Obama Gives Personal Tribute to Nimoy, Saying ‘I Loved Spock’

Barack Obama was the first president with his own Internet meme, one that likened him to the fictional half-human, half-Vulcan science officer of the USS Enterprise.

So when Leonard Nimoy, the man who really did occupy that character, died on Friday at the age of 83, Obama gave him an unusually personal tribute.

“Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future,” the president said in a statement released by the White House.

“I loved Spock.”

Obama met Nimoy at a fundraiser in 2007 and he recalled that he greeted the actor with the Vulcan salute. When he ran for office, Obama was frequently likened to Nimoy’s character in the television series “Star Trek” for his demeanor.

It was a comparison that sometime chafed the president. In a 2011 interview with ABC, Obama said the biggest misconception about him was that he is “detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical.”

“I’m a softy,” Obama said. “Stuff can choke me up very easily.”

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