Obama flashes a (half) kohen sign — how ‘Spock-like’ is our president?


Taken 2/29/12 in the Oval Office - Live Long & Prosper! on Twitpic

Granted, President Obama was probably thinking more Vulcan than kohen. He is pictured with Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original “Star Trek” series and visited the White House back in February. (She just got around to sharing the photo.)

Of course, it was Leonard Nimoy, the Jewish actor who played Mr. Spock, who adapted the priestly blessing hand signal (actually done with two hands) into a central element of Vulcan culture.

As one journalist noted, President Obama has previously disputed what he called mischaracterizations of him as “detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical."

I’m not sure how the president can defend this position now that this photo has emerged. After all, it’s a pretty Spock-like photo (aside from the not trivial fact that Obama is displaying a very un-Spock-like smile).

The photo is sure to be used by both sides in the ongoing debate as to whether Obama is, as Peter Beinart contends, America’s first “Jewish president” or, as this guy suggests, America’s first Vulcan president.

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