For what it’s worth, when it comes to swagger-worthiness, President Obama is a better singer than Vladimir Putin. I noticed this because Michael Crowley of TIME tweeted a video of Putin singing today. In case you missed it, his March 1st tweet of Putin on a horse and Obama on a bike threw the right wing into a lustful Putin frenzy from which they have not yet recovered their dignity. So I’m expecting the right wing to commence slobbering over Putin’s singing abilities shortly, even though Crowley was clearly not impressed.
You may find Vladimir Putin less intimidating after watching him sing "Blueberry Hill": http://t.co/PjEOqvDs13
— Michael Crowley (@CrowleyTIME) March 14, 2014
So I’ll take that Blueberry Putin and raise it an Obama Al Green.
Obama sings a few bars of Al Green:
And that little bit prompted a some Sweet Home Chicago:
This is only slightly more relevant than what the two leaders look like on a horse versus a bike, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from falling over themselves to proclaim Putin the Most Macho of Men after Michael Crowley’s March 1st tweet. Putin is therefore their Hero, since Obama wears a bike helmet and Putin rides shirtless, much to the dismay of the viewer.
According to Media Matters, “Fox Nation made the photo its “Pic of the Day” and published a “highlight reel of Putin doing macho things” like “performing karate,” riding a horse and a motorcycle (though disappointingly not at the same time), and tranquilizing a tiger.”
This picture prompted Fox News to fall over itself slobbering over Putin’s alleged masculinity. RMuse did a round up for PoliticusUSA of the fawning:
This past week Fox News strategic analyst Ralph Peters was effusive in praising Russia he asserted “has a real leader, while our President is incapable and unwilling to lead.” Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani could barely contain his enthusiasm for Putin and said “Putin decides what he wants to do and does it in half a day. He makes a decision and executes it quickly and everybody reacts. That’s what you call a real leader.”
Another conservative pundit praised Putin because “he likes to hang out with his shirt off and tells the West if you mess with me I’ll kill you all.” Even half-term, half-wit Sarah Palin compared the conservative’s hero with President Obama and said, “people look at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil, and our President wears mom jeans and equivocates.” Another Fox analyst said, “In Putin, you’ve got a big strong guy, muscular and shirtless on a horse who wrestles tigers, while the President wears mom jeans.”
I guess Sarah Palin finds Putin the height of sexiness. Good to know? Do Republicans have a bottom?
Republicans are obsessed with image over substance. This fatal flaw has allowed them to push both Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential material. It has allowed them to believe that increasing a font size in order to make it look like they have a policy means they have a policy/idea. It has allowed them to keep following charismatic leaders regardless of their true intentions or veracity (see George W Bush and WMD). And now it is allowing them to make utter fools of themselves over Putin.
Republicans really judge leaders based on whether or not they wear “mom jeans” and use a bike helmet. Never mind that when Obama takes his shirt off, women do not recoil.
We should not be discussing any of this. But since Republicans insist on bringing it down to this level, it’s only fitting to remind them that actually — if it’s just superficial masculinity you’re looking for — Obama’s your guy. He’s got the body, he can actually sing, and it just so happens that he is the leader of the free world who also champions women’s rights. Sorry, Republicans, but in the sex appeal department, Obama’s got you all beat, and furthermore, Putin is not even on the same radar.
Obama also radiates the quiet strength of someone who wants to empower others. The President has had major foreign policy successes that have embarrassed the Republican Party, especially his get of Osama. So while Republicans slobber over weak, ineffectual, bumbling tyrants who are con artists for Big Corporations but oh-my-god-the-cowboy-hat!!!!, Obama is actually able to exercise real power with the care and caution that grown ups know is necessary.
The point is that Obama beats Republicans hands down policy wise. He beats them in elections. And he also beats them on their playground of the superficial. So if I were them, I would avoid making this a contest of masculinity, but then, Republicans are run by old white men and they desperately want to believe that Putin is radiating masculinity. He is not.
I hereby proclaim Obama the winner of the singing contest and therefore, the President of the United States and leader of the world. Oh, wait, that’s what elections are for. Someone ought to explain this to Republicans.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.