If you consider that the mainstream press never bothered to independently vet Barack H. Obama (sorry, guys, reading his autobiography doesn't count*), you should have been as surprised as I was when they went out of their way to dub him the "First Nerd President" (John Quincy Adams anyone?)
The evidence they provided was thin gruel indeed. Apparently he read Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comic books as a child so, naturally the press somehow translated "read" into "collected". Yet, at least one independent account suggests the latter is patently false:
Grandpa bought me [Indonesian classmate Rully Dasaad] all the DC Comic books, and I was the only one who had them, so Barry and Yanto would borrow the books and copy pictures of Batman and Spider-Man out and ask me to judge which was better.
More damning is his inability to tell John Hodgman, at a Correspondents' Dinner, the name of Conan's god. Not a minor detail which a collector would fail to recall at a moment's notice. I bet he doesn't even know "what is best in life".
Then again, considering the way his administration treats reporters and the GOP, maybe he does know that last one.
So, sorry, reading your friend's copies of Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian when you're seven and then failing to recall major elements of your favorite comic books gives you a failing grade on the nerd test.
Of course there was one president in recent history, Ronald Reagan, who was known to read Spider-Man as an adult, but instead of adding texture to an exotic biography, his reading of comics was often used as evidence that he was a simple-minded dullard. Reagan, well known to be a fan of science fiction, who was the president who took his cue for space policy from a group of prominent science fiction writers, who made the Space Shuttle program a central fixture of his administration, and who was responsible for pushing a space-based missle defense system which will forever be associated with the most successful and widely-known science fiction film franchise ever. Yet Reagan was never applauded by the press for being a "nerd". Barack Obama, OTOH, kills the Mars exploration program and he's the "First Nerd President".
One of the more laughable pieces of evidence proving Obama's nerditude is the infamous image of him posing in front of the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL. I'm sure that no other politician — particularly no other Illinois politician — has ever been to Metropolis, IL, and thought to pose in front of the Superman statue. Only the First Nerd President, with his unique insight into Nerd Culture, would ever think to do that.
The big evidence, though, is supposed to be his "embrace of social media". One of the hallmarks of the nerd as we know him or her is early-adoption of technology. By the time Obama was making a BFD about social media, the "technology"** as we know it today was at least five years old. Five years on != early-adoption.
He does indeed have the money and resources to create a vast social media network and bend it to his will, but Barack Obama, personally, seems to track technology at about the same rate as a backwards baseball cap-wearing d-bag who keeps up with the latest versions of Madden and CoD or a college girl with her Hello Kitty smart phone.
What's most damning, though, is his popularity and supposed coolness. Steve Jobs was considered very cool, yet despite working in the world of technology, he was never a nerd. He was an artist/businessman and the products he sold were designed specifically to be anti-nerd. Bill Gates, OTOH, was very definitely a nerd. He was a programmer/businessman who is envied, and sometimes admired, by the general public for his wealth and success but they have never considered him cool.
The only people who ever think a nerd is cool are other nerds.
The minor news to come out of Obama's Star Wars/Star Trek gaffe is that there is no question now — he is not a nerd. The major news is the media lie, past and present, about his biography. Many of them, including LucasFilms itself, are pointing out that in some of the deeper recesses of the Star Wars universe, you can find such a thing as the Jedi Mind Meld. SO we're supposed to believe that Obama's knowledge of the Star Wars universe is so extensive that, Comic Book Guy-like, he intentionally used an obscure reference among lay people. Yet they seem to completely ignore the fact that the WH hurriedly whacked together a graphic and URL reiterating the fact that the phrase he used was supposed to be a Star Wars/Trek mashup. So it was mistake, but it wasn't a mistake and, most importantly, it wasn't a dorky verbal gaffe which would make him look like some sort of nerdy Melvin.
*I remember when I was 34 and wrote my autobiography — a rollicking tale recounting the rich tapestry which was my life up to that point… Oh, right, that never happened because even I knew that writing an autobiography at such a young age, unless you went through an experience in which you were forced to cut your own arm off with a pen knife to survive, is an astonishing act of hubris.
** Social media does not involve any new, or special, form of technology.