Monday, February 4, 2008

Personal Aside: The Obamalot…Like Camelot but—How Did it Go Again? I Forget.


My felicitations to someone in “Illinois Review” who concocted the word Obamalot.

My personal view after having seen the Democratic debate between Hillary and Barack Obama…after Ted Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy and the others all pouring in to help Obama…my personal view is that he is going to get the nomination—and whether the Republicans nominate John McCain or not, he may well…very well…get elected president. We are in love with romance, ladies and gentlemen! It’s not what I want, understand. After Romney finishes, I’m for McCain. And for McCain without lingering caviling or bitterness—for McCain enthusiastically. But there are whole generations who do not understand the arrant mythology that was John Kennedy’s Camelot…and they want it again.

Perhaps neither you nor I can forestall this—but I have decided to do something. The best book written about the 1960s Camelot was done by Sally Bedell Smith, “Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House” Random House, 2004. Sally Bedell Smith is no far-right member of a literary goon squad. She is contributing editor of “Vanity Fair” and is scrupulously fair but devastatingly honest about those years—and after more than 140 interviews with Kennedy surviving insiders, a careful reading of more than 100 books, she opens the door to reveal an often ill, sometimes heavily drugged JFK, distracted from national affairs but gushing young debutantes.

I have decided that a précis of this book is exactly what is needed to counteract the dreamy Kennedy hero worship reincarnated for Barack Obama, constituting the Knights of the Round Table that Jackie Kennedy labored to perpetuate. I’m going to present some portions of it in the succeeding days—so that the younger members can understand the folly of this giddy old generation fawning over what may be a return to Camelot and the danger this country was in while those unaware fawned over how this leading man coped with problems such as maintaining world peace, stabilizing the economy, the division of Germany, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, a national recession, threat of nuclear war, the space race all the while the “King” needed relief from stress, emulating his father, his trysts with Helen Chavchavadze who like a courtesan was paid to be quiet. All this and Khrushchev, Fiddle and Faddle (two comely White House staffers who took over in the White House after their coworkers went home), Marion “Mimi” Beardsley, a 19-year-old intern who had no skills, couldn’t type but could conduct an affair with the King, Countess Vivian Crespi and Nuala Pell, Pamela Turnure, the raven-haired First Lady’s press secretary who was a dead ringer for her boss and who substituted for her on occasion. All this and more.

They want Camelot to return? Let’s look at it realistically.

Barack Obama, possibly against his will, maybe purposefully, is starring in a romance that causes giddy admirers to nearly faint. Those who insist he will return us to Camelot including the surviving Kennedys mislead us so we need to be reminded. Those who yearn for a return to Camelot should understand what really happened…and no matter how hard oldster liberals try, they cannot camouflage the truth. Starting tomorrow, some excerpts with historical annotation by me.

At least when we measure the fittings for the next King Arthur…the contestants next November probably being a young, trim, athletic stripling versus a 71-year-old creaky, cranky war hero…we will have been warned. Tomorrow it starts. Now just one more time let’s hear it for the rosy haze of liberal romance—as Andy Greeley quivers in his Sixties nostalgia.

Each evening, from December to December/

Before you drift to sleep upon your cot/

Think back on all the tales that you remember/

Of Camelot.

Ask ev’ry person if he’s heard the story/

And tell it strong and clear if he has not/

That once there was a fleeting wisp of glory

Called Camelot.

Camelot! Camelot!

A law was made a distant moon ago here/

July and August cannot be too hot/

And there’s a legal limit to the snow here/

In Camelot.

Camelot! Camelot!

I know it sounds a bit bizarre/

But in Camelot! Camelot!

That’s how conditions are/

The rain may never fall till after sundown/

By eight the morning fog must disappear/

In short there’s simply not

A more congenial spot/

For happily-ever-aftering than here

In Camelot!

Camelot! Camelot!

I know it gives a person pause/

But in Camelot! Camelot!

Those are the legal laws.

The snow may never slush upon the hillside/

By 9 p.m. the moonlight must appear/

In short there’s simply not

A more congenial spot

For happily ever-aftering than here

In Camelot.


  1. With no record of accomplishment in the Illinois General Assembly or the US Senate, the Democrats seem poised to nominate this nonentity on the basis of his career as "a community organizer." Please visit the precincts in his former legislative district and tell me how well that community is faring as a result of his efforts.

    It seems farcical that this faker is still in the nomination race. Why do his supporters follow this Pied Piper? Because he offers them unspecified "hope" and he is so "articulate." Please...

    Here's another Broadway musical reference for you. "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off."

  2. Hey Tom why not take the Virgin Mary and throw her out the window too on the alter of political expediency? Tough words? NO! By your statement that you would be for McCain "without lingering" shows that you are NO conservative. What a change from the days when you would not support Topinka or Ryan based on principal! What a compromiser you have become. But then as I was recently told by a prominent politician, maybe you have always been that way!

    And for McCain enthusiastically..... oh ya? May the ghosts of Topinka and Ryan haunt you for your decent into mushy moderation.

    You might as well vote for Hillary or Obama so as to have them and Democratic party blamed for open borders or Global Warming but no you would even smear the Republican party with the fecal waste of those liberal ideals. In fact you would compromise the Republican party to the left as long as Bill Kristol told you to. You have obviously become his stooge. By your McCain comments you prove that you would put the neo-con agenda over the anti-abortion agenda if push came to shove..... PATHETIC!

  3. I would rather think that this is the era of the Obamalet. It is certain that he will lay a big egg real soon-

  4. Lovie's LeatherFebruary 4, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    I have been away from the blogs for awhile, but I decided to check back and see what you think of McCain... in light of your anti-Topinka position in the last big election. And Tom, I have come to the conclusion that you are a lover of bigger and badder government. Topinka, who is a small government, nanny-state hating (she even voted against seat belt laws), prochoice Republican isn't worthy of you. Yet the Pro-tax, anti-first amendment, pro-illegal alien liberal is your guy, enthusiastically, now that he is the candidate of inevitability. If my country is going to crap, I would prefer Clinton or Obama doing it, as opposed to my own party. But you are about to embrace failure with John McCain, and not just for the state of Illinois, but for the entire country.

  5. LL, Sir-

    I fear you suffer from a failing that MANY others have regarding Tom's opinions. He does not endorse McCain, he endorses Romney, as I do. If the distaste of certain "Christians" exempts Romney regardless of his credentials, this is a sad state we are in.

    Say that it is so that the liberal media hypes McCain. Why?

    If the American people demand to be defended from the devilish bastards we are at war with, and they can not accept Romney, then on to second base.
    Elementary, whether you are a White Sox, Cubs or Bears fan.

    Now consider the big picture. The message we would send to all our brave troops that serve, and to the families of those who have suffered loss.

    Consider the message that we send to the world. Strength or weakness?

    If McCain ends up getting the nomination, and his running mate is not Romney, I will still pull the lever Republican.

    Look at the alternative. Is the references above worth some political principals? If you say, "Yes, Vote Ron Paul", or Donald Duck, you are what Thomas Paine called a "Fair weather patriot."

  6. Tom has taken a path that builds favor for himself with the neo-cons who claim the "conservative" mantle in the MEDIA these days. For Tom it is now go along to get along so as to be relevant in certain social circles. In a recent WSJ article, Bill Kristol went for McCain. Tom, out of todyesque necessity carries the torch for Bill Kristol who works for Rupert Murdoch.

    Tom ineptly and weakly goes after Obama who is now supported by Rupert Murdoch owner of the Weekly Standard and Fox News. The whole Camelot thing is so old and forgotton like an evening at the nursing home in front of Turner Movie Classics.

    Then Tom in his senior citizen geriatric forgetful haze wants us to kiss up to Juan McCain, enthusiastically! He like another aging pundit Bob "viagra" Dole attack Limbaugh for rightfully going after McCain and reminding us of Juan McCain's treachery to the conservative cause.

    On top of it, Tom jumps the gun and is already throwing Romney over the cliff as he virtually calls McCain the defacto winner. I too remember his chides against Topinka. In this Juan McCain love fest he is a hypocrite or maybe he is just forgetful these days.