The Elvis Factor

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Campaigning is an endless loop of faces and handshakes and questions and seldom enough time to go to the bathroom. About 10:30 this morning I told Maggie Williams that I needed a break. She agreed and we called a halt to glad handing and headed to the bathroom.

We both peered into the mirror at the same time, looking for any new wrinkles, ready to pat down a shiny spot. “Maggie,” I said, “What’s Obama’s appeal to white women?

She looked at me the same way Oprah looks at someone before delivering a one-word punch line, and said, “Elvis.”

Elvis,” I said? “Sure, Obama’s a good speaker, even charismatic, but he’s no Elvis.

Maggie said, “He’s more Elvis than you think. The Elvis Factor is all about forbidden fruit. Why do you think all those white teenage girls in the 50s and 60s bought records of black singers? Forbidden fruit. White women long to know about black men.

So,” I said, “Obama gets white women to vote for him because of some sort of primal instinct?

Maggie rolled her eyes as if I’d been given a free ride on the clue bus, then she put her hand on my arm, and pulled me close and said, “Honey, what you don’t know about men could fill a book.”

She’s right, of course. Maggie is always right.

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