Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not Everyone's In Love With Obama

The tightly controlled stage-managed Obama love-in rolled into town with the usual media suspects positively drooling over 'The Chosen One'. Yesterday we had to suffer the Independent front page. A huge messianic photo of Obama in Berlin with his adorning flock of activists and fervent followers. Today it was just his eyes.

Get real people. He was just in it for the photocall for the folks back home. Playing out to a pre-determined media grid, not seen in politics since the heyday of Blair and New Labour. 

Ordinary Americans are not so sure about this man. Sure, he can talk the talk. He's a good-looking guy (maybe a little too thin) but underneath the hype and spin there are many more questions than answers. What they're saying is - there's something not quite right about Obama.

Has he been manufactured to appear as all things and to appeal to all people? Are his speeches deliberately put together to mean anything, any which way you choose? 

Is he just an advertising man's dream, a PR composite? Is he, as the McCain camp are pushing, just too good to be true? 

The massive security team and media managers around Obama during the Middle East and European tour is unprecedented and part paid for by the US taxpayers. Yet this is just a presidential hopeful not the President nor even the official candidate. A hopeful who called it for himself in the US primaries as the Democrat candidate and has yet to be formally and officially adopted by his party. 

A hopeful who refuses to allow any European journalists in the press corps. A hopeful whose Berlin speech said nothing but got coast to coast media coverage in the States. A hopeful who allows just enough time for a photocall and chat with Brown and Cameron - after all, Berlin was job done - but also a big one with the familiar face of Blair, already doing the rounds back in the US. 

Der Spiegel got the Obama/Berlin take right. A presidential hopeful who is more interested in being a world superstar than talking about the ailing economy back home. We had one like that here. He was called Tony Blair.

In the race for the White House, all the washing is hung out. Politics is a dirty and dangerous business. That's expected when you are voting for the most powerful person on the planet. 

The cartoon of muslim Obama and his black power wife in the New Yorker was justified by the magazine as satire. But the US doesn't do satire. That cartoon was designed to call his bluff and to bring the very issues of race and religion which Obama himself plays up to, out into the open. He even subtly played his race card in his Berlin speech. 

Now, the lack of any substance in both domestic and foreign policies, is beginning to show him up. 

So far he could afford to be a one ticket presidential hopeful - a promise to pull out of Iraq - but even that's just a vague timetable. Afghanistan, mentioned in Berlin, was left wide open to interpretation. Back home there are unresolved issues surrounding his funding, an alleged forged birth certificate and his links with dubious Chicago politicians. 

That funding has been spun as grassroots internet donations but there are strong rumours circulating in the US that the cash is actually coming from powerful sources in Saudi Arabia. 

It was just such a dogged investigation which 'followed the money' once before in a presidential funding scam called Watergate.

Obama can talk the talk but now he's gonna have to walk the walk.


1 comment:

scott in jupiter said...

Good post,
You did miss one point. He's a great big wanker.