Sometimes, politicians have to have a sense of humor when dealing with members of the public. While casting an early vote in Chicago on Monday, President Obama displayed his good nature by one upping a fellow voter’s boyfriend after he tried to make a joke at the president’s expense. Aia Cooper, the girlfriend of prankster Mike Jones, was casting her early vote next to the president when her fiance tried to crack wise. “Don’t touch my girlfriend,” said Jones. Obama’s response was not only poised, but funny and now the young couple will have a good story to tell their children in the future.
President Obama took time out of a busy week of fighting Ebola and ISIS to return to Chicago to cast his vote at the polling place. Cameras lined up and members of the press attended to see the president take part in the nation’s foundational political process. In the video, Obama can be seen taking his place at the booth next to a black woman, since identified as Aia Cooper. There was an awkward silence in the room, suddenly filled with Jones’ warning, “Mr. President, don’t touch my girlfriend.” Obama grinned and said, “I wasn’t planning on it.”
That was not the end of Obama’s rebuttal, however, as he engaged in some witty repartee with Aia who stood beside him. She, embarrassed, apologized, but the president put her at ease. “He seems like a decent guy,” he said. As they finished casting their votes, the president hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek, saying, “Let’s give him something to talk about.” And just like that, President Obama one-upped his fellow voter’s boyfriend, proving that a sense of humor is always a good thing to have.
Humorous stories in politics seem few and far between in the midst of Ebola news and other tragedies. But this was a welcome change from the regular stream of morose news pieces. Being interviewed after the fact, Mike Jones noted that the room was too quiet and he just had to say something to make people laugh. He just goes to show that there is one in every crowd. As for Cooper, she hoped that Michelle Obama was not as jealous as her own partner. “Just the cheek,” she said. “Please, Michelle, don’t come after me.” The president, however, might say that Jones is the only one with a problem now. As he left the voting place, he observed, “Now he’s really jealous.”
While politicians are often thought to be distant and inaccessible, sitting in Washington offices doing the work of state, there are sometimes moments when their real personalities shine through. President Obama has gone from being a type of savior to a president with an approval rating in the tank. But he remains upbeat and willing to engage with those voters who have delivered him such a low likability rating. By one-upping a voter’s joking boyfriend, President Obama has proven himself to be a normal human being. Who can ask more from their politicians than that?
Opinion By Lydia Bradbury