Barack Obama made great play during his rally in Orange County yesterday of taking off his jacket – going so far as to ask the audience for permisson to do so, as if they might mind. He then took unscreened questions. When I heard about this, I was sure some other political figure, smart and savvy, had done the same thing to great success a few years ago. Who had clearly so inspired the big guy? Was it Blair? Cameron? It surely couldn’t have been Bush. I racked my brains.
Oh, yes. It was Josiah Bartlet.
On meeting the writer of The West Wing, Obama reportedly told Aaron Sorkin that he’d be stealing some of the scribe’s lines. He’s made good on the promise! Richard T Kelly, meanwhile, points his readers to the blog of former Blair consigliere, Alastair Campbell, who recently attended a screening of Armando Ianucci’s new satire, In The Loop. A version of his thoroughly cynical TV deconstruction of New Labour’s governing style, The Thick Of It, one is left wondering if this waspish film about the US and UK waging another shady war has missed the zeitgeist, in an era when the real President of the United States is quoting a tool of liberal wish fulfilment.
The film’s released on April 17th and has a very good buzz … so we’ll see.