As if handily winning the presidency isn’t cool enough, Barack Obama now can add this feather to his White Sox cap: He is one of four guys GQ magazine named “Men of the Year” in its latest edition. (The other three are Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Jon Hamm.)
GQ Deputy Editor Michael Hainey explained the choice of Obama (made before the election) to CBS “Early Show” co-anchor Harry Smith: “A GQ man is a leader, and it’s all about how he lives his life, how he inspires people, so it was very obvious that Obama fits that category.”
I liked Hainey’s explanation on MSNBC better: “I think we’re in this wonderful period when Obama sort of epitomizes these GQ qualities: he’s vibrant, he’s vital and he’s so dynamic that people are just obsessed with reading everything about him.”
I hadn’t given this any thought before Tuesday, but Obama does seem to be a GQ kind of guy. I don’t think there is necessarily a prototypical description that must apply to a GQ man, but most people know one when they see him. A GQ man is cool, good-looking, smart, talented and well-dressed. Men want to be like him, especially if they don’t qualify as GQ men themselves. (Not many of us do.) The best fictional example of a GQ man is James Bond. In real life, actor Will Smith is a GQ man – or at least the view we non-Hollywood types have of him qualifies as such. Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez also is a GQ man. Among the dead, actors James Dean and Steve McQueen fit the bill.
Obviously image is a big part of what makes someone a GQ man. Obama certainly has a good image, but what is great about him is the substance that backs up that image. Thus, I fully expect Obama also will be named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” Now, about fixing the economy and all the other problems our country faces …