Obama's Coolness Is Compromised

Styx in the White House

By Robert A. George
|  Wednesday, Jun 24, 2009  |  Updated 11:21 PM EDT
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The Obama Presidency in Photos

Classic rockers Styx visited the White House Monday.

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Conservatives are right: The river to hell really does flow through the Obama administration

Don't believe it? Explain this headline: "Styx visits the White House."  To what else could it refer?

Oh, well, yeah, actually, it was the band Styx that got a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But, it does suggest a real downward trend for the Obama White House. This, after all, is a president that inspired a young generation as the "cool" president. Jay-Z could be heard blaring in after-primary parties. Just a few weeks back, the First Family hosted a jazz and poetry performance. Over the last couple of weeks, both Tiger Woods and Lebron James (without even making it to the NBA Finals) have managed to have a presidential audience.  

But Styx? Really? 

Now, technically, these old-time classic rockers weren't guests of the president. Primarily, they "only" visited the briefing room and hung out with journalists. But is it possible there's more of a connection between Styx and the president than first presumed?  Even though Obama has never mentioned them as favorites? 

Could be. Consider: One of the heartland band's earliest hits? "Renegade."  

Former Newsweek writer Richard Wolffe's assessment (some would say hagiography) of the Obama campaign? "Renegade."  

Barack Obama's Secret Service code name? "Renegade." (And, perhaps coincidentally or not, the root definition of "renegade" is "apostate" -- a theological heretic --  and by one interpretation, a "Christian turned Muslim."  Uh-oh).    

In fact, "Renegade" is hardly one of Styx's poorer songs. It actually moves and has energy -- sort of like a presidency in its early days, when things got done. Later though, Styx became a lite-rock FM staple with ballads like torpid ballads such as "Babe." 

If it's that "Styx" that has supposedly created "reporters who are fans of the group," then no wonder Obama and company don't want White House visitors' logs released to the public.  Forget about conservatives, the entire country will start believing the president's cool factor has gone sailing away to Hades.

New York writer Robert A. George blogs at Ragged Thots. Follow him on Twitter.

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