Alex Massie

Waffling in Pennsylvania and in Print

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On the other hand, PJ O'Rourke isn't the only one to have lost it. Consider, for instance, Maureen Dowd's latest column:

Is he [Obama]skittish around her [Clinton] because he knows that she detests him and he’s used to charming everyone? Or does he feel guilty that he cut in line ahead of her? As the husband of Michelle, does he know better than to defy the will of a strong woman? Or is he simply scared of Hillary because she’s scary?

Good grief. Clearly the answers are: Sure, Absolutely, Indubitably and Of Course. Or maybe not.

He is frantic to get away from her because he can’t keep carbo-loading to relate to the common people.

In the final days in Pennsylvania, he dutifully logged time at diners and force-fed himself waffles, pancakes, sausage and a Philly cheese steak. He split the pancakes with Michelle, left some of the waffle and sausage behind, and gave away the French fries that came with the cheese steak.

But this is clearly a man who can’t wait to get back to his organic scrambled egg whites*. That was made plain with his cri de coeur at the Glider Diner in Scranton when a reporter asked him about Jimmy Carter and Hamas.

“Why” he pleaded, sounding a bit, dare we say, bitter, “can’t I just eat my waffle?”

His subtext was obvious: Why can’t I just be president? Why do I have to keep eating these gooey waffles and answering these gotcha questions and debating this gonzo woman?

Obviously, tt would all be very different if Obama had realised the importance of finishing your waffle. And actually, his disinclination to answer questions at yet another pointless photo-op was a rare, if potentially foolish, example of a politician resisting the fatuousness of the campaign trail. It would have been better still, of course, if Obama had breakfasted in private.

But then MoDo might have written that while Hillary is couragous enough to consume her porridge in public, taking the her lumps in her stride, while Barack sulks in his tent, nibbling his granola and bemoaning his lot...

*What is it with egg yolks? When did they become the enemy? And what sort of person really insists upon baning them from their breakfast? Why?

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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