March 07, 2010
Self-hating gourmands repress their inner Tudorphobia?
Confronted with the spectacle of the gluttonous David Axelrod chomping on a drumstick, President Obama is reported to have "surveyed the spread on Mr. Axelrod's desk with a slight smirk" and then quipped "What is this, King Arthur's court?"
Neo-Neocon notes that the president committed a historical gaffe:
King Arthur's court? I believe Obama must have meant to refer to King Henry VIII, who was often pictured as a glutton holding a drumstick...A lot of politicians say the wrong thing, and this wouldn't be the first time President Obama has mangled history when making a point.
Much as I'd like to shrug this bit of sloppiness off entirely (and much as I'm inclined to agree with Glenn's "whatever"), my inner paranoid conspiracist worries that the choice of King Arthur might reflect a conscious desire to scrupulously avoid anything that hints of the dreaded "Tudor Obama" meme. British historian David Starkey is considered the world's leading Henry VIII scholar, and here is what he said in comparing Henry VIII to Barack Obama:
'Henry comes to the throne as the Tudor Obama,' explains David. 'How does the thin, beautiful, elegant, musical, poetical, reasonable, charming, sweet-tempered man who marries for love... how does he turn into Henry who was the horror, Henry who was the tyrant?'Now, if a lowly blogger like me made a comparison like that, I'd be ignored. But words like that from a scholar of Starkey's stature simply cannot be ignored.
But hey, at least there's no physical resemblance!
All cholesterol jokes aside, if I were Barack Obama, I think I'd keep the imagery focused on Arthur (and Camelot) too.
posted by Eric on 03.07.10 at 03:28 PM
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