Thursday, November 1, 2012

President Obama: I Am The Champion, My Friends

source: bigbadbaseball.
    A new word began showing up today in President Obama's campaign.  Here's an excerpt from a speech the president gave in Green Bay, Wisconsin:
See, the folks at the very top in this country don’t need another champion in Washington.  They’ll always have a seat at the table.  They’ll always have access and influence.  
The people who need a champion are the Americans whose letters I read late at night; the men and women I meet on the campaign trail every day.  The laid off furniture worker who is retraining at age 55 for a career in biotechnology -– she needs a champion
The small restaurant owner who needs a loan to expand after the bank turned him down -– he needs a champion.  The cooks and the waiters and the cleaning staff working overtime at a Vegas hotel, trying to save enough to buy a first home or send their kid to college -– they need a champion.  (Applause.)  
The autoworker who’s back on the job, filled with pride and dignity because he’s building a great car –- he needs a champion.  (Applause.)  The young teacher doing her best in an overcrowded classroom with outdated textbooks –- she needs a champion.  (Applause.)  
All those kids in inner cities and small farm towns, in the valleys of Ohio or rolling Virginia hills or right here in Green Bay; kids dreaming of becoming scientists or doctors, engineers or entrepreneurs, diplomats or even a president –- (applause) -- they need a champion in Washington.  (Applause.)  They need a champion.  They need a champion because the future will never have as many lobbyists as the past, but it’s the dreams of those children that will be our saving grace.
    Being a politician makes some degree of self-promotion virtually unavoidable.  Candidates often refer to themselves in the third person with phrases such as "America needs a leader who will..."  But the above strikes me as the kind of speech better delivered by a candidate's spouse or by a vice presidential candidate about his running mate.  But to tout one's self as a "champion"?  On the other hand, as the New York Times just recalled in September, perhaps it fits after all:
“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
    The other message of Obama's "champion" speech is that the days of "ask not what your country can do for you" are behind us.  Now the self-proclaimed Champion in Chief will secure a "seat at the table" in Washington for the 99% (or is it the 47%?) to lobby for their dreams.  America is apparently no longer the land of opportunity unless Barack Obama "makes that happen."  No time for losers, cause he is the champion.

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me strongly of a Robot Chicken episode, the one with the blind man named "Eagle Eye" Smith who keeps on repeating "I'm a champion!":