You're just a mass of prejudices, aren't you? You're so much thought and so little feeling, Professor.-The Philadelphia Story
Eggheads and Cheese Balls
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: April 16, 2008
The love affair is over. Sweet, sweet Obama has gone and insulted Maureen Dowd’s working class family and the love affair is over. But she’s not bitter. Just ask her.
I’m not bitter.And when Maureen is mad, she grabs a tub of ice cream and curls up with some DVDs. We have a full slate of Pennsylvania themed Movies With Maureen® today starting with Hillary as Rocky (see this post for that unsightly image) and The Deer Hunter with Obambi as the titular target.
I’m not writing this just because I grew up in a house with a gun, a strong Catholic faith, an immigrant father, brothers with anti-illegal immigrant sentiments and a passion for bowling. (My bowling trophy was one of my most cherished possessions.)
And as Obama has courted white, blue-collar voters in “Deer Hunter” and “Rocky” country, he has often appeared to be observing the odd habits of the colorful locals, resisting as the natives try to fatten him up like a foie gras goose, sampling Pennsylvania beer in a sports bar with his tie tight, awkwardly accepting bowling shoes as a gift from Bob Casey, examining the cheese and salami at the Italian Market here as intriguing ethnic artifacts, purchasing Utz Cheese Balls at a ShopRite in East Norriton and quizzing the women working in a chocolate factory about whether they could possibly really like the sugary doodads.
Utz is a regional brand of snack foods much beloved by the denizens of the mid-Atlantic. Dowd smirked at Barack’s daintiness around high calorie food before. Especially something as alliterative as a fattened foie gras goose And nothing could be worse for the arteries that a full Philly cheesesteak “wid” onions, not swiss cheese like Kerry’s infamous faux pas.
He hasn’t pulled a John Kerry and asked for a Philly cheese steak with Swiss yet, but he has maintained a regal “What do the simple folk do to help them escape when they’re blue?” bearing, unable to even feign Main Street cred. But Hillary did when she belted down a shot of Crown Royal whiskey with gusto at Bronko’s in Crown Point, Ind.And we know from a previous column that Dowd admires a candidate that can knock back a shot or twelve. And speaking of shots, Dowd is just as suspicious of everyone else as to Hillary’s newly revealed hunting prowess. She is more likely to be mistaken for Mitt Romney hunting varmits than for any wild west impresario.
Just as he couldn’t knock down the bowling pins, he can’t knock down Annie Oakley or “the girl in the race,” as her husband called her Tuesday — the self-styled blue-collar heroine who reluctantly revealed a $100 million fortune partially built on Bill’s shady connections.
But Obama bad mouthing her kin is not enough to win Maureen over. She takes a Woody Allen movie title and alliterates it over to match the Bosnian dissembling.
Even when Hillary’s campaign collapsed around her and her husband managed to revive the bullets over Bosnia, Obama has still not been able to marshal a knockout blow — or even come up with a knockout economic speech that could expand his base of support.
The Katherine Hepburn/Cary Grant classic gets a double work-out since it relates to both the upscale Philly suburbs and the perils of falling for the wrong guy.
In the screwball movie genre that started during the last Depression, there was a great tradition of the millionaire who was cool enough to relate to the common man — like Cary Grant’s C.K. Dexter Haven in “The Philadelphia Story.”
Obama did not grow up in cosseted circumstances. “Now when is the last time you’ve seen a president of the United States who just paid off his loan debt?” Michelle Obama asked Tuesday at Haverford College, referring to Barack’s student loans while speaking in the shadow of the mansions depicted in “The Philadelphia Story.”And the spoiled little lamb insinuation inherent in "cosseted" fits so well with the Obambi metaphor. But, the most interesting movie allusion in the column is also the most subtle.
The last few weeks have not been kind to Hillary, but the endless endgame has not been kind to the Wonder Boy either. Obama comes across less like a candidate in Pennsylvania than an anthropologist in Borneo.
Wonder Boy was the name of Robert Redford’s bat in The Natural. And Dowd explicitly called Obama “The Natural” back in January. But Wonder Boys (with an ‘s’) is the title of a film about an out-of-touch drugged-up elitist professor that can’t relate to the real world. This movie starred former Dowd flame Michael Douglas. But she’s not bitter. After all, who can compete with Catherine Zeta-Jones?
And if Barry is developing airs over having to mingle with the cheese-ball eating, gun-toting hoi polloi of Pennsylvania, who can blame Dowd for ditching this guy who just wants to hobnob with effete New York liberal media types. Like Maureen Dowd.