Susan Stamper Brown
Barack Obama is probably one of the coolest presidents in American history. He reaches rock star status when cameras catch him sporting his Ray-Ban 3217's, which are, for all you squares out there, designer sunglasses.

That Obama owns the word cool is nothing new, but it is quite unbecoming of the office he holds. If his "coolness" is authentic, the best thing the most powerful man on the planet could do is tone it down a bit, so the rest of us can feel better about ourselves. But he cannot help himself, or so it seems, which makes one wonder if his attempt to act hip is a thinly veiled intentional act distracting us from an exceptionally small man who is in over his head.

I am reminded of a story about a man named Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs -- much better known as, "Oz" -- in author L. Frank Baum's multiple-book series on the Land of Oz. A circus magician by occupation and supreme leader by chance, Diggs was raised to extra supercool status when fate allowed his hot air balloon to get caught in a jet stream and touch down in the Land of Oz.

First impressions are lasting. As the story is told, the people in the Land of Oz quickly elevated Diggs to top potentate because they thought Diggs' grand entrance was divine, and worshipped him as such. Understanding he had large shoes to fill, and desperately desiring to look the part, Diggs shortened his name to an acronym using his initials: OZPINHEAD. Obviously, the acronym did not serve him well, so Diggs made the astute marketing decision to steer away from any references of "pinhead" by retaining just the first two initials; thereafter being fondly known as, the great wizard, of "Oz".

The aspiring politician he was, Oz desperately desired to be all things to all people. Oz became a master of disguise -- appearing as balls of fire, big heads, and disembodied voices. Before long people realized this wonderful wizard wasn't as wonderful or as wizardly as they once thought he was, but rather a lovely little man more fit for the circus than political leader.

The crackpot left town the same way he arrived, floating beneath a bag of hot air, which brings us to our current and very cool president. You see, fairy tales are for big people too, because they have an allegorical way of teaching us life lessons without all the drama. To be clear, America needs a lot of things in a president, but "cool" is not necessarily one of them. Authenticity would be a refreshing start. Cool is better left to cucumbers and drinks, not politics and presidents.

Susan Stamper Brown

Susan Stamper Brown's weekly column is nationally syndicated. She can be reached at or via her website at Her Facebook page can be found here.