Tuesday, September 1, 2009

POTUS and Reading

Because the Obama's took a vacation last week, it was necessary for the White House to release a list of books the president was bringing along. I find it all pretty ridiculous, and as the Slate column eludes, it just leads to an over interpretation of his leisure reading material. Can you imagine the thought that goes into this list? There has to be meetings about it, right? "He should have a couple of novels, so he doesn't look too snooty..." "Oh, but he has to read something pertinent to present day, like the environment..." "Something historical, too!" But if this is the case, according to Slate (who is going along with the over interpretation), the meetings weren't completely successful:
But his list is also clearly not poll-tested. Women played a key role in Obama's victory in 2008. They're swing voters. And yet all of Obama's authors are white men. The subject of the longest book, John Adams, is a dead white male. Obama couldn't get away with that in an election year, and, given his aides' penchant for cleaning up little things like this, we'll soon see the president with a copy of Kate Walbert's A Short History of Women.
In the end, do we really care? Does it really matter? Nah. I just want a president who reads, period. And I have no doubt our president has done a little reading in his lifetime. I actually think less of the publicized lists because I think they're manufactured. Maybe Obama really doesn't want to read those books. Maybe he's a closet Twilight fan (doubtful, but fun to imagine nonetheless). Or maybe he just wanted to take this vacation as a break from all the crazy and just spend time with his ladies. Perhaps instead reading bedtime stories to the girls, and spending the evening talking to his wife.

What do you think? Do you care what our president reads? Or does it just depend on who our president is to care what he reads?


I have to geek out for a second and summarize what comes to mind whenever I see the acronym POTUS: The very first scene in the very first episode of The West Wing, when Sam Seaborn is awoken out of the bed he shares with a beautiful woman to a text message: "POTUS fell off his bike." (Or something like that.) "POTUS?" asks the woman, wrapped in a sheet, looking over Sam's shoulder. "Who's POTUS?" As he dashingly hops out of bed and starts to dress, Sam says in all seriousness with a hint of a self-important tone, "The President of the United States." Gosh, I miss that show.


willikat said...

Sidenote: One of the books he is bringing, Plainsong, is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

pussreboots said...

After 8 years of stupidity I am just thrilled to have a POTUS who reads.

CMS said...

I love the image of Pres. Obama reading a Twilight book. tee hee hee!
In response to your question, I don't really care what the POTUS reads as long as he (or she) READS!!!