A Realistic Comparison

Obama_White_House_Correspondents_Dinner_2015Just for kicks, sad kicks but kicks none-the-less, it might be as simple as comparing yesterday’s quotes from the 2012 presidential contestants. As Confucius said, “A man simply cannot conceal himself,” and certainly, these sound bites validate that age old bit of wisdom.

As many were made aware of by the doting coverage, last night was Washington’s go around at trying to be Hollywood. It was the black tie affair known as the correspondents’ diner. Way down the coast from the Potomac’s power elite, an earlier event took place in Florida with Jacksonville University’s graduation ceremonies.

Obviously, our esteemed president captured the evening in the first event while his humble 2012 presidential counterpart imparted useful advice to the class of recent graduates in the second affair.

Given the different approach to both events, it is understandable as to the diverse nature of speech and spontaneity. One was a festive mixture of ridicule and self aggrandizing while the other was more of a solemn occasion honoring the rites of passage from student onto a more responsible share of citizenship.

At the diner, President Barack Obama quipped that he is “determined to make the most of every moment I have left.” Depending upon one’s perspective, this comment either startled or sadden many in attendance. However, his downturn occurred as his comic side took over. When revealing that his advisors had asked if he had a bucket list, our president’s reply was, “Well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list.” Could it be that a chuckle or two was heard emanating from Jane Fonda, as she too remembered a list from long ago.

This kind of humor should be reserved with a comic’s night club skits; it should not be uttered by one who commands our military and is the leader of our United States and the free world.

Woodrow Wilcox


Mitt Romney on the other hand, and given the solemnity of the occasion, remained as his usual presidential self. Addressing the newly minted graduates and their families, Mitt advised, “Get a life, have a life, live your life in full. Embrace every fruitful dimension of life that you possibly can.” Also, he added, “If your life is lived for money and position, it will be shallow and unfulfilling.” He concluded with, “And for the sake of preserving freedom, vote.” “Please vote.”

Understanding that the different atmosphere of each event offered greater latitudes of expression in the former rather than the latter, still, as our president, one might expect a higher level of conduct along with a more classy oratory.



Obama is sadly still the president of our country, at home and abroad. As such, one would expect that his more risqué quips would remain within his more private interactions. In leadership positions, there is this universal expectation for a particular persona, an etiquette denoting acceptable conduct which inherently occupies his high station.

Since that unfortunate re-election, many have mused over what would have been if? I think that yesterday’s display revealed the chasm which keeps this wondering alive. Given the opportunity, Obama gravitated into his most natural and comfortable prose. Romney on the other hand cared and tried to offer useful insights from his own experiences in life.

It should be no secret that this is written by a Romney voter yet the two differing performances speak for themselves. I’m just wondering if the laughter that Obama no doubt received was so rewarding that if the events were reversed, would his format change?

These two differing portrayals offer a realistic telltale, a residue of what the choice actually was in 2012. A polished, reserved, humble and greatly successful business leader verses a street corner manipulator with an adoring press! And, our wondering continues.

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Jim Bowman is a 67 year old drafted Vietnam veteran, and a retired boiler maker with 31 years of service. He has been published in numerous newspapers in Florida and Philadelphia, is the author of This Roar of Ours, and the publisher of the Americanism of our Founders website. He is the proud father of a son and daughter, two grandsons and one granddaughter.
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