5 Lessons Barack Obama May Have Learned From Sesame Street

Illustration for article titled 5 Lessons Barack Obama May Have Learned From emSesame Street/em

Time magazine points out that Barack Obama is the first president young enough to say he watched Sesame Street as a kid. What do you think he learned from the award-winning show? We tried to figure it out:

And yes, we know that he was once called a "Sesame Street canditate." (In this video, he talks about watching the show.)

Barack Obama: "The sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam. Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims…" (Cairo, June 4.)


Sesame Street: "One Of These Kids Is Doing His Own Thing"

Barack Obama: "Of course, no matter how innovative our schools or how effective our teachers, America cannot succeed unless our students take responsibility for their own education. That means showing up for school on time, paying attention in class, seeking out extra tutoring if it's needed, and staying out of trouble. And to any student who's watching, I say this: don't even think about dropping out of school. As I said a couple of weeks ago, dropping out is quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country, and it is not an option – not anymore. Not when our high school dropout rate has tripled in the past thirty years. Not when high school dropouts earn about half as much as college graduates. And not when Latino students are dropping out faster than just about anyone else. It is time for all of us, no matter what our backgrounds, to come together and solve this epidemic." (Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce, March 10)

Sesame Street: "Cooperation Makes It Happen"

Barack Obama: "I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together - unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren." [Philadelphia, March 18]


Sesame Street: "We All Sing With The Same Voice (My Name Is You)"

Barack Obama: "I need — uh — one cheesburger, and one fries for me. Uh… let me get the jalapenos and tomatoes, mustard…" [Washington, DC; May 29]

Sesame Street: "Everybody Eats"

Barack Obama: "I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished." [People via AP, May 31]


Sesame Street: "What is love?"

Tickle Me Obama: Lessons from Sesame Street [Time]
Earlier: Michelle Obama Takes It To The Street
Related: Obama: A Sesame Street Candidate [National Post]


[Illustration by Gerard Dubois for Time.]

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Santos L Halper

Barack Obama really reminds me more of Mr. Rogers than anything. I imagine he has a secret cache of cardigans somewhere in the Oval Office, and that Air Force One really just transports him to the Land of Make Believe.