Magnificent Bastard

Thursday, June 27, 2019

From Cool to Tool: Tracking Barack Obama's Descent Into Toolbaggery

Barack Obama had all the makings of a style icon, and then something terrible happened: he turned into a toolbag.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Ways to Look Like a Total Toolbag

barack obama on trike

as a toddler

Short-sleeve woven is fine. White shoes acceptable if you're under four years old and look preternaturally idealistic. But that hat? Foreshadows poor headwear choices to come.

barack obama in cool sunglasses

as an early teen

Evoking a certain King of Pop before "Thriller" and plastic surgery, Obama looks happy and should be, with fly afro and "I Ski" sunglasses years before they hit peak popularity.

barack obama in high school

in high school

Most Americans are justifiably embarrassed by their high school-era style. Barack Obama, on the other hand, is peaking in high school, exuding a confident, casual cool most men never achieve.

barack obama smoking

(very) early college years

Obama smoking a cigarette with style and panache on par with FDR (inset).

barack obama at columbia

at columbia (undergrad)

Forget the Great Depression. The Great Decline can be traced to enrollment into Columbia University. Out is the afro and devil-may-care carriage. In is seriousness and an un-ironic leather Members Only jacket.

barack obama at harvard law school

at harvard (law school)

At Harvard Law School Obama abandoned any sense of style, apparently in favor of utility. That anorak has enough strings and buckles and zippers for at least three coats. This is Cambridge, not Everest! There are barely even any stairs to climb. Digital watch completes policy wonk look. "Washington, D.C., here I come."

barack obama stumping for votes

stumping for votes

The campaign trail did more damage than Columbia and Harvard combined. Obama stumping for votes in Austin was nearly a Dukakis Event, an accessory that did not work on any level except public ridicule.

barack obama throwing first pitch

the first pitch

We'll cut him some slack for the untucked jersey, but soccer dad jeans and space-age running shoes are definitely no way to dress for a first pitch. Or ever.

barack obama golfing

on the golf course

Either this is the president-elect or Phil from Accounts Payable. Cargo shorts, over long-sleeve polo, and a fucking Blackberry on his waist on a golf course puts Obama solidly in toolbag category.

barack obama as the president-elect

the 44th president of the united states

We can all agree with Barack Obama on one thing: CHANGE!



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  • 2 oz gin
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 sugar cube (or half teaspoon simple sugar)
  • soda water (if desired)

Place the sugar cube at the bottom of a lowball glass, add the fresh lemon juice, and mash with the back of a spoon. Fill two-thirds with ice and the gin and stir for at least 30 seconds. Add soda water, if desired, and give a quick stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

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