Pajama Boy and a president who just doesn’t get it

Pajama Boy and a president who just doesn’t get it

Obamacare girlRemember Adriana, aka Obamacare Girl? She was the smiling dark-haired lass whose visage originally graced the splash page of the website. The administration never explained why her picture was chosen or why it suddenly vanished. It was almost as though they were seeking to further dehumanize a law that by degrees was proving to be the antithesis of what the president advertised.

Undaunted, Team Obama has plodded on. Yesterday, a tweet by Barack Obama asked, “How do you plan to spend the cold days of winter?” The message was accompanied by a photo of a bespectacled skinny white dude in his PJs cradling a cup. The kicker read:

Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about getting health insurance. #GetTalking.

Pajama Boy TweetThe ad went viral, but not in the way the White House was hoping. Conservatives had a field day with the image. In a twink, Photoshoppers got busy pasting the new face of Obamacare — which had earned its own Twitter tag, the derisive “#PajamaBoy” — into every scene imaginable. Pajama Boy was grafted into the infamous shot of Obama taking a selfie of himself and leggy Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt at Nelson Mandel’s memorial, while his wife sat beside him, stony-faced.

Pajama Boy Mandela funeralHe was in a tableau from the 2008 Clint Eastwood blockbuster “Gran Torino.”

Pajama boy Gran TorinoMost tellingly, he was the image reflected back at Obama in the inexplicably weird official White House photo of the president gazing into a mirror.

Pajama boy looking back at ObamaPowerline’s John Hinderaker, who aptly described the model as a “doofus in a plaid onesie drinking hot chocolate,” asked, “Is this really how the Obama administration pictures its supporters?” Although the question was meant as rhetorical, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” When it comes to matters cultural, Obama and company are largely clueless.

McKay Coppins, writing at Buzzfeed, theorizes that the young people in politics whose job is to reach out to other young people don’t understand their generational peers. Coppins seeks to find a parallel between Pajama Boy and the creepy Uncle Sam figure disseminated by Generation Opportunity. In truth, there’s no comparison. It’s not just Obama’s staff that is supposed to be young and hip. The president himself was packaged that way. In 2008, no less a personage than Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, endorsed Obama as her father’s rightful heir.

But to paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, Obama is no Jack Kennedy, not in his policies and not in his demeanor. What rankles those on the left about Pajama Boy is that Obama could just as easily have posed for the ad himself.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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