It is election season again in America. Having run rings around Obama, Republicans believe he is there for the taking in 2012 and opinion polls say they’re right, he’s fated to be a one-term President.
Elected on the promise of bringing change (which meant undoing George W Bush’s disasters at home and abroad) Obama instead gave America more of the same; his foreign policy and embrace of neoliberal economics were indistinguishable from both of his predecessors, Bush & Clinton. As a result the economy is in the tank, the GOP refuses to help him get it out of the tank (and why should they?) and Obama’s disillusioned liberal base has all but abandoned him.
At this late stage, Obama has decided to move “left”, demanding higher taxes on the wealthy and talking the language of class warfare. Is this a genuine shift or merely a meaningless, cynical tactic to re-energise the voters who embraced him so readily in 2008? “Yes, We Can” replaced by “No, I won’t” and now superseded by “Yes, I Really Will This Time”?
Former New York Times reporter, Chris Hedges has written that what the voters bought into in that election was ‘Brand Obama’, a skilfully constructed advertising and marketing campaign designed to persuade voters they were buying something very different than the usual politician. No accident, he says, that at the Association of National Advertisers annual conference in October 2008, the Obama campaign “was named Advertising Age’s marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Zappos.com.” The product was the same old rubbish but dressed up to appear exciting, new and promising.
If true that means Obama is mostly a phoney and a fraud, concerned not with substance but appearance and image. When I first saw the following video I was struck by the same thought. And also a little awed by how much discipline and training must have gone into Obama’s performance – awed and a little horrified. Enjoy! (Best viewed in full screen)