Obama Keeps Young Audience 'Spellbound...As Eloquent As Any Rapper'

In the same vein as Warner’s San Francisco Chronicle example, Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy hailed Barack Obama’s fatherhood in the Monday Metro section. He spoke about being a father at a White House "national conversation on responsible fatherhood" on Friday with a hundred "mostly young black men" and their celebrity mentors. As Obama talked about his daughters being born and his swagger at parent-teacher conferences, Milloy reported:

The young adults in the audience were spellbound. At 47, Obama was younger than many of their dads, as eloquent as any rapper and revered even by the athletes that they hold in highest esteem.

Eloquent as any rapper? You might enjoy rappers for their "flow," but I’m not sure "eloquence" of the Ludacris variety – with fast-flowing F-bombs and talk of casual murders – is what the president needs. But Milloy is trying to say is he is hip and charismatic enough to win over young people. He thumps hard on Obama as "regular guy," including the column’s first sentence: "Barack Obama, regular guy, was telling a gathering of mostly young black men about his experiences as a dad."

After Milloy explained that Obama was as revered as sports stars, he also underlined what a regular guy he was:

Cameron Windham, 16, was seated with Dwyane Wade, star guard for the Miami Heat, when Obama stopped by their table. "He casually asked Dwyane if he wanted to play ball with him and LeBron [James of the Cleveland Cavaliers] in the White House gym," recalled Windham, a student at St. Albans School for Boys. "It was like he was just a regular guy, grabbing some friends for a pickup game."

If Obama and pro athletes can convince young men to be responsible fathers, that would be great. But Obama-loving journalists try to play this game that Obama isn’t either/or, he’s both: he’s both a world-class celebrity who can invite the top NBA stars over for a pickup game and he’s just like a regular guy.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis