In an interview with MTV, Barack Obama was asked about one of the hot button issues of this campaign, communities that pass laws banning saggy pants.
Obama was asked if people should be penalized for wearing saggy pants. He answered, “Here is my attitude: I think people passing a law against people wearing sagging pants is a waste of time. We should be focused on creating jobs, improving our schools, health care, dealing with the war in Iraq, and anybody, any public official, that is worrying about sagging pants probably needs to spend some time focusing on real problems out there.”
He also said that people should show some respect, “Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants. You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear is showing. What’s wrong with that? Come on. There are some issues that we face, that you don’t have to pass a law, but that doesn’t mean folks can’t have some sense and some respect for other people and, you know, some people might not want to see your underwear — I’m one of them.”
That was pretty sharp answer from Obama. It might sound silly to say this, but his answer on baggy pants highlights why he is winning this election. He took a trivial question and turned it back to the big issues, the economy, education, healthcare, and Iraq. His answer showed that not only does he have priorities, but he also has common sense. Sure he sounded a bit like a dad telling the kids to pull up their drawers, but guess what? He is a dad. One can picture him telling his kids to pull up their pants in the same manner someday.
Look, it’s MTV. Nobody expects hard hitting journalism from the network that asked candidate Bill Clinton if wore boxers or briefs. The interesting aspect to think about is what if John McCain answered the same question the way Obama did? Would he sound like an angry old man, who is out of touch with those young whippersnappers?
I think there has been a bit of subtle ageism in this campaign, but it is based on a perception that McCain has helped fuel by acting like an angry old man. Obama’s answer to a fluff question provided some insight into the kind of focus that should serve him well in the White House. Every once in a while a candidate comes along who seems made for the job of president. Ronald Reagan was one. Bill Clinton was one, and Barack Obama is one.
Read the full interview here