Okay, now I’m really smitten. Commenter Ben Alpers notes that, when asked about his favorite television show, Barack Obama responded: The Wire. Ben found this nugget on Amanda Marcotte’s site, by the way. And Marcotte, in turn, found the information at Lawyers, Guns and Money. Now let’s all play telephone.

Well, we all know how this site feels about The Wire, the best show ever. But Ben worries that Obama’s answer might be more dog-whistle politics, a way to reach progressives who remain unconvinced by Obama’s candidacy.

I’m more hopeful — almost certainly because I’m more hopeful about Obama generally than is Ben. I prefer to see the answer as a case where a former community organizer, a man keenly aware of urban America’s problems, is pointing to the best depiction those issues have ever received on television. And maybe the best depiction urban life has ever received in popular culture. Period. (What do I mean by “best”? Truest, most accurate, most sympathetic while still unflnching.)

Right after the Iowa caucuses, I got into a quick back-and-forth with “Petey,” a frequest commenter on a number of popular political blogs, about Obama’s win. Petey is THE Edwards partisan, in case you’re unfamiliar with his work. And more power to him. On this occasion, though, he was tired and a bit down. It was 4 am, after all, and his man hadn’t won Iowa. But Petey was still spinning. He allowed that Obama had done very well with young people but pointed out that he had done very poorly with older voters. And that would be a problem in a general election. I noted that Obama had cleaned up in urban areas of Iowa (not entirely an oxymoron) and that held real promise for the general. My point then was and now is: we haven’t had a presidential candidate who explicitly represents urban America in, well, someone help me here, I don’t even know how long. And urban America needs representation. Especially as America becomes increasingly urban.

In short, if Obama’s answer is a dog-whistle, he got this hound’s attention.