Let me be clear: I like it when my employees say nice things about me. But sometimes they go too far, and it's just awkward. Make that ass-kissing just a bit subtle, please, so that I can enjoy the illusion that I really am all that.
If you accept the premise, and I do, that the United States is the most powerful country in the world, then Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists.
Now, in context, it's pretty clear that the NEA chief means Obama is the most powerful person who is a writer since Julius Caesar, not that he's the most compelling writer since Julius Caesar. (I would characterize Caesar as more insightful than powerful of a writer, anyway.) Nevertheless, you would think that someone as steeped in the arts as Rocco Landesman would recognize that a comparison to Julius Caesar is, under the circumstances, extremely infelicitous.
Perhaps he's gone all swoony.
Also, is Obama really more powerful (considering his political circumstances) than Jefferson, or JFK, or Churchill?
(Latin grammar hat tip to David)
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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