Is Barack Obama a Geek?

I stumbled onto this interview with Barack Obama a few days back, where Entertainment Weekly quizzed him on his pop culture preferences. One of the questions was:

Last question, and the fate of the Republic hangs on your answer: If you could be any superhero, which superhero would you be?

I was always into the Spider-Man/Batman model. The guys who have too many powers, like Superman, that always made me think they weren’t really earning their superhero status. It’s a little too easy. Whereas Spider-Man and Batman, they have some inner turmoil. They get knocked around a little bit.

So, naturally for me, I wondered if this was the answer that proved that Obama was a great big geek. Initially, I nixed the idea — if you’re asking someone who their favorite superheroes are, there’s a really good chance you’re going to get Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man name-dropped, just because they’re the most popular and best-known characters out there. That answer doesn’t prove you’re a geek — it proves you have a very general awareness of American pop culture.

On the other hand, there’s also the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, in which Obama and McCain both gave humorous, self-deprecatory speeches. Part of Obama’s speech included this line:

Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth.

Proof of geekdom? Well, it’s proof that one of his speechwriters is a geek, but is there anything that indicates that the President-Elect is a current or former comic reader?

Hey, what’s this I see in this list of “50 Things You May Not Know about Obama”?

He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics

Whoa. By Crom, that appears to be confirmation!

Does this mean we’re going to start seeing Washington’s power players, politicos, and pundits reading Grant Morrison’s comics and Robert E. Howard books to get insights into the new president’s personality and outlook? Could potentially lead to a bit too much rigid good-vs.-evil thinking, which is always a problem in Washington, but it might be cool to see a little more mainstreaming of comics culture…

And on top of being a comic reader, Obama is also a Trekkie, according to Leonard Nimoy…

About a year and a half ago I was at a political event and one of our current campaigners for the office of President of the United States saw me, approached, and he gave me the Vulcan signal… it was not John McCain.

On top of that, the article notes that he namedrops “dilithium crystals” in casual conversation. Dude, that’s nerrrrdy.

No Comments

  1. Kenny Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 8:51 am

    Well, I feel a little better this morning after reading that!

  2. Dianna Thomas Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 10:08 am

    I am responding to a article on yesterday.
    I have often wondered how some people can be so intelligent and ignorant at the same time, but you prove that it can be done.

    During the segregation movement I had a teacher (white) ask me, “Why did blacks want to go to school with whites?” I told her that we were not asking to go to school with whites, but that we are treated fairly. If the school district received funding for three new books and there was three schools give a new book to each of the schools and not just the white school. I don’t know if you are aware that during my time in school all new equipment, supplies, books and furniture went to the white schools and the old items was sent to the black and Hispanic schools. Is this fair???

    You speak of working. Well I started working when I was 10 years old and I am now 65 years of age and still working. I have never had a job that paid over $10.00 per hour not because I am uneducated or dumb but because the jobs were limited to my people at that time. Pay for the black race has always been below the standard rates. And job opportunity has always been limited.

    You need to look beyond yourself just for a second and your immediate surrounding and you will realize that 90% of blacks are working people. There are just as many white people or more on welfare as blacks. I was just as ignorant as you about people being on welfare until I worked in a program during my college years and find out this fact. Before make judgment decisions about people get the facts.

    Fill out an application and put on it that you are black and then fill out an application and put on it that you are white, see which one get a response.

    Yes I am happy that Obama won not because he’s black but I feel that now we have someone in office that will truly be looking out for the hard working, common people.

    I was just as ecstatic when John F. Kennedy won. And I felt that Jimmy Carter had the common people at heart also. It’s not about the color of his skin but the content of his heart.

    I thank God for Jesus Christ because he was about the people regardless of race. He died for us all (believers), please don’t forget that.

  3. Scott Slemmons Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 10:29 am

    Ms. Thomas, not sure where you saw that article you’re commenting on, but it certainly wasn’t here.

  4. Dianna Thomas Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 10:48 am

    My comment was in response to Mandyshea – posted at 9:20:48 a.m. Monday, November 10, 2008.

  5. Scott Slemmons Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 11:12 am

    Was this on another blog? Or in one of the Avalanche-Journal’s articles? I just checked my comment listing for this blog, and I didn’t have any from anyone named Mandyshea.

  6. swampy Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 8:30 pm

    now if Obama can make Marvel bring back good Spidey stories, then he’s a true nerd