The "Brilliant" Stand-Up Comedy of Barack ObamaAugust 10, 2012 @ 8:13 AM EST
"It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood." -Pres. Obama at Connecticut fundraiser this week, referring to Romney’s supposed tax policies if elected.
This column is generally all about the markets and the newsmakers who define them.
So what are we doing talking about Pres. Obama’s “stand-up routines” and deft comic timing?
Well, real simple. It can be easily argued there will be no more important market-moving events this year than the Presidential and Congressional elections.
With the Obama campaign struggling with the current economic data points, the “cult of personality” he has developed will be more important than ever, as will the personality comparisons to Romney, both in day-day campaign events, the convention, major speeches and when they finally reach the debate stage.
And from where we sit, even though we may differ with many of Obama’s policies and his campaign’s tactics, he has it all over Romney in the use of sharp wit (and what is some often inspired speechwriting).
Obama has often flashed his comic touch over the past several years, and nowhere has it been more pronounced than the annual Washington Correspondents Dinner and other major traditional dinners where the President is expected to deliver a bit of comic banter. Obama has frequently outshined the professional comedic hosts, lines delivered with impeccable timing and skewering friends and foes alike.
A few samples over the years (and many thanks to about.com/political humor)
”I do love the Waldorf-Astoria, though. You know, I hear that from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian tea room.” - poking fun at Sarah Palin at the 2008 Al Smith Dinner
On Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Mother’s Day: ”This is a tough holiday for Rahm. He’s not used to saying the word ‘day’ after ‘mother.” -at the 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
On his relationship with Hillary Clinton: ”These days, we could not be closer. In fact, the minute she got back from Mexico, she pulled me into a hug and said I should go down there myself.” -referring to Clinton visiting Mexico during the highly contagious Swine Flu outbreak, 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
On House Minority Leader John Boehner and his fake tan: ”We have a lot in common: He is a person of color. Although not a color that appears in the natural world.” -2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
On his new loyal friend: ”He’s warm, he’s cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic; you just have to keep him in on a tight leash — every once in a while he goes charging off and gets himself into trouble. Enough about Joe Biden.” – 2009 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
On a new spirit of bipartisanship: ”We’re seeing people with strong disagreements get along as never before. You have the former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, current Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney — working together every day, sharing a host body. It’s inspiring. Or creepy. Depending on how you look at it.” -at the 2011 Gridiron Dinner
”In my first term, we passed health care reform. In my second term, I guess I’ll pass it again.” – 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
”I really do enjoy attending these dinners. In fact, I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew.” – 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, shortly after the Secret Service scandal broke
”Look, when I was a kid, I inhaled frequently. That was the point.” – Obama, event unclear
”Now, some have said I blame too many problems on my predecessor, but let’s not forget that’s a practice that was initiated by George W. Bush.” – 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
”I don’t want to be invited to the family hunting party.” - on revelations that he and Dick Cheney are eighth cousins, event unclear
“Last year at this time we were delivering justice to one of the world’s most notorious figures (Bin Laden) and you might be wondering if we are going after someone this year (as a picture flashes of Donald Trump on the jumbo screen to great uproar). -2012 White House Correspondent’s Dinner
”It’s great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom — or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper.”-2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
”I mean, look at this party. We’ve got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine, first-class entertainment. I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference.” – 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner
On a bit of a more serious note, the press has been all over the relative fundraising efforts of the Romney and Obama campaigns, with the nod for biggest gains over the last three months generally going to Romney; Obama $35,800 per plate fundraisers at Harvey Weinstein’s Westport, CT mansion notwithstanding. And there were some reports today on Bloomberg indicating that major reported donations coming from individuals at companies such as Goldman Sachs, AT&T, and General Electric have been running 60-70% for Romney and other Republican candidates, in somewhat of a complete reversal from the 2008 election.
And for the President, that, at least, is no laughing matter.
But we will leave it there with just one more line, our favorite, and again from this year’s Correspondents’ Dinner:
“We have gathered here tonight powerful politicians, Hollywood celebrities, the media and press, big business, and advertisers….just about everything that’s wrong with America in one room.”
Editor's Note: Be sure to follow David on His New Forbes Blog.
David W. (aka The Underground Trader)