Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the Roth-Obama presidency

"I always joke," Barack Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg for Goldberg's new piece in the Atlantic, "that my intellectual formation was through Jewish scholars and writers, even though I didn’t know it at the time. Whether it was theologians or Philip Roth who helped shape my sensibility...."

Philip Roth helped shape Barack Obama's sensibility.

In yesterday's Slate Cultural Gabfest the three hyper-articulate gabbers noted, half-jokingly, that if Bill Clinton was our first black president, perhaps Barack Obama will be our first Jewish president.

Goldberg has written this: "Obama told me that his sensibility was partially shaped by the books of Philip Roth. This obviously has profound implications for American foreign policy, and for shiksas, as well. And so, a reader contest. In a couple of pithy sentences, tell us what the first 100 days of a Roth-influenced Obama presidency would look like."

Andrew Sullivan in "The Daily Dish" blog creates an entry called "The Obama-Roth Presidency."

Back in February here's what Roth had to say about Obama:

Roth: I’m interested in the fact that he’s black. I feel the race issue in this country is more important than the feminist issue. I think that the importance to blacks would be tremendous. He’s an attractive man, he’s smart, he happens to be tremendously articulate. His position in the Democratic Party is more or less okay with me. And I think it would be important to American blacks if he became president.

SPIEGEL: Is Barack Obama black enough?

Roth: I know this discussion goes on, but I think it will disappear if he gets the nomination. The reality of his running will wash that away. Anybody who’s half white and half black is considered black anyway. That’s one drop of blood.