Is it hard to make fun of Obama? Chris Rock:
He’s just one of those guys, you know, like Will Smith. There’s no Will Smith jokes. There’s no Brad Pitt jokes. You know, what are you going to say? “Ooh, you used to have sex with Jennifer Anniston. Now you have sex with Angelina Jolie. You’re such a loser.” What do you say? “Ooh, your movies are big. You make $20 million.” There’s nothing to say about Brad Pitt. [And with Obama] it’s like “Ooh, you’re young and virile and you’ve got a beautiful wife and kids. You’re the first African-American president.” You know, what do you say?
Not so, Chris, not so. Jon Stewart (until recently labelled as Obama’s Fawner-In-Chief) has resumed the satire. And a good thing too.
Update: Other Inaugural Addresses
While Stewart compares Obama to George W. Bush, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight thinks that the new President’s speech had echoes of FDR.
Elsewhere, a MetaFilter user has located inaugural addresses dating back to 1901 (via Kottke). Watching at the Kennedy speech, I’m struck by how his delivery matches Obama’s on Tuesday. Neither “soar” in the manner we saw in Obama’s 2004 convention speech. Instead they seem businesslike and assertive, which is probably more appropriate. In fact, Kennedy’s delivery doesn’t age well – the parody of his style by Dan Castellaneta as Mayor Quimby in the Simpsons sadly damages the gravitas, I feel.
It strikes me that we may actually have seen the last of Obama’s barnstorming speeches. They were appropriate for a young, upstart candidate seeking to break a glass-ceiling and an establishment lock on the nomination. Less so for a President, who must exercise greater caution, diplomacy and tact than the Average Joe Politician.