Friday, February 29, 2008

I Want a President Who Watches The Wire

Several stories have been circulating recently, including this one, about Barack Obama's appreciation of The Wire as his favorite TV show and Omar Little as his favorite character.

And nothing has made me want to vote for a presidential candidate more than this.

First, this choice demonstrates considerable taste and intelligence.

Also, it displays an uncalculated sincerity. He could have given a safe, innocuous answer calculated to appeal to the broadest possible audience, like Gray's Anatomy. Instead, he picked a show and a character that are intellectually and morally challenging, and that provide a complex commentary about contemporary social and political issues which doesn't reduce problems down to simple binaries like good vs. evil or us vs. them.

And if he takes any lessons away from the show, I hope it's about the dangers of becoming a politician like Mayor Carcetti--an inspirational leader who ultimately succumbs to ambition over his ideals.

The selection of Omar as the favorite character also shows that Obama can separate fiction from reality--that one can admire a fictional character without endorsing his actions. It would have been interesting, though, if Obama said his favorite character was Clay Davis:

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