This Obama-fluffing Paul Waldman piece in The American Prospect, titled "The Cool Kids Versus the Squares," is beyond self-parody. Here's how it begins:
When Barack Obama appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon the other night, he walked on stage and gave Fallon a quick pound hug, that handshake/one-arm hug that we cool guys do these days to express a sentiment something like, "It is good to see you again, my friend; we know and like each other, but are not so intimate, nor have been apart so long, that a full two-arm hug is warranted." When I watched it, the first thought that came into my head was, "Mitt Romney has never done that with another man in his life." Which is fine, of course—Romney is 65 years old, and the pound hug really only came along only about 10 or 15 years or so ago. And let's face it, even if he was a lot younger, it's just not his style.
Mitt Romney is many things, but "cool" is not one of them. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is pretty cool.
While I am always tickled to learn a new phrase, a presidential pound hug can go pound sand: What matters is how you govern. It will surprise approximately no one that Paul Waldman was much more critical of the gap between presidential image and performance back when it wasn't his team in the White House. Now, though, with a heavy sigh, this Joe Cool of opinion journalism is being dragged reluctantly back into the political quad:
So once again, we have to wage a campaign of the cool kids versus the squares. This all started in the 1960s, when people like Rove and Romney watched their contemporaries smoking grass, listening to music with electric guitars, and dancing wildly about with adventurous girls in sheer peasant blouses, and thought to themselves, "Gosh darn it, I hate those guys!"
I can't really improve on Glenn Reynolds' reaction:
SO WHAT MAKES BARACK OBAMA A "COOL KID," EXACTLY?
The raids on marijuana clinics?
The opposition to gay marriage?
The drone attacks?
The Mom Jeans?
UPDATE: Waldman responds here.