, accomplished, good-looking African-American male. Little of the support for Obama has to do with his espoused policies, because people know little about them. They like Obama, the man.
Well, as public attention focuses on him, Barack Obama begins to take definition. Today we learn that he doesn't expect any women in a roomful of reporters, and he doesn't want to 'mess up a guy's game.' For detail, we go to Nicholas Lovelady, a reporter who formerly covered Southern Illinois:
Two years ago I was a full-time newspaper reporter in Illinois covering Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
I had the looks, I had the charm and I had my eye on this pretty young thing who was doing an internship for a competing paper.
It took me nearly two months of running into each other at various news events before I worked up the nerve to begin talking to her.
And then Obama shows up.
The senator made his way to SIUE one day to introduce some legislation that would increase grants for students. Prior to that, me and the girl became really cool as I let her in on a few tricks of the trade.
The day Obama came, there was a huge press conference at the university’s student center with about 100 people inside the conference room and hundreds more viewing the conference on a big screen in the lobby.
Obama did his thing, and at the end there was segment for questions by the media.
After about five questions from different television and newspaper reporters, I stood up to ask mine.
“Wait a minute son, this is for professional media only,” Obama said to me.
“What do you mean? I work for the local paper,” I said with a crackling nervous voice.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you were a college student. You have such a baby face,” he said with an unremorseful grin.
At that point everyone in the room turned to look at me and laugh. The 800 people in the lobby laughed as my face was projected on the big screen.
Remembered that girl who I was trying to get with, well she was sitting next to me and guess what she was doing?
Everyone was laughing except me.
Lovelady demanded an apology from Obama - and he got one:
Obama: This is Barack Obama.
Lovelady: Hey, how’s it going?
Obama: Man, I’m calling to publicly apologize for messing up your game. I read that, I felt terrible, I didn’t know there were any ladies around. And I just want to let you know, that I'm deeply sorry.
Some have said that Jim Webb is the man who can win back the white male vote for the Democratic party. Nonsense. They need more men like Barack Obama - who assumes that there are no ladies in a roomful of reporters, and who knows how serious it is to embarrass another guy when he's trying to score. Obama took it seriously enough to call back Lovelady years later.
Obama would be right at home at the Square Table. And he would make a great wingman. That's the kind of man we need as President.
Hat Tip: Norlos
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