Friday, January 23, 2009

Post-Inaugural Epidemic Saps Obama's Support

WASHINGTON - Less than a week after his inauguration, Barack Obama is quickly losing support in his new home city as thousands of its citizens blame him for their recent flu-like symptoms. As many as half of all DC residents have taken ill since Tuesday. The epidemic is believed to have been directly caused by the hours residents spent shivering in the cold winter morning, waiting to hear Obama’s speech and claim their share of American history.

The illness is characterized by chest congestion, post-nasal drip, and a certain dubiousness about the nascent Obama presidency. “Sure, I voted for the guy,” says DC resident Chaz Steelman, “But in his campaign he never mentioned the body aches and runny nose.” Chaz left his house before six o’clock on inauguration day, and along with his three roommates and two million others, stood in the frigid shadow of the Capitol for nearly eight hours. “I probably should have worn a scarf,” he admits, blowing his nose into the last of his Kleenex.

While the President’s call for “a new era of responsibility” has lifted spirits and steeled resolves in Boise and Little Rock, and his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has resonated from Cambridge to Berkley to Brooklyn, Obama may have to work to regain the trust of his new neighbors. “Enough of this horses**t about green infrastructure and tax cuts—we need chicken soup, we need Vick’s VapoRub, and we need a fat gallon of NyQuil,” says Whitney Dolby, 24, of the Columbia Heights neighborhood. “If this chump wants my vote in 2012, well, let’s just say that the people need relief.”

Some see the pandemic not as Obama’s fault, but as the fault of the attendees themselves. Sandy Benson, who came from Boston for the event, practiced expert layering technique, and prefaced her trip with a daily dose of Emergen-C. “It’s silly to blame this on Barack, these DC people just don’t know how to deal with the cold,” she said, stifling a sneeze and pulling her coat tight around her.

How this sudden loss of faith will affect the Obama administration is not yet clear. Although many previous presidents have evaded all responsibility for the people of Washington, DC during their four or eight years here, and others have screwed the city outright, hopes were high during the transition period that Barack would prioritize his relationship with his new home. Surely, the current friction is nothing another trip to Ben’s Chili Bowl can’t fix.

5 Comments:

Blogger Chloe said...

mmmm, Ben's Chili Bowl. I went there twice in 10 hours.

24/1/09 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Kazoontite.

26/1/09 5:36 PM  
Anonymous chucky said...

it's a city of wusses. tell everyone to get earmuffs. (of course, i live in LA so what do I know.)

28/1/09 1:18 AM  
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