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November 13, 2013
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Jerry's Ink


A FACE IN THE CROWD


One of my all-time favorite movies is Elia Kazan's classic A Face in the Crowd (1957), which starred Andy Griffith and featured a great performance by Patricia Neal, an actress for whom I always had the "hots."

The film, in a nutshell, is about a drifter named Lonesome Rhodes (played by Griffith) who, against all odds, gets an audition as a disc jockey on a radio show in Memphis, where he becomes famous spoofing commercials. He's got a great voice and a great delivery that has everyone listening to the show believing he is speaking just to them.

He becomes an overnight star and his mesmerizing delivery enables him to grow into one the best-loved, most powerful personalities in the country. There is nothing his followers won't buy or do if he requests it.

Then one day, when he believes a show is over, he reveals his true personality when he accidently talks into an open microphone and shocks the nation that so loved him.

Those people who worshipped him suddenly see him for what he is – not the sweet-talking god they had imagined him to be, but a man of ugly flaws and weaknesses.

In the last few minutes of the movie you watch Lonesome Rhodes' career spiraling down. Yes, he will still be on the air, but most people won't hear what he has to say the same way they did when he was riding high. It's gone – the "magic" in his voice that made him so popular will never return to its former glory again.

A Face in the Crowd is a thinly disguised story of Arthur Godfrey, a much-loved broadcaster of the 1940s, 50s and 60s who, in one revealing moment, lost the respect of those people who loved him during the years when he was king.

Lately, whenever I think of Barack Obama I think of Lonesome Rhodes and A Face in the Crowd.

I think of the Obama who, when he was first elected in 2008, spoke to an adoring crowd of millions in Berlin, who seemed ready to declare him "President of the World."

I think of Candidate Obama who merely had to say "Yes, we can," and he would have his followers swooning in ecstasy.

Barack Obama's finest moment came when he first was sworn in as President. Bear Stearns was gone. Lehman Brothers had folded. Citibank was tottering. This country was a few days away from a depression that might have turned into a worldwide catastrophe.

President Obama stepped in and saved us by bailing out the financial sector. He did a lot of it with his voice. He calmed the nation. A lot of people who didn't vote for him, myself included, thought for a moment he was going to be a great president.

Then came Obamacare.

Remember when Nancy Pelosi said about Obamacare: "We have to pass it, to find out what's in it."

A physician called into a radio show and said: "That's the definition of a stool sample." I believe the Obama magic went when he decided to bribe, cheat and do everything in his power to shove Obamacare down the throats of the 56 percent of the Americans who didn't want it.

His "magic" went because, sadly, Obama turned out to be just another lying politician.

What it all boils down to is the American people don't mind being lied to by their politicians, but they get testy when they are lied to by one of their "gods."

The president turned into "Chucky" from the horror movie. Perhaps it was always there.

He turned to class and racial warfare. It was a wise political move and it got him reelected in 2012 and it will always give him a large enough constituency of Blacks, Latinos, union goons, Liberals and of course those hear-no-evil, see-no-evil, think-no-evil Democrats.

They form the new political majority that could get Barack Obama re-elected "Dictator for Life" if he so chooses.

But for the rest of America, it's different for President Obama now. Suddenly nothing he says in a speech rings true anymore. Suddenly he's not cool anymore.

Suddenly even his love-struck, staunchest followers are dismayed. Ask them about Obama and they look sad, put their heads down and mumble.

And to those Democrats who are about to write in and object to this column I offer you this quote:

"If you like the health insurance plan you have you can keep it. If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. PERIOD."

A terrible lie that was repeated 17 times.

Are you still wondering why Democrat politicians in every state are diving for cover?

All the kings' horses and all the kings' men can't put Barack Obama's "magic" back to where it was again.

He's Lonesome Rhodes saying the same things in the same way, but no one in the audience can bring themselves to shout "Yes, we can" again. It's not there; it's gone.

So what does the future hold for this handsome man with a great voice and style and the fantastic ability to make the perfect speech? Where can he go?

He can take his memories, he can take his voice, his looks, his fine family and mercifully get out of our lives.

If he wants to stay in the public eye he can always be Mayor of New York City. We have recently developed a weakness for lying socialists.

If you wish to comment on "Jerry's Ink" please send your message to jerry@dfjp.com.

  1. print email
    "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone"
    November 13, 2013 | 12:25 PM

    Jerry ... You know I love you, but you have to stop calling Obama a "liar".

    As my grandfather taught me when I was just a kid, it's one of the worst things you can call somebody, and you'd better be goddam sure before levying such a charge on anyone, at any level.

    But if you insist and persist, let's go back in my lifetime to Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and Dubbya - all historically documented "liars" on issues much more important than whether one might keep their current healthcare insurance policy.

    Just a thought for you, being a copywriter by trade, the next time you choose your words about the POTUS. Best always, Bill



    Bill Crandall
  2. print email
    Bring in the JV
    November 13, 2013 | 01:14 PM

    Jerry,
    If you feel that a replacement is necessary, who would you bring in?


    Wally Littman
  3. print email
    Bring in the JV
    November 13, 2013 | 01:17 PM

    Jerry,
    If you feel that a replacement is necessary, who would you bring in?


    Wally Littman
  4. print email
    November 13, 2013 | 04:02 PM

    bill, don't forget Bush I. He was a liar too. "Read my lips, no new taxes."

    jimmy
  5. print email
    November 13, 2013 | 07:35 PM

    Oh give it a rest. Your party offers nothing. It's a shame you put your great intellect toward dumping on everything Obama does (and this has been going on for years) instead of coalescing with your fellow dingbats to come up with solutions.

    Cathie Payne
  6. print email
    November 13, 2013 | 08:16 PM

    As they say on sports radio "Long-time listener, first-time caller." ("Long time" means I read "...Brought You Pearl Harbor" in high school in the 70s.) Anyway, I've been lied to by politicians of all faiths (while I was a political reporter, and we both knew they were lying.) So I'm not surprised... but on Andy Griffin: think it was the 1980s I saw a made-for-TV movie where Griffin played a character that could have been Sherriff Taylor's evil big brother. Best thing I've ever seen him in; he played the family-guy owner of a small-town hardware store who was the world's meanest functioning alcoholic. Pillar of the community and the horror of his family. All kinds of lessons about what's behind the mask we show the world, whether you are another crooked politician from Chicago or a crooked "Fortunate son" draft dodger from Texas.

    jim sherman
  7. print email
    To "All My Friends" - Mickey Rourke, "Barfly"
    November 13, 2013 | 10:18 PM

    To Wally Littman ... Really good question for Jerry.

    To Jimmy ... Didn't forget about G.H.W. Bush (who I still greatly respect, despite his political "No new taxes" pledge.) Just didn't want to mix him in the same sentence with his son ("Dubbya") and other confirmed "liars" lacking basic integrity and responsible for a lot of young dead Americans. And let's add other "liars" such as McNamara, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to that list while we're at it.

    To Jim Sherman ... Even as a Vietnam vet myself, I don't hold any grudges against G.W. Bush (the son) for avoiding active duty and joining the reserves. One could get KIA. But the least he could have done after partying was show up for weekend flight training in Florida! Bill Crandall

    Bill Crandall
  8. print email
    Final Thought for the Week
    November 13, 2013 | 11:37 PM

    Seems funny, and maybe a bit more than coincidental to me, that when I post on Jerry's Ink every Tuesday (which is probably to often), all Hell breaks loose in commentary.

    But that's great, because Jerry loves stirring the pot and creating a little controversay! And I love it too! Bill Crandall

    Bill Crandall
  9. print email
    Jerry's Column
    November 14, 2013 | 12:53 PM

    Unfortunately for our nation, Jerry is right. We have a lame duck president for three more years.

    Joe
  10. print email
    Question for Joe
    November 16, 2013 | 12:57 PM

    Hey Joe ... "Where're you goin' with that gun in your hand?" (thank you Jimi). And who would you like to be President right now? BC

    Bill Crandall
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