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Maureen Dowd Compares Barack Obama to Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy

In her latest column, the New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd likens Barack Obama to “a modern incarnation of the clever, haughty, reserved and fastidious Mr. Darcy” of Jane Austen’s masterpiece Pride & Prejudice. Blindie finds this to be brilliant!

“Obama can, as Austen wrote, draw ‘the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien,'” Dowd writes of Obama, citing Austen’s work, pointing out that Obama’s high manners, like Darcy’s, “gave a disgust…for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased.”

In her comparison, Dowd likens America to Elizabeth Bennet (“spirited, playful, democratic, financially strained, and caught up in certain prejudices”). Pointedly, she also compares the New Hampshire debate incident where Obama “condescendingly said, ‘You’re likable enough, Hillary,'” to the “early scene in Pride and Prejudice when Darcy coldly refuses to dance with Elizabeth Bennet, noting, ‘She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.'”

In addition to comparing Obama to chick lit’s favorite hero, Dowd compares Clinton and Michelle Obama. Citing the media’s sexist coverage of Clinton during the primary race, Dowd says “Hillaryites”–die-hard Clinton supporters–have been so blind in their convictions to “not vote for him [Obama], they will never vote for a man again” that they’ve ignored the media’s sexiest portrayal of the candidates wife:

“Perhaps it is because feminists are still so busy cataloging past slights to Hillary that they have failed to mount a vivid defense of Michelle Obama, who has taken over from Hillary as the one conservatives like to paint as a harridan.”

Ending her column, Dowd asks, “Can Obama overcome his pride…and win America over? Can America overcome its prejudice to elect the first black president?”

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