Column: Obama makes history in more ways than one

Barack Obama has apparently clinched the Democratic Party's nomination for president, apparently gainedObamaPoster
enough delegates to ensure that he will run against John McCain to see
who will spend the next four years looking totally incompetent.

I
say "apparently" because you can never count out Hillary Clinton, even
if it appears that she has dropped out of the race. She just never
quits. That's why she's still married to Bill, when most women would
have sent him packing after the 159th affair. "Let's keep trying," she
says to him, words he's soon whispering into another woman's ear.

Yes,
Hillary isn't a quitter. So don't be surprised if, between now and Aug.
25, when the Democrats hold their national convention, 100
Obama-supporting super-delegates mysteriously disappear, only to be
discovered a year later at a commune in India, doing yoga and
meditation.

But let's assume that Obama will be the nominee.
It's important to pause and recognize the historical significance of
this. It will be the first time in U.S. history that a major party has
nominated a presidential candidate whose name begins with 'O.'

Obama
is not only making history, he's opening the door for other 'O'
candidates. Now you know why Oprah is so thrilled. And why there's so
much excitement among the Irish. "It's wonderful," Irish cricketer
Niall O'Brien said. "Everyone in Ireland is so happy that O'Bama won."

Another first is worth mentioning, even if it’s fairly obvious: it’s
the first time in U.S. history that a major party has nominated a
candidate whose initials are BO. As everyone who has been to college
knows, BO stands for beer obsession. Actually, it stands for body odor,
which some students specialize in. I know one student who got a degree
in it. He had a BA in BO.

In reference to Obama, however, it’s
obvious what BO stands for: born orator. If his mom were alive, she’d
tell us how early he started speaking, how he would keep asking “When’s
my birthday coming? When’s my birthday coming?” and how she’d reply,
“Be patient in there! There’s two whole months until the delivery date.”

Yes, Obama is a great orator, a man who, just by giving a speech, can
inspire people to improve themselves. He can inspire old people to embrace new
technology, parents to embrace their children, college students to embrace a
bar of soap. He can even inspire celebrities: Kiefer Sutherland to embrace
abstinence, Oprah to embrace humility, Aishwarya Rai to embrace acting lessons.

Obama’s speaking ability is matched by his amazing breadth
of knowledge and attention to detail. Partly because he once lived
abroad, his
knowledge goes well beyond U.S. affairs, which brings us to another
first: It will be the first time in U.S. history that a major party has
nominated a
presidential candidate who knows how to pronounce Pakistan. It’s
“Pah-kee-stahn,” not the way President Bush pronounces it:
“Pack-his-bags.”

I think there’s another significant first about Obama’s nomination, but I
just can’t seem to remember it. What can I say, I’m getting old. Wait a minute
… I think it has something to do with race. Oh, I remember now: It will be
the first time in U.S. history that a major party has nominated a presidential candidate who won the
egg-and-spoon race in elementary school.

Photo by Steve Rhodes

(Thanks to longtime reader Rob Rachlin for pointing out O’bama’s Irish heritage.)

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

Comments

  1. Rosarita says:

    I love your humor soooo much. Uh oh, I think I’m becoming a “stan!”

  2. Sundaram says:

    Hi,
    The way u ended the last para (I think there’s another significant first about Obama’s nomination, but I just can’t seem to remember ….)
    is well placed without you instigating “Racial Stance” but tingling in readers mind…very nicely put…syabas.
    Sundaram

  3. I remember reading your articles during the 2004 election cycle and thinking that if Americans reelect W, it will confirm to me that the collective American psyche has gone beyond repair and that I will not enjoy watching politics anymore impartially. However, I did not count how his re-election in 2004 (read real election) would prepare many people to accept someone with initials as you say “OB”. American Psyche does have its breaks and gears unlike what I assumed then.
    (via email)

  4. Stanley says:

    Brilliant Melvin — you had me in stitches. I love it! Not your having me in stitches but the column.
    (via email)

  5. Good one that! But I think Bo stands for “Box office,” which is what the presidential race has been so far. A good BO hit.
    (via email)

  6. Very nice, particularly the last but one paragraph has capped it.

  7. Indeed the O is a major first. It is also a sifar, which could nearly mean the presence of an Indian invention in a name… well, just nearly.
    Enjoyed reading it.

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