President Obama found himself stuck in Washington without the family, delaying his entry into their $4 million dollar luxury Hawaiian vacation, so he decided to do a little photo-opping… sorry, I meant “shopping”… around Virginia yesterday.
Even as his armada of limousines and helicopters were being loaded into military transport planes, the biggest spender in American history wandered into a Best Buy and picked up two hundred dollars’ worth of gifts, including a couple of iTunes gift cards and the Wii version of “Just Dance 3.”
As he and his army of photographers and Secret Service agents kept an army of regular shoppers stewing just-off camera, the President wondered aloud if his credit card still worked.
Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of CBS News, I give you the signature American moment of 2011. We’re all wondering if the credit cards still work. Uncle Sam and his favorite nephew Barack have been racking up an awful lot of charges lately, while the Federal Reserve uses other credit cards to pay the monthly bills. Nobody wonders if the next charge will go through until the latest load of goodies is rolling past the register.
Incidentally, would anyone have been even slightly troubled if the President – whose endless vacations and opulent lifestyle would embarrass the crowned monarchs of old – had dispatched aides to efficiently and anonymously purchase his Christmas gifts, without causing undue difficulty for the ordinary citizens of Virginia? When the perks of his office make perfect sense to even the most flinty-eyed federal spending hawk, he doesn’t use them. We really needed a million photos of Barack pretending to be a regular guy and schlepping through a Best Buy to pick up something family-friendly he and the girls could play on the Wii, just to prove the wheels of American retail commerce are still turning, didn’t we?