On Wednesday, the Obama Presidential Library released pictures of its new design. The design, apparently inspired by opened Chinese food takeout boxes and/or Gonk from Star Wars: Episode IV, was unveiled to the oohs and aahs of a sycophantic media. Here's the picture:
Here, by contrast, is Gonk:
The design was created by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, and includes a gigantic stone tower in the center of a park, surrounded by a white stone complex. The architects explained, “The design approach for the centre is guided by the goal of creating a true community asset that seeks to inspire and empower the public to take on the greatest challenges of our time. … The Obamas were clear that they wanted the centre to seamlessly integrate into the park and the community, and include diverse public spaces.”
Obama explained that he saw the tower as representing “ascension, hope and what ordinary people have the power to do together.” The tower itself will be 225 feet tall.
Obama said in 2011 that he wanted to be an architect at one point; he explained, “When I was younger, there was a time I dreamed of being an architect. So, as you might guess, I've been pretty hands-on in the plans for this centre — and Michelle has, too."
All of which should tell you everything you need to know about Obama and his presidency. Obama reportedly said in 2008, “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
He wasn’t. He wasn’t a great speechwriter. He wasn’t a great policymaker (his signal achievement, Obamacare, has been a disaster). He wasn’t a great political director, considering that he lost Congress, the Senate, and the White House in his wake.
Now he thinks he’s a better architect than his architects. And the result is a twenty-story monstrosity that looks like a misshapen trash bin.
Which, come to think of it, describes his tenure to a T.
So in the end, it all works.