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Obama's No Bob Hope

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Please tell me I didn’t hear what I thought heard.  Please tell me the President of the United States didn’t say what I thought he said. 

Correct me if I’m wrong, but did I just hear President Obama say that he deserves five more years in office? 

Many years ago my parents watched every television program in which Bob Hope performed; it seemed they never missed a show. 

In fact, my father had been entertained by Bob Hope on the front lines during WWII. 

My dad often talked about Hope bravely putting his life on the line in order to entertain the troops.

 In contemporary terms, no matter how sappy or predictable Hope was, my father never failed to laugh or even cry right on cue. 

But in my estimation, cues were Bob Hope’s problem.  Whether it was his weekly program, a special, or even entertaining the military, it seemed there were cue cards everywhere. 

It was very difficult for me to imagine a veteran performer not remembering jokes that were told thousands of times or forgetting the songs that had been sung forever. 

Then it happened. 

The light bulb went on, and I became keenly aware that Bob Hope was a consummate professional. 

I had the opportunity to see Hope in person at the Rochester, NY Community War Memorial during the same week in which an LPGA tournament was being held. 

My seats were in such a position that not only did I see the stage in the round, but I also observed all the cue cards that I thought Bob truly needed in order to perform his show.  However, as the show started and songs were sung, stories relived, and jokes told, there was something missing. 

No cue cards. 

It was at that moment that it seemed Bob Hope had read my mind as he stated

“You may have seen some cue cards at my other performances.  It’s because I personalize my evenings for the people in the audience and I can’t always remember everyone’s name.  I am, after all, getting up in age.  So, if you’ll forgive me, I’d like to sing a song for the girls of the LPGA, but I need some help.  So, cue the cue cards.” 

He proceeded to sing “Thanks for the Memory,” inserting such names as Nancy Lopez, Kathy Whitworth, Betsy King, and Sherri Turner. 

As my heart melted, my bias against Bob Hope fell like sand at high tide.  Bob Hope didn’t need cue cards, he was a true professional. 

Unfortunately, our President desperately needs a teleprompter and he’s definitely not a pro.  If he was a professional, he would have remembered how many states there are in the union.  In addition, he also would have known that if re-elected he would only get four more years and not the five years he now claims he needs. 

To Bob Hope, thanks for the memories, with or without cue cards. 

But for you Mr. President, keep the cue cards handy.  The last time I checked, the President of the United States only serves a four-year term.           

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