Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama and the fly. The untold story.

Executive privilege? To see President Barack Obama take matters into his own hands during an interview with CNBC correspondent John Harwood on Tuesday, go to links.tampabay.com.

CNBC

Executive privilege? To see President Barack Obama take matters into his own hands during an interview with CNBC correspondent John Harwood on Tuesday, go to links.tampabay.com.

The merry fly sensed no danger, because flies are dumb like that. But a killer was taking aim.

Steady … steady …

Thwap!

Barack Obama, in the middle of an interview at the White House on Tuesday, killed a fly.

He took a breath.

"Now. Where were we?"

Violence raged in Iran. Americans spent their food stamps. Much more important stuff happened.

Yet everyone had an opinion of President Obama, Fly Vigilante.

It was too easy. Right there, for all to see, he displayed the classic Obama personality dilemma — the one you know you talk about at the water cooler, don't lie.

Is he a man who can make anything look cool and effortless under pressure, even pest control? A man who gets the job done? Or is he so snobbish and elite that he would kill something, crow about it, and tell the camera to film his buzzy conquest?

Bill O'Reilly: "I thought he was against capital punishment. Obviously, the fly is a pinhead."

Comedian Jim Norton: "My favorite part of that whole thing is, after he does it, he goes, 'Now, where were we?' Like he just slapped a wolverine that was attacking him. Like he was a real man, just did a little hunting."

Jimmy Fallon: "That's some pretty impressive hand-eye coordination right there. Makes Obama look like a bad a--."

Stephen Colbert, holding a jar of flies: "Here to discuss the senseless tragedy, the wife and 93 children of the fly that President Obama killed in a mad display of unchecked executive power."

A People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals blog: "He isn't the Buddha, he's a human being, and human beings have a long way to go before they think before they act."

Perhaps that's why people care. The humanity of it all.

"He's just like one of us," said Sandy Dumont, a Washington, D.C., image consultant. "Here's something bothering you, and you take care of it and get on with the business of the day. Image is really about being yourself. Who he is and the way he acts is Barack Obama, who happens to be the president."

We surf the Web and stand in the grocery line looking for these moments, picking over the personal lives of politicians and celebrities.

Sharon Stone picks acne in the rear view! Justin Timberlake buys Diet Coke! Denzel Washington has cracked pepper in his teeth! The stars are just like us!

It was George W. Bush dodging a shoe to the face. Ronald Reagan telling a heckler to shut up. Bill Clinton saying he didn't inhale. Lyndon B. Johnson holding a beagle by the ears.

Maybe we felt new sympathy for these imposing leaders of the free world. Maybe we related to them. Maybe we respected them a little more.

Or a little less.

Thursday, a 15-year-old boy named William with the screen name "Psychoactivism" posted a video on YouTube. He rubbed his moppy hair, talked about politics. He was happy to see some antics back in the White House.

Then, he got philosophical.

"It is a fly. It is annoying. I do know what that's like. But what if he caught it in a cup and took it outside and let it free? How much of a president would he be then?"

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at shayes@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8857.

Obama and the fly. The untold story. 06/18/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 22, 2009 8:29am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

    Politics

    Some of President Donald Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, the Washington Post reported, citing people familiar …

    President Donald Trump is said to be irritated by the notion that the special counsel's investigation could reach into his and his family's finances. [Associated Press]
  2. North Tampa shooting leaves one man dead

    Crime

    Times staff

    TAMPA — A man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon after an argument with another man escalated, police said.

  3. St. Pete City Council tightens building rules in historic areas

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's a battle being waged over the soul of the city's historic neighborhoods.

    A new larger home sits next to a smaller one in the Kenwood neighborhood in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.
  4. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  5. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.