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Barack Obama: Our First Gay-Female-Hispanic-Asian-Jewish President

Dan (Politicaly Incorrect) 2012/05/15 03:11:52


Eric Randall 61,956 Views 12:12 PM
ET



Newsweek's cover
this week
declares that Barack Obama is the "First Gay President," playing
on the reader's knowledge that Obama isn't himself gay, but his support for
same-sex marriage earns him an honorary rainbow halo. The headline obviously
calls back to 1998, when Toni Morrison declared
Bill Clinton the first black president
in The New Yorker, which at
the time was edited by current Newsweek editor Tina Brown. "Clinton displays
almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor,
working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from
Arkansas," Morrison wrote, laying out the formula for how to declare a President
has attained the identity of someone else through actions and behaviors.
Newsweek's cover has been called "controversial"
and "pretty
shocking
," but it's merely the most recent in presidential firsts that
weren't for the country's actual first black president.


First Female President: Perhaps Newsweek should
have been more specific and declared Obama the "first lesbian president' because
the magazine's already given him the honor of womanhood. During the 2008
campaign, Martin
Linski wrote
, "Obama doesn't play the sax. But he is pushing against
conventional—and political party nominating convention—wisdom in five important
ways, with approaches that are usually thought of as qualities and values that
women bring to organizational life." The headline? "Obama: First Female
President?"


In June 2010, The Washington Post's Kathleen Parker took the
question mark out of the way. "Obama: Our first female president," her
headline declared
. Her column made the case that his crisis management style
was more typically female.



First Jewish President: Like this week's issue of
Newsweek, New York magazine went big on their Morrison
reappropriation. Former White House counsel Abner Mikva told John Heilemann
"When this all is over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first
Jewish president." The magazine made it
their cover
.


First Asian-American President: In 2009, the AFP ran
with the headline
, "Obama the first Asian-American president?" As evidence,
the article notes that in his first hundred days, "Obama appointed a record
three Asian-Americans cabinet members and quickly focused his attention across
the Pacific. He invited Japan's prime minister as his first guest and Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton went to Asia on her maiden trip."


First Hispanic President: Geraldo Rivera spoke
in March 2009
about the hopes the Hispanic community had for Obama's
immigration policies, alleging "Barack Obama is the first Hispanic president the
same way Bill Clinton was the first black [one]."


George W. Bush, the only other president since Clinton,
received comparatively few honorifics. Writing in Foreign Policy Suhail
Khan did
once write
, "If Clinton was, as the author Toni Morrison once quipped,
America's first black president, Bush was, at least momentarily, the country's
first Muslim president." (Those on the far right who would give Obama that title
should take note.)


But Obama's received the bulk of it. Perhaps that's because he did set an
historic first as the first black president, Clinton be darned. Obama's
supporters often see what they want to see in him. Just consider how many
interpreted his "evolving" stance on gay marriage to be (as it eventually was) a
closeted support. We love to break barriers in America, but we only get the
chance every four years, so in the meantime, we work with the male Christian
president we've got.


Newsweek's headline quickly grabbed the attention it was obviously
seeking, but given this list, maybe we shouldn't have been surprised by it. Expectations
were high
that editor Tina Brown would do something typically
attention-grabbing to mark this occasion, but this effort seems, well,
cliché. It wasn't going to be long before someone outed our first black, female,
Jewish, hispanic, Asian-American president as gay.

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Opinions

  • Walt 2012/05/15 04:14:49
    Walt
    And don't forget he claims to be the 2nd Irish American president.

  • Dan 2012/05/15 03:52:36
    Dan
    It's a line designed to use shock value to sell magazines, and promote the president.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2012/05/15 03:18:56
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    The first gay president was James Buchanan
  • Dan (Po... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/15 03:35:45
    Dan (Politicaly Incorrect)
    Which may be true but was only rumored. Newsweek seems to be un-informed about that though.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW... Dan (Po... 2012/05/15 12:23:35
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    i do some investigation in this i think i read once he wrote a letter and he was writting about his love for a man and goes into pretty much detail how he loved him
  • Dan (Po... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2012/05/15 12:43:27
    Dan (Politicaly Incorrect)
    Yes there were several letters but nothing conclusive. Also his daughters burned a lot of his letters. It was suspected that he had a relationship with his vice president. But still nothing conclusive.

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