Well, shucks. Maybe Arizona State University should give Obama an honorary degree after all. After all, he can raise the Dead. The Grateful Dead, that is.
John Rogers of the Associated Press explains in his April 17 story, "How Barack Obama resurrected The Dead" (h/t e-mail tipster Sarah Anne Hoyt):
LOS ANGELES – He's still got a little work to do on the economy, but already President Barack Obama has accomplished at least one task that had appeared all but impossible just a year ago: He's put The Dead back on the road.
As the core surviving members of the Grateful Dead, once the world's biggest concert draw, barrel across the country for the first time in five years, bass player Phil Lesh says they have Obama, and also Lesh's youngest son, Brian, to thank.
After Lesh, who had never publicly supported a presidential candidate, threw his lot in with Obama, he was anxious to do a benefit concert for him. But he was all but done with The Dead, so it was going to feature his other band, Phil and Friends.
"My son Brian said, 'No Daddy, you've got to get The Dead together because it will be so much more meaningful and important,'" the musician chuckled during a recent phone interview.
One benefit performance led to another and then an inaugural ball concert. Next thing they knew, Lesh, guitarist Bob Weir and drummers Mickey HartBill Kreutzmann were back together. and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were back together.
That's all well and good, but until Obama can bring Jerry Garcia back from the big sleep, I think it's safe to say his messianic credentials won't be widely credited beyond the secular mainstream media.