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Joan E. Dowlin

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Reality Trumps Reality Show

Posted: 05/05/11 01:12 AM ET

President Obama had quite an ironic weekend. He was able to verbally slay a man that is leading the GOP polls for President and literally slay America's worst enemy, Osama bin Laden, leader of al Qaeda and mastermind of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks against the United States.

Wealthy entrepreneur, reality TV show host, and possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has for weeks been attacking the President over his birth certificate, asking how he got into Harvard, and generally raising doubts about his legitimacy as a leader and an American. This past week President Obama asked Hawaii to release his long form birth certificate to put the rumors to rest and allow him to concentrate on more pressing issues that affect the nation. Instead of humbly admitting he was wrong, Mr. Trump claimed that he was proud of himself for having forced the President's hand.

President Obama got his revenge Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner with a little satire directed at Mr. Trump who was attending the event. He said that no one was happier than "the Donald" to put the birther issue to rest because now he could devote time to more important matters such as "the faking of the moon landing, Roswell, and what really happened to Biggie and Tupac."

President Obama also showed a slide of what the White House would look like under a Trump administration complete with neon signs that said "Trump's White House" and a hot tub with sexy models in it. Even the Donald had to smile at that.

Then came the real zinger. He commended Trump for the leadership he showed on his show Celebrity Apprentice by firing Gary Busey, the project manager of the men's cooking team, rather than Lil Jon or Meatloaf. President Obama stated that the decision would have kept him up all night. Badda Bing Badda Boom!

The President was coolly delivering these lines with the timing of a veteran comedian on Saturday night, only one day after he gave the Navy Seals the order to proceed with a risky mission to take down bin Laden in Pakistan.

It seems that on Sunday night, reality trumped reality show. President Obama's announcement of the death of bin Laden was a pre-emptive strike on Trump's Celebrity Apprentice as the show was interrupted by the President's speech. America will have to wait until next week to find out who was fired from the women's team (unless you have OnDemand.)

The whole turnaround of events this past weekend reminded me of the 1995 film The American President. Richard Dreyfuss stars as a Senator challenging the President for re-election who is constantly attacking the widower President's integrity by admonishing his new relationship with a lobbyist played by Annette Bening. The Senator ends all of his campaign speeches with "My name is Bob Rumson and I want to be your President." Michael Douglas plays President Shepherd and he finally answers his opponent's taunts with a fiery speech of his own defending his honor and that of the woman he is dating. He ends with the line: "My name is Andrew Shepherd and I AM the President."

On Sunday night President Obama silenced his critics by achieving what had eluded two Presidents before him: the killing of America's most notorious enemy. It was a campaign promise he made and kept. I recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post in which I referred to President Obama's leadership style as "calm assertiveness." This mission is a perfect example of this, especially the assertiveness side, as it was a gutsy move.

No sane person can now question the tenacity and determination of our Commander in Chief. This should put an end to all of the sideshows and carnivals and prove once and for all that Barack Obama is our President and I say Hail to the Chief!