Obama's Favorite 'Wire' Character is Omar.

The folks at The New Republic are at odds over what Obama’s assertion that Omar is his favorite character from The Wire (his favorite show, along with M*A*S*H) really means. Is that edgy or something? Michael Crowley thinks so.

A small but telling example of why, on a superficial level, the media falls for Obama. Can you imagine Hillary talking in such detail about an edgy television show, much less naming a thug as her favorite character…?

Jason Zengerle thinks the Omar pick is pretty safe.

Mike says this is the sort of thing that endears Obama to journalists, but, I don’t know, isn’t Omar a bit of a predictable choice? I mean, who doesn’t like Omar? Obama would have endeared himself more to this Wire-watching reporter if he’d named Bunk or Prop Joe or Bunny Colvin.

I asked this before but got no response: Is Obama’s Wire fandom a kind of dog-whistle politics, a subtle way to signal to progressives out there that he’s ‘one of them’?



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.
  • slb

    it’s certainly a tactic of *some* sort. think of all of omar’s classifications–he’s an intellectual, african american, gay criminal with a moral compass. he probably *is* the safest pick as a favorite wire character for a campaigning president. (that is to say: yeah. it’s probably dog-whistle politics.)

    even so, i respect his swagger. 😉

  • GVG

    I have to agree with SLB above. It probably is a tactic, but it is also a great choice. Not going to go into a long diatribe as to all the reasons Omar is arguably one of the best characters EVER put on TV, because I would be here all day. I will say that you can’t fault a man for making a good choice. This should not be the basis for your presidential votability, but this is the society in which we exist. I’m rather amused by the selection, I would have never thought he would have made such a show selection, thought he would have went more middle American mainstream a.k.a whitewashed with something like the office or House.

  • GVG:

    Which is why it seemed like a good question to pose. It’s one of those things that gets him props among the demographic of folks who get the implications, without him having to wave his big-city liberal flag.

  • GVG


    I agree with your assertion, but I cannot tell whether you disagree with the tactic or secretly love the head nod he just gave us “folks who get the implications”?

  • GVG:

    I don’t agree or disagree with it. If he did it on purpose, kudos to his cleverness. But I think this tactic would only win over folks who are already inclined to see Obama as cool and one of them and not Obama-skeptics like myself.

  • GVG

    I am also an Obama skeptic (more an across the board skeptic) and I still believe it is clever in the best sense of the word. I do not find it to be in any way as offensive as I did Hillary RodHAM Clinton and her Crocodile tears or Obama with his “I have a dream” speech cadence as of late. I will take him showing an appreciation for intelligent, well written TV and acknowledging the type of person whom watches it any day rather than the dumb it down political strategy of the Bush and his bunch.

  • G.D.

    I feel you. I wonder if he really likes it, though.

  • mike

    I think claiming it’s a tactic of some sort doesn’t really add up logically. For one, The Wire has struggled with viewership throughout its existence. It’s not like he’s connecting with nearly as many people as he would if he talked about a popular network show.

    Also, the majority of the people who DO watch The Wire are the people whose support he already has… mainly blacks and well educated liberals.

    Chances are, he answered a question honestly about his favorite show.

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