After four years of unending alarm at everything Donald Trump did and said to make Democracy Die in Darkness, it’s not surprising that The Washington Post sounds like it’s back to partying mode. On the front of Tuesday’s Style section is an article that’s all sugar and no granola.
The headline is “Obama at 60: Feet on the dance floor, eyes on the future.”
Turn inside, and the headline is “Still a ‘yes-we-can man,’ even in the post-presidency.”
The reporter is not a regular Obama sycophant, like Robin Givhan. No, it’s Style writer Dan Zak, a reliably liberal promoter of everything progressives like. This article defines what Dan Rather once describe as "kiss ass, move with the mass." It's what the Obamas expect from the "mainstream" press.
Zak reports that “friends and associates” report Obama is “personally content, politically worried but unfailingly optimistic. He is relieved that the American people denied President Donald Trump a second term, but animated by what he views as an assault on voting rights happening at the state level.”
This is how liberal Democrat newspapers report on Democrats, all from the perspectives of their friends and employees. Take Valerie Jarrett, ultimate Obama insider:
“They’re in a very good place,” says close friend Valerie Jarrett, a former White House senior adviser. “Over the 30 years I’ve known them, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them as happy as they are now. To not have the responsibilities of office but still have an extraordinarily important platform is the best of all worlds.”
Zak then explains how their production company Higher Ground is out to “amplify American stories” for progressive goals. He doesn’t mention how many millions Netflix gave them for their amplifying, but he did start by noting they live in an $11.75 million Martha’s Vineyard mansion.
Judging by the character of his content, Obama still views himself as a storyteller, as a keeper of the flame of hope. The stone facade of his presidential center will contain words from his speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery: “Oh, what a glorious task we are given, to continually try to improve this great nation of ours.”
“I’m the yes-we-can man,” Obama said to his wife last summer, as they ruminated on her podcast about the dangers of cynicism during Trump’s final year.
“I'm the hope guy,” he said to Springsteen on an April episode of “Renegades,” a series of corny but sincere conversations about the beauty, pain and future of the American experiment.
“I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America,” he said in his presidential memoir’s preface...
Have we achieved a sugar high yet? Anyone yak over Zak? Oh, let's make sure his old campaign manager David Axelrod chimes in:
“While he is an apostle of hope he’s not a naive apostle of hope,” Axelrod says. “He sees the challenges. And it concerns him. So he’s just not of a mind to retreat and enjoy the rewards of a life well-spent.”
Late in the piece, Zak says there was a "snit" in the press over his large birthday party as the press promoted COVID fears. But Zak's story ended with one last sugar dubs, a party attendee named T. J. Chapman gushing on Instagram: "The production, the sound, the lights, the staff, the food, the drinks -- like man, epic. Epic, epic, man....Y'all never seen Obama like this in your life....The party of all parties."
All I hear is the tinny arf of a lapdog, to quote George Will from many moons ago.