A few weekends ago, I was shopping at a Silver Spring, MD mall with my wife, sister-in-law, and her husband when I was struck by something I'd never seen before: a display stand like no other with everything from handbags to do-rags with Barack Obama's name and/or face emblazoned on them. One such item had the president-elect's face on Keanu Reeves Matrix body knocking John McCain's infamous use of the phrase "that one" during a presidential debate. Stretch, much?
Being that it was so close to Washington, D.C. and given the political landscape over the past year or so, this should not have come as such a surprise to me. Obama paraphernalia has been all the rage ever since he threw his name into the political ring. Who could forget those "Barack the Vote" and "Barack to the Future" shirts? Still, this stand was unreal. It actually reminded me of when the New Kids on the Block hit it big in the 1990s. You'd walk into any store and be able to pick up a Jordan, Jon, Donnie, Joey and Danny (well probably not Danny) pillow, shirt, or button. Having said all of this, that trip to the Maryland mall made me fully realize something that we all know already: Barack Obama is a rock star. The thing I'm struggling with, I guess, is he needs to act like one more.
The Abercrombie get-up works when you're a presidential candidate, but now that the former Illinois Senator is taking the presidential oath of office, it's time he pimps himself out Wii Rock Band style. Would Elvis or Bono ever wear straight khakis? Methinks not. Now that he's the Commander-in-Chief, Obama needs to step it up, and dress the part. He needs to go with Chris Martin's French Revolution wardrobe on Inauguration Day or if Michelle and the girls deem that outfit a bit too over-the-top, I suggest he recreates Prince's "Raspberry Beret" look. Nothing screams out "rock star" more than a killer sky blue and white blazer with matching pant set. Oh, and ruffled shirts rule.
Next, the music needs to change. "Hail to the Chief" is too old school, President Obama needs to make a grand entrance anywhere he goes. Why not try out "Eye of the Tiger" from Survivor? No matter how old that gets, it never gets old. Secretary of State Nominee Hillary Clinton might get bummed out because she referred to herself as Rocky during her presidential campaign, so to keep it cool between the former rivals, Obama might want to go simply with Jay-Z's "99 Problems." Why not? They're already pals, it provides a solid hook, and really sets the tone that Michelle Obama is a First Lady not to be messed with. If that's too controversial in the eyes of overly-sensitive politicos home and abroad, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" works just as well although Hulk Hogan kind of played it out in his later WWE ring days. I welcome any other suggestions.
Completing the perfect rock star image, Obama must change his appearance, attitude, and entourage. No president since William H. Taft has sported facial hair. It's time to change that. Who wouldn't go crazy for an Obama soul patch or carbon copy of a vintage John Oates mustache? 'Staches back in The White House? Yes, we...can?
Let's face it, at the bare minimum the new president needs to trash at least one hotel room before Inauguration Day to be taken seriously as a rock star. It wouldn't hurt if he ended each speech by tossing up metal fingers, or challenged Kid Rock or Andy Dick to a fight on Air Force One. Trading in Will.I.am and Beyonce for Lilo and Samantha Ronson will add even more street cred. And while we're at it, he should refuse a party or two on January 21. It needs to be done at the very, very last minute. Rock stars (or Janet Jackson anyway) are always canceling gigs like that and get away with it. If anything it adds a new layer of mystery.
Bottom-line: change has come, and change needs to breed more change. So President Obama, if you're listening, rock out, get your ear pierced, down a bottle of Vodka with a member of AC/DC, and give Joe Biden an atomic wedgie in front of the press corp.... just please, Mr. President, never rock the mic with the pantyhose.
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