I figure I can be that informal, since you, your wife, your vice president, and all your friends, all seem to have access to my email and keep writing to me. I have no idea who David, Mitch, Mary Jane, Jeremy, etc etc all are, but hey, they are obviously friends because all their emails start "Dear Friend"! Any friend of yours has to be a friend of mine, I guess is your thinking.
As your 'friend', I feel sure that you won't mind if I give you some advice, and offer my help. My advice to you, free of charge is this: STOP IT! No, I am not talking about your staged 'healthcare/insurance reform/townhalls; nor am I talking about your little beer fest in the White House with Professor Gates et al (we'll talk about that another time.)
What I AM talking about is your almost daily op/eds, your constant appearances on tv. I am not sure what all the office of the President of the US involves, but I have to think it shouldn't be leaving you all this free time in which to write op/eds. I thought it was just me that has noticed that you have become a regular op/ed writer, but not so. A writer on another site asks a question that has been bugging me for more than a little while:
Inquiring minds want to know: While Obama spends the majority of his time doing press conferences, town hall meetings and government service announcements, in between vacations and highly publicized jaunts to foreign countries, who’s actually running the store?
Who is writing the speeches that Obama is so skilled in delivering? Who is formulating the policy Obama is so masterfully promoting? Who is handling the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who is handling the economy? And when, exactly, does our President find the time to run the affairs of state when it appears the majority of his time is spent in front of cameras? (emphasis mine, but you can find the rest of that here at Flopping Aces)
I did decide to see just how pervasive your byline on op/eds is. Barry, Barry, Barry! I googled "Obama op/eds" and I got page upon page, from the NYT, to the Chigaco Trib, to WaPo, and one back in March that was in 30 papers. THIRTY!!! There was even an op/ed with your byline on the US Embassy site for Nassau-Bahamas. Keep this up, and you'll be at least as prolific as "anon."
Now, I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for you and your family rushing around the world apologising for the imagined misdeeds of America. I understood - kinda sorta - why you asked for Americans' help in rooting out the nay-sayers, by asking Americans to send the White House evidence of those people who were debating and analysing the current events in your country. With all this writing you have been doing, when would you have time to listen to your subjects, errrrrr I mean fellow citizens. Not to worry though, since I hear that many of America's fine upstanding citizens entered into the spirit of your "firstname.lastname@example.org" campaign. They were willingly turning themselves (and each other) in by the thousands. True American patriotic spirit that warmed my heart to see. I was willing to do my part, too. I had my friend Mrs Hooah design a special logo for my site, so that it would save you time when your latest incarnation of Fight the Smears team from your original campaign (no, not the ongoing campaign ) needed to quickly identify anything I wrote as worthy of note and flagging. I was willing to work with you to save you all time, for more important things, like running America.
THEN what did you do, Barry? You cancelled that campaign out from under us all. I am confident, though, that you got my name on file before you pulled the plug.
But, I digress.
Let me be frank with you. I try and avoid your constant op/eds and regular tv appearances. I don't have the time to sit around glued to your never-ending tv appearances, or reading the front pages of the msm to see what you are yattering, (oops, pardon me. I mean "being clear" ) about on any given day.
We all saw during the campaign last year how you managed/controlled the media. We "get" it, really we do, but because you apparently view me as a friend, I feel bound to point out a couple of pitfalls of this MO; that means modus operandi. Not a slur on Michelle O. Really. I would never use 'pitfall' and 'Michelle Obama' in the same sentence. Honest.
The first pitfall I see is this: because you have committed your 'opinions' to print or video via tv, every time you screw up, or contradict yourself, you usually find it comes back to bite you. This should be obvious to you by now with the number of times you have had to reappear on tv (such a hardship for you, I know) with your now common refrain "let me be clear." This also applies to Gibbs who is painful to watch in the White House press briefings where he is almost as eloquent as you in the bobbing and weaving "um..." "uuuh". But hey, I don't fault you for his performances. Between friends, you can admit to me, that he was hired precisely because of his bobbing and weaving skills, right? Your secret is safe with me. That's what friends are for, after all.
The second pitfall, and perhaps more annoying or damaging to you, is that Americans are going to wonder why, since you seem determined to be a media staple - so open in sharing whatever your opinions, policies du jour are - why you have not been so open about your past. Some people might start asking why you are more than delighted to be a media star now, yet equally determined to keep your past under lock and key. Oh sure, I know you 'wrote' two books, but enquiring minds want to know more. For instance, how come we haven't seen a legitimate birth certificate? How come we haven't heard a peep about your university studies? Some might find it odd that for all those years in institutions of higher learning - Harvard wasn't it? - or those years as a school boy in whatever country it was, not one person has come forward to say "Yes, Barry and I were in so and so's class together." Enquiring minds would love to hear from some of your colleagues of those days. Surely even one of your students from those days when you were a "constitutional professor" or whatever you were, would surface to say something like "Yes, I had him for **** course. He rocked", or even "he was terrible...his lecturing style put me to sleep..." Oh okay, that last one couldn't possibly be true of you, could it?
I am sure you see my point. Heck, it was a long time ago since I was at university, but even now, mention a certain professor among a group of us, or see a fellow student in the media for accomplishments (notorious or otherwise) and the wires start buzzing with "did you see that? Look what so and so just did!" Some people, seeing what a huge media maven you now are, might ask why there is never any mention of your school days, your past.
We won't even talk about Michele here. I won't be the first to mention that even though the media focuses on her organic garden in the White House (how is that working out for you?) or her $500+ shoes when she was 'volunteering' at a soup kitchen or whatever that was, she - and everyone from her past - is mum on that past. I won't. BUT some people may start to wonder why, when you nurture the media to document every family detail from her bare arms, to every single outfit she wears, to BO the dog etc etc, nobody can gain accessto her Master's thesis, for example. Maybe it's different in America, but where I come from, every Master's thesis is published, and publicly available in the university library. From all I hear, her thesis is not available anywhere. Why is this, in this 'open and transparent' era? Just a small niggling point that some may wonder about.
This is all a reality that you may find bites you. Talking reality? Since I care about America, I decided to embrace your latest incarnation of your successful "email@example.com" campaign.
Because I really want to contribute to the current debates, by ensuring that you are in touch with the realities, I had Mrs Hooah design me another logo. I am sure you have Mrs Hooah's site on file. She's a patriotic military mum, actively involved in the discussion on your country's affairs.
From now on, every single column I write that could fall under the category "reality" will have the following logo prominently displayed at the top.
I know you are busy, so I'll let you go for now. We shall 'talk' again. I promise.
God bless America.