When a journalist says a candidate or even an actual President is or isn’t “being presidential” it’s a signal to all the other pundits. They are letting other journalists know that they are about to tell some partial-myth about on of their fave five presidents. These tales usually aggrandize a paternalist President daddy-ing the country in a time only that specific daddy-in-chief could have fixed our country’s boo-boo at that time. This faux threshold discounts the President as head of the government, head of state, commander in chief of the US armed forces and head of their political party and overvalues the president as a personality and a political brand.
Forget our “better angels of our nature” and all that. No need to do hard things the hard way! Being that any President is “presidential”, being presidential should be a Pass/Fail, lowest common denominator endeavor for the rest of us.
- Find the 4 worst ranked Presidents in history
- Make faces like their portraits and try and copy their speaking cadences
- Behave like they did as far as you can tell from historical accounts
- Anyone who fits their characteristics is indeed being “Presidential”
- Repeat process from step 1 with the next 4 highest rated presidents until you find enough Presidential characteristics to describe everything about yourself
Boom. Next thing you know: you are being Presidential! And you don’t have to thank me! Not compensating a black guy for his work is definitely presidential! Refer to the race/religion presidential triage below to get some ideas:
- Christian White dudes: It’s soooooo easy. When Strom Thurmond had a secret black family while he advocated continuing oppression of the rest of black people, he was being so presidential. Just like Thomas Jefferson. See? You have tons of ways to cheat on your wife or be an all around cad and be more presidential. Force people to suffer you taking a dump or drainin’ the main vane while holding a meeting. Belch in someone’s face before you tear them down a peg? LBJ did it! Presidential! Who knew being presidential could be so fun? You do. No excuses.
- Christian Black dudes: Things got easier, but not easy in 2008. You’ve only got one guy: 44. Obama. Hope you have a funny name go to Harvard Law School and work on your left and your three point shot. Also, sing some Al Green. Also, mom jeans.
- Everyone Else: No luck. Need not try apply. The media won’t be able to see it in you. Unless someone like you becomes president. Then, you know the deal. Until then, sorry to waste your time.