As for casting Mr. Thompson: “Given the body type, it would be a little bit weird—unless they preface it by saying he’s retaining water,” Mr. Meadows said.
“‘Hi, I’m Barack Obama. I just want to explain I’ve had a bad reaction to some medication and I’ve put on an extra 280 pounds.’” Or maybe this: “‘Before I do the State of the Union address, I have to admit that over the holiday season, I ate a little too much. I will be working this off.’”
One thing that’s clear, since Mr. Obama shows no sign of losing his footing in the top tier of the Democratic primary field, is that the SNL people will have to do something.
“If Obama continues to go on being as popular as he is,” said Mr. Meadows, “they probably would try to find somebody.”
When they do, the actor that plays him will lay claim to one of the most sought-after gigs on the show, as it means steady work and a team of writers behind him until mid-2008, at least. And despite the absence of any obviously amusing tics—like Mr. Bush’s stumbling vocabulary or Mr. Clinton’s hoarse voice and lustful empathy—Mr. Meadows is confident that the role will be rich in possibility.
“Just because a person is an eloquent, dynamic speaker doesn’t mean that he can’t be lampooned,” said Mr. Meadows.
As for the actual Democratic race, Mr. Meadows, like many a political observer, sees great potential in the developing relationship between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.
“I see it as the old schoolyard crush. They pretend to hate each other and hit each other, but in reality they have this deep attraction to each other,” he said, describing a scenario in which the two candidates are bickering face to face over their respective records. “She voted for the war and he didn’t, and she raised more money and blah, blah, blah, and then they face off, and then it turns into a passionate kiss.”
“And then Bill Clinton walks by and says something like, ‘Not too shabby.’”