There has been much written connecting President Barack Obama to Star Trek, spurred on by Obama’s own references to the franchise. In a new feature article today, the AP draws a specific comparison between the President and Star Trek’s Mr. Spock. The article also has comments from the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, and Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci, excerpts below.
Obama: Science Officer in Chief?
The main thrust of the article is that Obama’s ‘no drama’ persona, coupled with his support of science, leads to the conclusion "Barack Obama is Washington’s Mr. Spock, the chief science officer for the ship of state." The article notes many of Obama’s science initiatives, including how last week the White House announced it would hold an annual science fair to improve math and science education, quoting Obama "We’re going to show young people how cool science can be"
President Barack Obama tours a research laboratory at MIT (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
When asked the Obama/Spock Connection, Leonard Nimoy (who supported Obama for President) told the AP:
Nimoy: I guess it’s somewhat unusual for a politician to be so precise, logical, in his thought process. The comparison to Spock is, in my opinion, a compliment to him and to the character.
The article also quotes Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci, who told the AP:
"We knew he was a Trekkie," Orci said in a telephone interview. He said he watches the White House regularly for insight on the Spock character.
"To have a case study like that on the news every night makes my job a lot easier," he said.
Orci said Star Trek’s captain, James T. Kirk, was "based on a young new president in Kennedy" and that the Obama administration is part of a 1960s-type revival. Except this time, Kirk isn’t in charge. Spock is.
"You can make the case that Kirk is very (George W.) Bush-like," Orci said. "The (latest) movie represented those two opposing viewpoints: Leap before you look versus reasoned analysis."
The AP Obama article is running today in many newspapers across the country and can be read at MSNBC.com and other sites. This is certainly not the first time Obama has been compared to Mr. Spock. For example, the week the Star Trek movie came out, the NY Times had an op-ed by Maureen Dowd on the subject.
New York Times illustration of Obama as Spock
Star Trek in the mainstream
Regardless of your politics, this is another example of how Star Trek is as strong as ever in the zeitgeist. The AP could not do an article like this, unless it was felt that America would understand the connection. For more Obama/Trek connections, see:
- Obama: First Trekkie President
- Obama Flashes Vulcan Sign At Correspondent Dinner
- Obama Reviews Star Trek Movie