I "Dated" Barack Obama

By

barack obama president
Why choosing a presidential candidate is just like choosing a boyfriend.

I've been dating politicians since I was twenty-one. Presidents to be exact. And while it's a habit I'm desperately trying to break, this year was no different. I found myself seduced yet again by the high stakes and the low blows that consume an election year.

Politics, I've found, are my addiction; they're also my timesaver. In the same way I defer to designer labels as indicators of clothing quality, I look at someone’s political platform as a moral compass to who they really are. Otherwise it can take weeks to get to the serious stuff—like how you feel about the rights of your gay friends, or if you live in California, the rights of the chicken in your McNugget.

 

Of course, I've never really dated Obama, or Clinton (although he is my "first"), or any politician, for that matter. But the intensity I've felt towards them rivals any other bond I've shared. Because, let's face it: political courtship, especially in an election year, parallels romantic courtship. So naturally, I've found myself going through the same patterns with presidential candidates as I do with the boys I like. Below, the nine, pivotal benchmarks of dating.

Finding The One

Finding a candidate that excites me is no different than meeting the one single guy in Los Angeles who's not hell bent on marrying a fledgling actress: it's worth talking about. So naturally when Obama caught my attention with speeches that left me with butterflies—both at the DNC and Iowa—I was relieved. I was no longer dead inside.

Introducing Him To Your Parents

Naturally, I want my friends and family to see my choice the way I see him, but resistance, coupled with "You could do better" or worse yet "I liked the last guy better" often puts me on the defense.

In the past, if I suspected dissent I'd stop mentioning the guy's name quicker than I'd drop a white boyfriend's hand in a Hindu temple (I'm Indian, by the way). After all the beginning of a relationship is a tenuous time—anything remotely negative could unravel me… and my new love.