One-Trick Maureen: Dowd Continues to Question the Sexuality of Leading Democrats

Election '08

You gotta feel a bit bad for Barack Obama, all things considered. He's so clearly the better candidate. I know it. You know it. Dogs know it. He spends the week touring the globe facing millions of people who literally expect him to Save the World, and his reward is to get a private sitdown with the Prom Queen of Sulzberger High, who is allowed to needle him endlessly with bullshit questions and air raids and her snide smoking asides.  (Patent pending on those, Ann Althouse! Step off, beeyotch!) It's enough to give a guy the bends.

In MoDo's world, Obama, a Dem, is sexually suspect, two terms which inspire thoughts of the Department of Redundancy Department. And so his encounter with French president Sarkozy, that wingnut twat, was not a meeting between a world leader and a presumptive world leader designed to make up for five years of Freedom Toast, but a cinq à sept, a liaison in the afternoon, languorous and stolen.

Passing acquaintances collide in a moment of transcendent passion. They look at each other shyly and touch tenderly during their Paris cinq à sept, exchange some existential thoughts under exquisite chandeliers, and -- tant pis -- go their separate ways.
Sarko, back to Carla Bruni. Obama, forward to Gordon Brown. A Man and a Man. All it needed was a lush score and Claude Lelouch.

(And yes, in case you're wondering, there are days when I wish deconstructing MoDo's psyche was not my avocation, because you gotta wonder who gets a pup tent or a wide-on from standard photo-ops of political meetings. That's just weird. Brokeback Ballroom?) Note  that Sarkozy gets to go home to the hot chick, Obama to the milquetoast New Labour guy. Clearly, Sarkozy isn't really "like that," but Obama is. And he was sad, so sad, to be leaving Paris. Bet you were too, Mo.

The funny part is, MoDo likes Obama, at least as much as she's capable of doing. And he seems to have figured out how to handle her, more or less. But he can't control the way she writes, the collection and accretion of elements she's using to build the narrative against him. And I'm not entirely sure she can, either, though identifying the urge to trivialize as a compulsion does seem to let her off the hook somewhat. Still. I may be compelled to eat a tube of raw cookie dough, but I don't.

Today's outing has two established narrative threads: the gay thing (which will never really go away for her, I don't think), and the Chosen One thing, noted in moments such as these:  "After 200,000 people thronged to see Obama at the Victory Column in Berlin, christening him 'Redeemer' and 'Savior,' it turned out Sarko was also Obamarized, as the Germans were calling the mesmerizing effect." And, "How does he like the McCain camp mocking him as 'The One'? 'Even if you start believing your own hype, which I rarely do, things'll turn on you pretty quick anyway,' he said. 'I have a fairly steady temperament that has at times been interpreted as, 'Oh, he's sort of too cool.' But it's not real.' "

Nicely done, Senator. Deft.

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