Conservative attempts to peg President Obama as the next Jimmy Carter or the next Michael Dukakis failed to register in the public consciousness this summer. What meme could get them more traction? How about Barack Obama as the next George Costanza? That could work. And it's not entirely inaccurate, explains The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto:
Reader Daniel Loomis sends along his capsule summary of "The Summer of George," the eighth-season finale of "Seinfeld," which aired May 15, 1997: "George uses his severance from the Yankees to stimulate the perfect summer--the 'Summer of George'--but spends it playing frolf (frisbee golf), watching 'The White Shadow,' 'investing' in a recliner with a built-in refrigerator, taking midmorning naps, banging his head on tables, and having insignificant telephone conversations. Eventually, he ends up in the hospital having to relearn to walk."
And here is Loomis's capsule summary of "The Summer of Recovery," the finale of the first full season of "Obama," a midseason replacement that premiered to hype and high ratings but is now struggling and may face cancellation: "Barack uses his trillion dollar stimulus to create the best summer ever--the 'Recovery Summer'--but wastes hundreds of billions on things like studies on how cocaine affects monkeys, investigating the link between yoga and hot flashes, bus-stop art, international ant research, and an upgrade to the statehouse and political offices in Topeka, Kan. Eventually, the economy ends up barely ambulatory."
There are other parallels. Like "Seinfeld," "Obama" is a show about nothing. Like George Costanza, Barack Obama is ending his summer with a fall, albeit a figurative plunge rather than a literal one. Oh, and Obama's "Summer of Recovery" has actually turned out to be a summer of George, though we don't mean Costanza.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.