Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Oddball Couple

Oval Newlywed Game
Published: February 14, 2009

Maureen Dowd has been hitting the cable box pretty hard this week. The title of the column comes from the Gameshow Network with Bill Convey's classic double entendre-laden The Newlywed Game which was designed to make couples reveal embarrassing things about each other. Dowd detects a bit of mocking bitterness in Obama's reaction to a Biden gaffe.

And yet, the minute the president began to laugh and answer Garrett, I feared Joe would be the butt.

“I don’t remember exactly what Joe was referring to,” said Mr. Obama, who couldn’t resist adding, “not surprisingly.”
On the real Newlywed Game, that would get the partner slapped with the answer card.

But then she flips the channel to Nick At Nite where Barack is Felix Ungar to Joe Biden's Oscar Madison.
It can’t be easy for someone with a highly defined superego to be bound to the wacky Biden id, for one so disciplined to be tied to one so undisciplined, for a man so coolly unsentimental to be paired with someone so exuberantly sentimental.

Joe is nothing if not loyal. And the president should return that quality, and not leave his lieutenant vulnerable to “Odd Couple” parodies.
And Maureen loves the late night sketch comedy.

On a recent “Saturday Night Live” skit, Jason Sudeikis’s Biden leaned over Fred Armisen’s Obama, to tell Americans: “Look, I know $819 billion sounds like a lot of money. But it’s just a tip of the iceberg.”

Armisen’s clenched Obama murmurs: “Couldn’t pick Hillary. I just couldn’t.”
But for the main Movies With Maureen® moment, she heads over to Masterpiece Theater territory for her second Jane Austen analogy in the past year (the first time Barack was the haughty Mr. Darcy) to compare Obama with Emma.
Still, the president should brush up on his Jane Austen. When Emma Woodhouse belittles Miss Bates, an older and poorer friend, at a picnic, Mr. Knightly pulls her aside to remonstrate. “How could you be so insolent in your wit?” he chides, reminding her that it is unfeeling to humble someone less fortunate in front of others who will be guided by the way she behaves.
And when you live in the big fancy house, it's only proper to be kind to the hired help no matter how embarrassing they are. Maureen is just trying to inspire some noblesse oblige.

No comments: