Tevi Troy’s excellent new book What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted is full of revealing stories about presidential consumption of books, movies, and television. His discussion of Barack Obama’s consumption of culture, both as president and before, is particularly revealing.
Obama, it seems, is not the most cultured guy ever to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. He’s not even the most cultured among recent residents.
But Obama has come a long way from the teenager who spent nearly all of his time after school reading comic books and watching cartoons, sitcom reruns, and whatever he and his grandfather decided upon among the networks’ evening schlock.
Here is one nugget that reveals Obama in a positive light, at least for those of us who believe that, when it comes to sports viewing, the game’s the thing:
Obama takes his sports seriously and does not want to be interrupted by conversation during games. It was made clear to guests at his annual Super Bowl party that they were there to watch the game with the president, not to schmooze with him.
Pennsylvania congressman Mike Doyle recalls that Obama “was sitting up front, he was watching the game, and he didn’t move.” The CEO of Verizon, Ivan Seidenberg, complained that he received a mere fifteen seconds with the president at the 2010 Super Bowl party. After that brief and impersonal greeting, the president made his way to the front of the room and spent the rest of the game with his friends, immersed in the action rather than his guests.
Rude? Maybe. But I approve.