Pajama Boy and a president who is simply out of touch

Obamacare girlRemember Adriana, aka Obamacare Girl? She was the smiling dark-haired lass whose visage originally graced the splash page of the Healthcare.gov 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 reads:

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

The tweet (shown here) 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 in the infamous shot of Obama taking a selfie of himself and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, while his wife sat beside him, stony-faced (photoshopped version is here.) He was in a tableau from the 2008 Clint Eastwood blockbuster “Gran Torino” (shown here). Most tellingly, he was the image reflected back at Obama in the inexplicable weird official White House photo of the president gazing into a mirror (shown here).

Powerline’s John Hinderaker, who aptly described the model a “doofus in a plaid onesie drinking hot chocolate,” asked rhetorically, “Is this really how the Obama administration pictures its supporters?” The answer is that this president and his support staff are obviously clueless. But it wasn’t just conservatives who thought the campaign was stupid. In a post that mostly harrumphed about the right’s cruel ridicule of all things Obaman, even Salon’s Elias Isquith, writes, “Admittedly, the guy in the photo does look a little silly. That’s what happens when you wear a onesie!”

McKay Coppins, writing at Buzzfeed, theorizes that the young people in politics whose job is to reach out to other young people just 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 contest. 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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