Obama’s Academy Award for the Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role comes on the heels of his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, a recognition which surprised the President’s most ardent supporters. But as the news from Hollywood reached Washington, those close to the President could not contain their excitement. “This puts us right up there with Clooney,” said one White House staffer.
Some administration critics, such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, are already questioning why the Academy chose to honor Obama’s very brief performance. Obama’s 54 seconds of screen time is almost ten minutes less than Anthony Quinn’s record for the shortest performance time to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar (as Paul Gaugin in Lust for Life – 1956). On his radio show, Limbaugh wondered aloud why the Academy decided to award Obama an Oscar in October when they are typically given out in February.
Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, explained:
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy, err, performance, is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”
Director Michael Bay, whom Obama once referred to as a “big ass director”, greeted the news with excitement:
Of course, not all of the news has been good for the Obama White House. The president was reportedly very disappointed that he did not take home the trophy for the Most Valuable Player in the National League. But as Vice President Joe Biden offerred, “(Albert) Pujols almost won the triple crown. We can’t even get health care passed.”