Ben Smith points out a fantastic moment in Barack Obama’s speech in Raleigh today, in which he described what you have to do when confronted with negative attacks like the flap over his “bitter” comment: “You just gotta kind of let it—,” he said, before brushing some invisible dirt off his shoulders. “That’s what you gotta do.” The audience devours it.
It’s a pretty historic moment if you think about it—the first-ever Jay-Z reference by a presidential candidate. (Actually, Obama has name-checked the rapper before.) Smith calls it a “generational dogwhistle”—something only certain voters can hear (or in this case, see). It’s also something Hillary Clinton (not to mention McCain) not only wouldn’t do but probably wouldn’t even understand.
But it’s also an example of how there’s nothing you can do the Internet hasn’t already done. Run a Google search for Jay Z and bitter and watch what comes up: a great mash-up of “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” and the Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.” Maybe that’s where Obama got the idea?
Next thing you know, he’ll start talking about how he’s got 99 problems but … Actually, never mind.