President Barack Obama gets hailed by supporters as a transformational, visionary leader. But can he boldly go where no man has gone before?
The White House request could just be an attempt by the president to stay on top of pop culture by watching this box office bonanza — but could there be more to it?
Consider: Comparisons between the enigmatic president and "Star Trek’s" Mr. Spock have become a media meme of late.
Salon: “Obama Is Spock: It’s Quite Logical”
Newsweek: “Spock’s cool, analytical nature feels more fascinating and topical than ever now that we’ve put a sort of Vulcan in the White House.”
There’s even an Obama “Spock” action figure.
We may never know if the commander in chief himself agrees with these assessments and views the pointy-eared science officer as a sort of intergalactic role model, but adding to the intrigue is The New York Times, which today asked the real Spock — Leonard Nimoy — for comment:
Q: “President Obama has drawn not-infrequent comparisons to the Spock character. Do you see any similarities there?”
A: “I’ve met him twice. The first time was a couple years ago, very early on when he had just announced his candidacy. He was in Los Angeles, speaking at a luncheon we were invited to. ... We were standing on the back patio, waiting for him. And he came through the house, saw me and immediately put his hand up in the Vulcan gesture.”
And make no mistake about it: Obama is a bit of a Trekkie: during a campaign stop in 2008, Obama told a Wyoming crowd: “I grew up on 'Star Trek,'” adding: “I believe in the final frontier.”
Plus, who can forget his fashion critique of the first lady, from Newsweek:
"That’s an interesting belt buckle," he said to Michelle, mischievously. She feigned offense and said, "I am interesting, next to you. Surprise, surprise, a blue suit, a white shirt and a tie." Obama grinned and bent down until he was almost at eye level with her waist. He jabbed a playful finger toward her belt buckle, and let loose his inner nerd. "The lithium crystals! Beam me up, Scotty!" Obama squeaked, laughing at his own lame joke as Michelle rolled her eyes.