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April 04, 2011

Obama Releases First Campaign Ad

No, this one isn't a spoof, though there is an element of comedy in it.

There are three things I took away from this, only one of which was intended.

1) Obama's coalition is "diverse," including, even, older white guys. So you bitter clingers can vote for him.

2) The campaign theme announced here is "Gauzy, Insipid Good-Feelings About Hope and Change, Part 2." There are no concrete rationales offered for re-electing Obama. Nowhere here is mentioned health care -- obliquely, by implication, sure, we can assume that "change" means ObamaCare and a few other things, like a disastrously spastic foreign policy. But nowhere in this ad does Obama crow, as Reagan could in 1984, that things are better -- because they're not, of course. So the ad studiously avoids noting tangible, real "changes" -- few, if any, of them are good -- and once again resorts to Obama's preferred campaign mode of talking about foggy abstractions and vapid tribal enthusiasm.

This pretty much sums up Obama's Administration, doesn't it? One interesting change from 2008 was that, before, he could mix in his empty, airy promises of abstract, undefinable "change" with grandiose, messianic specific promises -- This was the moment when the oceans began to fall.

But he can't do that last part now. The world has not become more peaceful, the budget has not become balanced (a central promise he made in 2008 again and again), and the oceans have not fallen.

So now it's just all the first thing, the leftover nostalgia for the shattered expectations of 2008.

3) One point hit hard is that Obama can't do it all, that he's got a real job (for the first time), and he can't spend a lot of time campaigning because he's so busy playing golf and singing with Sir Paul McCartney, so it's up to his remnant of hardcore hope-and-changers to drag his sorry ass over the finish line.

Of course we know this is all nonsense; Obama is the Least Hardest Workin' Man in Showbiz, and the one thing he does do well, and does put actual effort in, is campaigning. So really, in a perfect world, Obama would be doing the job he asks of his volunteers (community organizin') and his volunteers would be doing the job he was elected to do (actually run the country, which is hard, as it turns out).

Good ad? Even given the facts-on-the-ground difficulties Obama faces, in as much as the economy is awful and Obama has, if anything, exacerbated that, no, the ad is still cloying, empty, and flat. And you do notice the dog that didn't bark -- the man's had coming on three years; where are all these Magic Beans we were promised?

Oh, right. He can only actually perform as promised in his second term; his first one was a mulligan. Odd that he never told us that in 2008.


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posted by Ace at 10:51 AM

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