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"Baruch, what's it like to be the first Jewish president?"
August 23, 2012 12:06 PM   Subscribe

"It's true that my background is a bit convoluted, but let me try my luck at clarifying these matters once and for all. I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice-fisherman."
Between Barack and a Hard Place: My First Hundred Days by Baroque Yo' Mama

A parody written by a young Barack Obama for the satirical Harvard Law Revue.
posted by Atom Eyes (60 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite

 
He had me at "Jewish".
posted by Burhanistan at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice-fisherman.

The Kenya thing was all a smokescreen!

Multidimensional chess, mfers.
posted by jaduncan at 12:13 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Barrage O'Trauma! I'm amazed I haven't hard that one before from one of his opponents.

Also: "To contribute to legal scholarship, sharpen my mind... and the ladies love it." Oh, they do, Barrage. They do.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:17 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not for the first time am I glad I didn't know a young Barack Obama because I've always tended to find gay guys who crush on their straight friends tacky.

Also - FOOTNOTE HUMOR!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


I appreciated the fun with signals.
posted by resurrexit at 12:21 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's a link with everything typed out.

"Now some folks may think I’m crazy for for appointing a bunch of conservatives to the masthead, and others may think I’ve been co-opted. Neither theory is correct: You see, back in Norway, I was raised to appreciate the value of narrow thinking and chilly demeanor."
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:21 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


The footnote to Baroque Yo' Mama is awesome.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:23 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next, I invited my underlings to join me for a "pot15 luck" dinner

15. See Froman, No Way, Dude, I've Don't Even Know Where Haight-Ashbury Is, 5 Clean Pee L. Rev. 424 (1963)
posted by zamboni at 12:24 PM on August 23, 2012 [18 favorites]


showbiz_liz: Here's a link with everything typed out.

Wow. I made a huge mistake by scrolling down to the comments to see if someone had typed up the footnotes. They... had not.
posted by gilrain at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forgot the link: Michael Froman.
posted by zamboni at 12:26 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


15. See Froman, No Way, Dude, I've Don't Even Know Where Haight-Ashbury Is, 5 Clean Pee L. Rev. 424 (1963)

Yeah, I was thinking that one would have to dig into those references to really appreciate this, but the man has a sense of humour and there's nothing, absolutely nothing wrong about that.
posted by three blind mice at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2012


Wow. I made a huge mistake by scrolling down to the comments to see if someone had typed up the footnotes. They... had not.

Yeah, I don't think that site overall is a big Obama fan...
posted by kmz at 12:34 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also love the photo of Obama next to the bottle of Dewars White Label (which one assumes he was behind as it appears in his profile). He's been mocking his racial critics for a long time apparently and this one is really very clever.
posted by three blind mice at 12:39 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


New republic filter: Clearly this jokey and unserious "parody" indicates a man with no idea how grave the situation is and no respect for the office he now holds.
posted by The Whelk at 12:42 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Barrage O'Trauma! I'm amazed I haven't hard that one before from one of his opponents.

Too cerebral for their target audience.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:42 PM on August 23, 2012


This is great.
posted by The World Famous at 12:45 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has there ever been a president who was this goddamn much fun?

(I mean, Clinton, but his shtick wore thin what with all the sex scandals.)
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:45 PM on August 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


How was this not just his entire platform in 2008?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:48 PM on August 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


The citations are what make this piece.
posted by parmanparman at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Between "leader of the free world" and "geek Simpsons writer," I'm not sure he made the right choice.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Profile: Shy, awkward, insecure. Not interested in politics.

He changed his mind, apparently.
posted by jcreigh at 12:52 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


No you obtain high Govermental office and then one of your daughters goes to write on a geekying cartoon show. That's how this works.
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Canadians had Trudeau, you yanks still have a lot to catch up to.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 12:53 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


> He changed his mind, apparently.

I think he was anything but shy and insecure at Harvard, however.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:54 PM on August 23, 2012


Doers White Label: Six or seven bottles make even McConnell go down smooth.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:54 PM on August 23, 2012


Has there ever been a president who was this goddamn much fun?

FDR and TR spring to mind. If peeing on the legs of Secret Service agents and holding press conferences in the bathroom while sitting on the toilet count, LBJ was a barrel of laughs.
posted by The World Famous at 12:55 PM on August 23, 2012


This is a work of art. The footnotes had me laughing out loud. I'm proud to have this man in office.
posted by blurker at 12:57 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


You make a really good point, Snarl. And I think, oddly, that's one of the (many) reasons why Romney seems to out-of-touch. He's just not fun at all and "presidential-seeming" (in the old-fashioned sense) isn't something a lot of people are interested in anymore.

But coming off reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's article posted below, I can't help but think about how America REALLY wouldn't be able to deal with a not funny black president.

The World Famous: " FDR and TR spring to mind. If peeing on the legs of Secret Service agents and holding press conferences in the bathroom while sitting on the toilet count, LBJ was a barrel of laughs."

There's a weird fun-to-asshole-behavior that Obama seems to overcome. (I think this gets at the Clinton/sex scandal thing too... and, for that matter, I bet non-sober GW Bush was pretty fun too.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:58 PM on August 23, 2012


Didn't LBJ expose himself to his cabinet at some point?
posted by griphus at 12:59 PM on August 23, 2012


Yeah but it was the liquor cabinet
posted by The Whelk at 1:02 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Didn't LBJ expose himself to his cabinet at some point?

I think that the thing with LBJ was that he liked to show off the scar from his appendectomy. Might that be what you are referring do?

(He also liked to say things like "Jerry Ford is a good guy, but he used to play football without a helmet.", and (about someone else) "...He's so dumb, he couldn't pour piss out of a boot if he had instructions on the heel.")
posted by dfm500 at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


With all the humorous footnotes I felt like I was reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all over again.
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:05 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Didn't LBJ expose himself to his cabinet at some point?

See above re: conferences on the can. Press, cabinet...if there was a meeting, and he needed to take a shit, by God he was going to multitask.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on August 23, 2012


> if there was a meeting, and he needed to take a shit

In random moments I sometimes think about the shitting problems that must be posed with POTUS. His days are scheduled down to the minute to include time it takes to walk from one part of the White House to another. What about the presidential shitting time?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I felt like I was reading Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all over again.

Just think how much more entertaining the debates would be if the candidates where allowed to call upon the elemental forces of magic to prove thier point?
posted by The Whelk at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


In random moments I sometimes think about the shitting problems that must be posed with POTUS. His days are scheduled down to the minute to include time it takes to walk from one part of the White House to another. What about the presidential shitting time?

They seem to make time for getting shit-faced drunk, forcing young women to give oral sex to their friends, and having illicit trysts in back rooms at the Department of Justice, so I'm sure the Morning Constitutional is not a problem.
posted by The World Famous at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2012


What about the presidential shitting time?

It helps when you elect someone who isn't full of shit.
posted by chavenet at 1:12 PM on August 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hilarious. :D

Did anyone else read the entire thing while hearing him say it in your head?
posted by zarq at 1:13 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


And on the other hand, think of the empowering feeling it must be to wake up in the White House, go to the loo and see the official Presidential Seal on the lid of the official Presidential Toilet, and then do your business like a pro. Bossman.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:14 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is funnier than Key and Peele's "Obama's Anger Translator," and I would love to see them perform it (Luther/Key can do the footnotes).
posted by gladly at 1:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


that's one of the (many) reasons why Romney seems to out-of-touch. He's just not fun at all and "presidential-seeming" (in the old-fashioned sense) isn't something a lot of people are interested in anymore.

Mitt Romney’s Strange Sense of Humor
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on August 23, 2012


Didn't occur to me before, but Barack Obama is sort of a version of The Boy Named Sue. With a name like that, he almost had to be funny.
posted by Malor at 1:30 PM on August 23, 2012


Did you hear about the first Jewish President? At his inauguration, his mother leans over the to the lady sitting next to him and says, "you see that man standing next to the Chief Justice? His brother's a doctor."
posted by dry white toast at 1:32 PM on August 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


But coming off reading Ta-Nehisi Coates's article posted below, I can't help but think about how America REALLY wouldn't be able to deal with a not funny black president.

I haven't read the Coates article yet, but I've heard the idea that, since there a limited number of ways black men can "appropriately" express anger in the public sphere in the US, we don't see Obama get particularly fiery/worked up/outraged about anything, since it would set off many white people's "ZOMGBLACKPANTHERS!!!!!"-filter. I absolutely buy that argument.

/off to read article in question
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:54 PM on August 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just think how much more entertaining the debates would be if the candidates where allowed to call upon the elemental forces of magic to prove thier point?

Why, if appeals to mythic spirits from beyond the veil were actually able to produce visable results, they might finally have a place in the political process aside from pandering to superstitious single-issue fuckwits!
posted by FatherDagon at 2:22 PM on August 23, 2012


The fairies can have Michelle Bachman.
posted by maryr at 2:45 PM on August 23, 2012


Lord knows her husband struggles with 'em!
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on August 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Somebody may have already said this in a comment above -

but it is highly unlikely that Obama wrote even a word of this.

The "Revue" is (as the OP says) a satirical thing - a small fake issue of the Harv L Rev, distributed internally once a year for internal guffaws. It involves the people who work on the L Rev making fun of each other. In context, I would bet dollars to donuts that this was written by other editors.
posted by sheldman at 3:10 PM on August 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


This man is too smart and talented to be President of the United States.
posted by DMelanogaster at 3:11 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's lutefisk, dammit.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:25 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This man is too smart and talented to be President of the United States.


He is certainly very smart and talented. And I can see how, in light of the idiot who was in the White House for eight years before Mr. Obama, someone could forget just how smart and talented other Presidents have been. But really, it's insulting to the other extremely smart, talented Presidents to suggest that Obama is too smart and talented for the office.
posted by The World Famous at 7:05 PM on August 23, 2012


This man is too smart and talented to be President of the United States.

Putting aside whether one approves of his policies, or even whether he wrote this particular piece, that may actually be true. I often think about how an Abraham Lincoln of this day and age -- shy, unprepossessing, unattractive by the standards of the day, a sufferer of clinical depression, a teller of intemperate jokes -- would not even consider the possibility of going into elected office in America. Such a person is just too complicated to make it through an election.

I personally remember the day I said goodbye to any hopes of high office. I was nineteen, and planning to dress up to appear in the local Rocky Horror production. I asked my roommate to come along, because she's a fun person, but she declined. She said she might want to run for public office someday, and didn't want any such pictures of her to turn up in the future. I stopped and thought: well, is this it? I suppose this is it -- and I went to Rocky Horror anyway. Pictures were indeed taken. I have no talent for politics myself, so it was no great loss to anyone, but too many other gifted people have probably made this kind of decision for themselves.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:06 PM on August 23, 2012


I don't think you're giving Bill Clinton much credit on the smart and talented scale, there.
posted by The World Famous at 7:18 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please please please release a follow-up to this after your reelection, Mr. President. Hell, make it your next State of the Union.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:15 PM on August 23, 2012


It's lutefisk, dammit.

Yeah, I didn't like Obama misspelling it as "lutefish" either. But then again, the lutefisk humor was good enough that, if this gets out more widely, it might increase his margins in Minnesota by another 5%. Minnesotans love a good lutefisk joke, you betcha.
posted by jonp72 at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Poolworkers of the world unite! It's already on your resume."
posted by TreeRooster at 4:57 AM on August 24, 2012


True story: Some famous law professor with the usual stick crammed three feet up his ass submitted a paper to my law school's review (not revue). I don't really know what happened, but in formatting the footnotes some poor law student had put placeholders that were something a la See Fuck you v. Yo Mama. Somehow the law professor found out and it was A! HUGE! SCANDAL!

Still love Obama. Wish he didn't have to deal with our various messes.
posted by angrycat at 5:46 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, was it written by Obama as it says at the top of this page, or by classmates as it says at the link?
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:44 AM on August 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The corpse:

The introductory text at the linked page has changed, I believe - I am pretty sure that yesterday the introductory text said that Obama wrote the piece (and I am pretty sure that's wrong, as I said in a comment above), but now it says that classmates wrote it.
posted by sheldman at 11:41 AM on August 24, 2012


Good call, sheldman. Damn. Sorry folks; this post's entire existence is a lie!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:10 PM on August 24, 2012


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