POTUS and FLOTUS, I miss you // 26 April 2012
They are the coolest couple in America. Or at the very least, the coolest couple to grace the ever-multiplying pages of the MailOnline.
Barack and Michelle Obama, I miss you.
I always loved writing about you – and articles focusing on you together are far more fun to put together than those simply looking at you, Mrs Obama, even though you do give brilliantly good grab when it comes to both words and pictures. Indeed, stories write themselves when it comes to you, FLOTUS.
Mobama, you bounced around the White House in a hessian sack with Jimmy Kimmel, you played tennis and air-fisted in DC, you threw down some solid shapes, dancing on a stage in front of 5,000 kids in Virginia. You chose Jason Wu, you do Target, you wear flats. You can do no wrong.
Together – in unity is where the sparks really fly – there are ass-squeezes, flirtatious looks, raised eyebrows, cocked heads, dances, laughs: the stuff of romance, Hollywood, dreams to include in otherwise down-to-earth news copy. Your chemistry seems to elevate the most mundane story to something of a break from reality, a glimpse into a fairytale.
I’m banging on now, sycophantically outing myself. It’s struck me of late, you see, that I really do miss covering news of the President and his wife. They’re a bona fide power couple, a statuesque pair that I see at once as being in touch, within reach and utterly untouchable. And that’s before we get into the politics of it all.
Then there’s Julia Gillard, Australia’s answer to the President. Questionable and oft-changing hair colour, a shocking wardrobe (though I have it on good authority that her body shape is awkward to dress…) and an aloof coldness that I can’t imagine ever letting up enough to joke with reporters or prance around with school children.
She’s simply no comparison to Mobama – and she isn’t even the PM’s partner. In her defense, I have read that the Welsh-born lass is a consummate flirt, has a twinkle in her eye and has time for a good laugh, but I need proof. Those working with her say she is a great boss, even-tempered and fair. But I await a flow of positively ice-melting tenderness, genuine (at least to the untrained eye) affection, self-deprecating humility. Strong ideas, a sense of belonging, confidence in her (somewhat poisoned chalice) position.
As American – and, some may say, as utterly irrelevant to leadership – as it is, I want clever ensembles, smart shoe choices, fashion-forward savviness. I want the dancing, the silly humour, the penchant for breaking into song. The pally chuckles between Barack and Dave.
In short, I have become Obamafied. And it’s not just Julia who has fallen prey to my NBC-induced, unfair irrationality. Sarkozy, you are too pinched, Dave, you’re too school-boyish, Angela, I can’t see you breaking into Al Green or slow-jamming with Jimmy Fallon.
This is, of course, pure conjecture. Who am I, who are we, to know what goes on behind closed, security-proofed, doors? What are the Obamas really like on holiday, when angry, when drunk, when embarrassed? Would Ms Merkel out-karaoke Bombama any day?
FLOTUS and POTUS, you’ve set an unreal precedent – a threshold of ideal leadership and general put-togetherness that has me holding up impossible expectations when it comes to other heads of states. I want to be your friend. And, no matter how posed, how honed, how staged it all may be, you just seem, well, more real to me. Sorry, Julia.