In Praise of Presidents Who Aren't Good Family Men
September 05, 2012
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama clash on nearly every important issue, from taxes to abortion to regulation to climate change. Yet both men adore their families, and they make sure we know it too. Throughout his administration, Obama has made reference to his daughters when defending women’s rights or describing a hopeful vision of the future; and the first endorsement that he received at the Democratic convention was, of course, from his wife, Michelle. Romney, for his part, made sure to effusively praise his wife, Ann, during his own acceptance speech.
We’ve all gotten used to emails from Michelle, Barack, and Sarah Jessica, but starting soon, it will be our cell phones that we’re checking for those dinner invites. On Monday, the FEC allowed political campaigns, PACs, and super PACs to receive cash donations via text message for the first time. There’s good reason to believe such impulsive texts could be a windfall for political campaigns; a January PEW study on text-message donations to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake found that three-quarters of the gifts were spur-of-the-moment and conducted without much deliberation.
The Cool Presidency
March 03, 2009
If one were to gather together a dozen of our society's key arbiters of cool—ad execs, movie stars, fashion designers, music critics, pollsters, suburban tweens—and instruct them to generate the profile of a "cool" politician, what are the odds that their efforts would result in a gangly, jug-eared, overeducated, workaholic with a fondness for Scrabble? Not to denigrate our freshly minted president, but, when you tick through some of the basics, Barack Obama comes across as an inveterate dork.