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Nate Jackson / September 8, 2022

The Obamas Paint Democrat Election Strategy

Unveiling official portraits turned into more campaigning for “democracy” and against Donald Trump.

“Once our time is up, we move on,” said Michelle Obama at the unveiling of her and Barack’s official White House portraits yesterday. She clearly meant the comment as a dig at Donald Trump, even though it is Joe Biden and his “Justice” Department keeping Trump front and center, and even though the Obamas themselves never have really left the limelight after their time was up. Both Obamas gave a nod to Biden’s “faith in our democracy” while strongly implying a contrast with Trump’s supposed violation of it.

Thus, the strategic lesson from yesterday’s portrait unveiling is that it tells you what Democrats want to run on this fall.

They’ll do anything to avoid being held accountable for their own record of sky-high inflation, businesses struggling to find workers, supply chain issues, disastrous foreign policy, rising crime, and cultural upheaval and censorship. Instead, they want to (A) run against Donald Trump and his army of racist and evil MAGA Republicans and (B) remember the “good old days” under Obama, who by the way just won an Emmy for “outstanding narrator” for the Netflix documentary “Our Great National Parks.”

“The country is better off than when you first took office,” Barack Obama laughably asserted regarding Biden, “and we should all be deeply grateful for that.” Yeah, read that last paragraph again.

In fact, numerous former Obama advisers have come out swinging against Biden, particularly regarding inflation and his scheme to “forgive” student loans, criticism that hints at the rumored animosity between the two men. Remember, Obama didn’t endorse his former No. 2 until after the 2020 Democrat primaries were over.

Unveiling presidential portraits is a tradition nearly as old as the Republic, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There is (or should be) a certain fraternity among former presidents, as well, given that there are rarely more than a handful of them alive at any given time. Only 45 men have ever held the highest office in the land, and that ought to mean something.

For many of us, of course, that “something” is a particular distaste for what the Obamas did to our country. Mutual animosity over that is why this ceremony broke tradition and didn’t happen during Trump’s presidency.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gushed that the portraits “will hang on the walls of the White House forever as reminders of the power of hope and change.” That’s one way to put it. To our eyes, it’s a reminder of the “fundamental transformation” of the United States that we see all around us, particularly in the list of policy failures noted above, all of which have strong roots in Barack Obama’s administration.

Glamorizing Obama’s polarization and constitutional violations with portraits just doesn’t sit well.

As for the portraits themselves, Robert McCurdy painted the photorealist version of Barack Obama, and it is a stunningly realistic painting, right down to the glare of a camera flash on his forehead. Obama said of McCurdy that he “paints people exactly the way they are, for better or worse.” When he was first running for president in 2007, Obama once responded to “the notion” that he’s a “blank slate” with few policy specifics, and now his official portrait is him nonchalantly standing in front of a blank slate. Poetic, perhaps, and an improvement upon the bizarre Smithsonian portrait of him leaning forward in a chair nearly overtaken by vine leaves.

Michelle Obama’s portrait was painted by Sharon Sprung, and as Barack put it, the artist captured his wife’s “grace and intelligence and the fact that she’s fine.” Once again, we must disagree with the former president. Not to put too, er, fine a point on it, but we struggle to say it more politely: The truly remarkable characteristic of Sprung’s painting is that she managed to so fully and accurately capture the former first lady’s “resting b*tch face.” That crass pop culture label is a real phenomenon — real enough to be a theme for memes and to have a Wikipedia entry anyway — and Michelle is a poster child of it.

On a final note, in the latest sad display of Biden’s obvious declining mental state, he was the only person in the room who at first failed to stand up during the standing ovation. Dr. Jill Biden, who ought to be ashamed of the way she’s exploited her husband to achieve the status of first lady, instead took to the podium and promptly made fun of him. It was both humorous and so utterly sad.

But hey, at least we don’t have a president who mean tweets!

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