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Monday, August 04, 2008

Beldar has no fault to find with Obama's special airplane chair

I was among those most mocking when it came to the Great Seal of Obama. But unlike my blogospheric friend Hugh Hewitt, I don't have a particular problem with Obama's "special chair" on his campaign airplane, as shown in this CBS photo (which I've enlarged and enhanced to make the printing on the leather more obvious):


It's not a knock-off of some POTUS perquisite. And it's not designed to be a conspicuous prop for him to be photographed behind at public appearances. Rather, I tend to agree with James Joyner that this looks like it's a design lifted off of an Obama bumper-sticker or windshield decal — a standard piece of campaign art, as evidenced by the "'08." With that date, there is an implied and reasonably obvious "[for]" which accompanies the word "president." If he loses, then next year this chair will merely be bitter-sweetly funny to his supporters, and just-plain funny to the rest of us.

As for Sen. Obama having any chair with his name on it: Arguably, the name spares him the need to ever have to ask anyone to vacate it, when he wants to sit down and recline and relax and read the materials that have been collected on the adjacent table. How many of us have our own "special chair" in our own living rooms that, by habit and custom, we regard as exclusively our own (at least most of the time)? I'm reminded of the episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "Singularity," in which everyone on the crew goes a bit space-mad, and the chief engineer, Trip, in particular becomes obsessed with the improvements he's making to the captain's chair on the bridge. His self-justification:

I know you don't think this chair is important, but you're wrong. What's the most critical component on this ship? The main computer? The Warp Reactor? Huh?! It's the crew. And the most important member of the crew is the captain. He makes life and death decisions every day, and the last thing he needs to be thinking in a critical situation is: "Gee! I wish this chair wasn't such pain in the ass!"

I don't begrudge Sen. Obama a nice chair to sit in on his nice airplane while he's flying from place to place, making his plans of hopey-changiness, even if he's not yet as powerful as a real POTUS or a star-ship captain. If he adds a built-in speaker that plays "Hail to the Chief" when he sits down, I'll reconsider. And the fact that he's avoided being presumptuous in this instance doesn't mean that he's a modest man, nor make up for the times he's been conspicuously immodest and, yes, presumptuous. This just isn't one of them.

Posted by Beldar at 04:55 PM in Obama | Permalink


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(1) Roy Lofquist made the following comment | Aug 4, 2008 8:31:59 PM | Permalink

Dear Beldar,

I agree with you that this is not something of any particular moment. It does, however, raise the question as to whether Obama has surrounded himself with more than the normal quota of sycophants.


(2) Dan S made the following comment | Aug 5, 2008 2:06:58 PM | Permalink

On this other hand this is seriously dorky!

(3) DRJ made the following comment | Aug 6, 2008 1:36:21 AM | Permalink

This is one of the things I like best about the internet: We can agree to disagree. I'd agree with your analysis if Obama had put this bumper sticker logo on every chair in the plane, but he or his staff only put it on one chair. The President's chair.

(4) Hazy made the following comment | Aug 6, 2008 4:17:59 AM | Permalink

fixed it for you


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