Maybe we should call the new image "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Barry O"? He opens by mentioning his white single mom and white grandparents who raised him by instilling their Kansas values but there's no trace of his father's side of the family, African values or even the values handed down from his Indonesian step-father. Under the bus they go?
He talked of bypassing a pursuit of capitalism on Wall Street to help people in Chicago affected by steel mill closures. And indeed:
The sudden decline of American steel stunned the employees of mills across the Chicago area. Between 1979 and 1986, about 16,000 Chicago-area steelworkers lost their jobs.But he could have been more specific as to how he affected any real change on those folks' lives as a community organizer--the State Senator thing came later.
Let's break down his list of specifics: 1) accountability, 2) self-reliance, 3) love of country, 4) working hard without making excuses, and 5) the Golden Rule (dangnation, how can the Democrats support this guy? He's basically a conservative!). Traditional Kansans would probably agree that actions speak louder than words though, so let's deal with reality here.
While mentioning traditions and values he didn't touch on why he joined a church that seemed to abhor traditional American values (unless he meant the black value system), then only left when it became an issue in the press.
Towards accountability, he's got quite a crowd stowed under that bus, one fueled by a premise that anyone who dares question his love of all the specifics mentioned above just might be a redneck. Pay no attention to his flip-flop on taking federal matching funds.
As to the concept of self-reliance, fantastic--Ron Paul ran on it--but his rhetoric to date suggests he'll more likely punish any traditional hard-working, non-whining Americans who've propelled themselves forward to a plateau of self-reliance (in many cases bringing others with them). It's hard to be taken seriously as a champion of self-reliance while proposing federalized health care, a penal change to the social security system based on earnings and labeling the self-reliant "rich" as deserving of confiscatory taxation. Where are the incentives to become self-reliant in his platform?
The love of country is obvious--don't we all? The fact he even has to waste time professing such a thing is more a product of his own actions (hand on his heart during the pledge/ flag pin, etc) than through some mean-spirited email smear campaign. Mrs. Obama recently said nobody uses the word "whitey" anymore and that may be true, but in the same vein does anyone actually believe everything they read in emails and on the net? Any such people should be probably be quietly escorted away from the voting booth.
As to the Golden Rule analogy, it's nice to see it get some publicity for a change. Perhaps in the next commercial Obama can wax eloquently about his rise through the ranks of Chicago politics abiding by that same rule.
What about the soundtrack? It's as if Michael Martin Murphy might start singing "Wildfire" at the end. Maybe they stole it from a Paul Overstreet song. All meant to drive home the down-home. We must be made to forget about that clingy, gun-toting racist stuff and see the real Obama--just a hayseed farmboy who probably raced in the soap box derby while earning merit badges in the local Boy Scout troop (led by a closeted gay man unfairly treated by the typicals, of course).
Nothing about security, terrorism, or Iraq, but the campaign is clearly trying to fix the image problem first before bragging about Obama's unwillingness to go along with the Democratic mainstream in removing the worst dictator of the late 20th Century. There'll be plenty of time later to bash McCain for suggesting we stay in Iraq long enough to not have our troops die in vain or force others to return later, even if it takes 100 years.
But this commercial tugs--tugs at the ole aw shucks strings. McCain can't do likewise but he can match it with specifics, facts and accomplishments, which he should begin doing rather immediately. Thing is, facts and self-promotion can sometimes be rather dry things, like Aunt Marge's famous dry turkey and cardboard dressing.
WAIT A MINUTE...6/20/08
Aren't those floating crosses?