Barack Obama and Joe Biden fan fiction has become a thing. One is a graphic novel (which are oversized comic books, named such to avoid the taint of something children who find books without pictures too challenging) featuring former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden as time-traveling crime fighters have been around for awhile written by Adam Reid. Two young adult mysteries by Andrew Shaffer round out the curious genre.
“The Adventures of Barry & Joe: Obama and Biden’s Bromantic Battle for the Soul of America” depict the two politicians being escorted to a secret government facility and then sent back in time to inhabit their younger bodies to change history for the better. The changes do not involve forestalling the Obama presidency. However, the daring time-traveling duo is guided by a hologram of Samuel L. Jackson because, why not? Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Elon Musk appear in supporting roles. Any resemblance to the TV show “Quantum Leap” is, no doubt, purely coincidental.
A young adult mystery novel series entitled “Hope Never Dies” and a recent sequel entitled “Hope Rides Again” depicts Obama and Biden fighting crime in the present day. The books have a niche audience of people who are possessed of nostalgia for the Obama presidency.
The blurb for the first book on Amazon reads:
“Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.”
“Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, ‘Amtrak Joe’ re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic. Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.”
The second novel involves a stolen Blackberry, a shooting, and a vast conspiracy that might put the dubious duo at the bottom of Lake Michigan to sleep with the fishes.
Hot Air tries to make sense of the phenomenon:
“At first, it’s easy to think this is a parody, a skewering of adolescent wish-fulfillment fantasies by those who put political heroes on pedestals. Reading through the Amazon preview of Reid’s book, it becomes apparent that it’s not a parody at all – it literally is the realization of their adolescent wish-fulfillment fantasies. That impulse explains the book’s existence in printed form, in fact; Reid notes that his Kickstarter project attracted 1700 or so donors and made this ‘bromantic battle’ into comic-book reality.”
A reality check of the idea of Obama and Biden as action heroes would tend to undermine its credibility. Obama is a smoker with some history of drug abuse and does not seem to have any known combat skills. Biden, well, is the guy who tends to confuse people with his gaffes when he is not pawing the nearest female. The pair do not call to mind any kind of action heroes or even drawing room detectives.
Hot Air and other analysts are likely right that the depiction of Obama and Biden as crime fighters seem to be wish-fulfillment fantasies. Their administration was nothing to boast of, what with economic malaise, Obamacare, and a series of foreign policy disasters. Perhaps the mild-mannered, slightly bumbling president and vice president were secret identities for Obama’s and Biden’s true selves.
Obama, by the way, has been the subject of not one but two movies. “Southside with You” depicts the younger Obama’s first date with the future first lady, Michelle. “Barry” takes up the Obama story during his formative college years. Neither film involves time travel, aliens, gangsters, or vast conspiracies. Neither film did well at the box office, but both were hits with the critics. Of course, unlike JFK who got a World War II action film produced about his life, “PT 109,” young Obama did not lead a very interesting life.