Nightly News | August 04, 2011
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: President Obama turned 50 today, an event way too many of us know all too well. His wife, the first lady, said today he's earning every one of his gray hairs. But that's nothing, he's just getting started. So we thought what better way to introduce the newest member of the NBC News family, our friend Harry Smith , who is here with an owner's guide, really, to turning a half century old. Harry , welcome.
HARRY SMITH reporting: Brian , good to be here. As of today , President Obama has become a man of a certain age, and along with the concerns in the country, he will have some other things to worry about. Happy birthday, Mr. President. Once upon a time , when you were a young man, all you had to do was show up...
Offscreen Voice: The next president of the United States .
SMITH: ...and teeming throngs of people would gather to cheer you on. They even wrote songs about you.
SMITH: As a young person yourself, you were convinced anything was possible. But here you were this week, all by yourself in the Oval Office , signing the debt ceiling bill, looking for all the world like a guy who was chagrined, resigned, fatigued. With all due respect, you looked like a guy who is turning 50.
Mr. DAVE BARRY: You'll never be cool again.
SMITH: Dave Barry is the author of "I'll Mature When I'm Dead." He has some sobering news and a tip.
Mr. BARRY: Please, Mr. President, whatever you do, keep your pants low. I don't mean -- not too low, the way kids do, but don't them real high. Somehow pants keep going up, up, up. So like when you're -- when you're 90, they're up around your neck. You know? You don't want to get into that.
SMITH: Oh, the culture will tell you 50 is the new 40, Mr. President, but don't be fooled. Gray is OK, bald is beautiful. And the golf course will become infinitely preferable to the basketball court. When playing golf, you can go to the hole and you don't have to worry about some kid blocking your shot. You'll notice a few other changes, Mr. President, like memory lapses. Soon you'll find it hard to remember people's names and names of places. I like to call it "proper noun loss." Others refer to it as "a senior moment." Oh, and soon you'll get something in the mail from the AARP , an invitation to join. Do not rip it up in a fit of rage. Look it over. You'll find they have favorable rates on motel rooms and a terrific supplemental insurance policy for Medicare . Mr. President, beware, middle age is fraught with peril. Some of your contemporaries have found solace in sports cars or motorcycles.
SMITH: But you can skip the midlife crisis. You've already married up. And
as for your daughters becoming teenagers, two words: prayer and patience. So a little advice from someone who's been down this old road, yoga. It's good for relieving life's aches and pains, and Lord knows you've been taking a beating. Don't despair, Mr. President. 50 is a state of mind . It's a moment to assess the doable, to know you are only as old as Congress makes you feel.
WILLIAMS: So I know I'm new to this 50 game, so I actually -- I found this so helpful.
WILLIAMS: There's a lot you were classy enough not to get into.
SMITH: Well, you know, there's certain medical procedures that everyone in the profession says you must have, including one that involves a tiny little camera...
WILLIAMS: Oh, really?
SMITH: ..that goes to a place that is almost unimaginable.
WILLIAMS: So not one of the cameras that covers the president every day.
SMITH: No, not one of those. And I 'm so old, I've had it done twice already.
WILLIAMS: You know, this is exactly where I didn't want to go, except I -- one bit of news. I read today that he will still be younger at 50 than all of the foreseeable candidates for president.
SMITH: Who are running right now, that's right.
WILLIAMS: So there's solace in that. But, thanks. Useful information, Harry . Welcome, pal.
SMITH: We're here to help.
WILLIAMS: Great to have you.
SMITH: You bet.
WILLIAMS: Harry Smith with us here tonight.