The First [Description Here] President
by Bob Schwartz
You’re every President
It’s all in you.
(apologies to Ashford & Simpson and Chaka Khan)
It all began when Maya Angelou dubbed Bill Clinton “the first black President.” This proved awkward when the real first black President, Barack Obama, took office. But when politics meets media, too much is never enough, and so the meme took hold.
This week Barack Obama was cover-featured in Newsweek as “The First Gay President.” That was followed today by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post suggesting that Obama may be, in a way, the first female President. Previous coverage had tagged Obama “The First Jewish President.”
To keep things actual, President Obama is not Jewish, or gay, or female. He has indeed been known to wear a kipa. He has not been known to wear a halo, rainbow or any other color.
Keeping it further factual, he is also the first biracial President, the first Hawaiian President, the first Grammy-winning President, and so on. If you’re positively inclined, you might also add that he may be the first 21st century President, if you relegate George W. Bush to a prior century’s worldview. If negatively inclined, there are plenty of choices: the first non-American President, the first Muslim President, the first Socialist/Communist President, etc.
Why stop there? Neither politics nor media is always that tethered to reality, so let your imagination run wild (i.e., make stuff up). Simply choose a descriptor and plug it in. Warning: No matter how whimsical and fantastic the results may seem, some of those who oppose Barack Obama will likely pick up on them and treat them as real. Please whimsicize responsibly.