Barack Obama stands apart from other modern American Presidents in many ways. In addition to the obvious bi-racial background, he is the only President to win the Nobel Peace Prize in his first term, and the only one ever designated Advertising Age’s Marketer of the Year. Beyond such specific achievements is his ineffable appeal, the widespread view that he is the coolest Presidentever. This supernal coolness is not new. In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, the President wrote that in his teenage years “I tried my best to be cool at all times” (p. 82). However, leaving aside the contradiction inherent in trying to be cool, it is possible that Barack Obama’s teenage experiences may have left him psychologically, and perhaps even neurologically, incapable of performing fundamental tasks of his current position.
Much of the appeal of coolness is its very elusiveness, but one definition is “cool means moving through the world at once effortlessly and effectively.” It is very zen (another kind of cool), for cool people to “get beyond striving [to] … a state where they’re not thinking, they’re not exerting effort, they’re not experiencing any doubts, and yet everything works out perfectly.” Yet everything is not working out perfectly for our President. And now even his supporters are confronting the realization that, while the President is meeting the criterion of not making much effort, the effectiveness part is not following.
Obama losing the left