Monday, April 04, 2011

Two Thumbs Down

It was a moment even Hollywood couldn't have scripted.

There I was, out for my early morning walk. It was a cool, crisp morning. Birds were starting to chirp. The sunrise was majestic. (No joke, there was actually a rainbow in the sky this morning.)

And, then, it happened.

A thrill went up my leg, just like Chris Matthews four years ago. It was my cell phone delivering me a feverish announcement from CNN that President Obama has formally announced his re-election campaign with an online video.

I couldn't wait to get home to watch. It made me walk faster. I was starting to get tired, but in the background, all I could hear was the voice of inspiration that had brought hope to an entire nation.

Yes I can. Yes I can. Yes I can.


Look, full disclosure here: We tend to support conservatives, so a heavily-Democratic message usually leaves us cold. But, we try hard to be open-minded in this blog, and we also usually appreciate the artfulness of a good political ad, regardless of the substance. For example, we appreciate Hillary Clinton's "It's three a.m." ad from four years ago as a goosebump-inducing piece of advertising.

So, with that said, here it is: President Obama's video is one of the worst pieces of political advocacy we have ever seen.

It's boring. It's not inspiring at all. It's devoid of any substance. It says nothing. It lacks any sort of vision. It's full of lame excuses. It's seemingly an exclamation point on the end of an unlikely presidency that has been short on meaningful accomplishment. There is no recounting of any achievements Obama has had, or leadership qualities he possesses.

The message is essentially this: We should all get together to re-elect President Obama because electing him four years ago, as a completely unknown and unqualified candidate out of nowhere, was pretty cool. So, let's do it again. One woman even says she's nervous about the campaign.

And this is supposed to be the change we can believe in? This video doesn't even do a convincing job of conveying what has been aptly called "the hopey-changey thing."

Contrast Obama's ad today with this message from early in his first campaign:

Big difference.

We think there is an important take-away from this video. Republican candidates for president this year are saddled with the challenge of basically having to out-do President Obama's campaign from four years ago in order to win. But, at the same time, Obama himself has a challenge ahead of him to one-up his own 2008 campaign. And, this video makes it look like that's a tall challenge. Like it or not, a lot of these campaigns are won or lost in the media.

Basically, this ad amounts to a call out to disenchanted 2008 Obama supporters asking them to reenergize. But it also leaves the president exceedingly vulnerable to charges that the nation is in a position that is essentially the same - if not worse off - than it was in four years ago. The Republican candidate who makes the case for this most convincingly, and who offers the clearest and most inspiring alternative, will win in 2012.

Game on.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of Christopher Columbus when he sailed from England towards the west in search of the orient. When he left, he didn't know where he was going. When he arrived in America, he didn't know where he was. And when he got back, he didn't know where he had been. And he did it on somebody else's money. Sounds like Barack is a repeat of that historical voyage. Yep, change we can believe in..... Cannot wait for 2012.


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