Barack Obama got his Yiddish on during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for Barbra Streisand.
Honoring the iconic singer/actress, Obama noted her “chutzpah” as a young Jewish-American Broadway star and for selling more albums in the United States than any other woman.
“I’m getting all verklempt just thinking about it,” the president said, using the Yiddish expression for “choked up.”
Our girl Babs was also verklempt — but for a very different reason.
“What if that was Donald Trump up there, I couldn’t help but think, ‘what would he say?’” she told . “The president [Obama] is so eloquent, so dignified.”
“I probably would’ve choked,” she added. “It’s terrifyingly scary, but it’s funny.”
Babs, a long time Hillary Clinton supporter, added that she would find a Clinton/Trump election race riveting. It would be “one of the greatest moments in television history.”
“Everybody would watch,” she said. “I can’t even imagine. I mean, I’m not worried about her.”
16 people received the Medal of Freedom alongside the actress and singer, including fellow members of the tribe Steven Spielberg, Stephen Sondheim and Itzhak Perlman, musician James Taylor, Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, and baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
Anne Cohen was the Forward’s deputy digital media editor. When she’s not looking for the secret Jewish history of Voodoo in New Orleans, or making lists about Ruth Bader Ginsburg , she writes for The Assimilator. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. magazine concentration in 2012.
Barack Obama Gets All 'Verklempt' at Barbra Streisand Medal of Freedom Ceremony