Thursday, July 03, 2008

Obama: New Politician, or . . .

the political equivalent of New Coke? After his victory in Iowa, a lot of media attention was focused on this "different kind of politician." Contrasting him with Hillary, the media removed any pretense of objectivity, and actually swooned whenever they were in his presence. But what is it actually, that Mr. Obama has done?
He does give a soaring speech, at least when reading from a teleprompter. But if he has to speak extemporaneously, the uhs, ums, and long pauses are especially frustrating in trying to hear what he is attempting to put forth.
And on policy, Obama was against the war from the beginning. Hooray for him, got it right, maybe. But no one has held him to account for what he would do differently. In fact on one debate, he actually said that if al-Qaeda returned to Iraq, he would reinvade. Oh boy, that will be easy. we should get a lot of support from our allies in the region. I am sure that they would just forgive and forget.
But it is in the area of what his core values are that is especially interesting. As early as February, the documentation of his flip flops had begun. And now that he has ostensibly secured the nomination, he has accelerated his rate of flip flops. Amazingly, this lack of consistency is taken as being positive by the members of the press.
I have listened to Obama's speeches for awhile, and they are filled with lawyer words. Soaring rhetoric that is able to be taken any darned way that you want, and if you are wrong, it's your own fault.
But getting back to the premise of the post, like Obama, New Coke was brought about because it's owner had been experiencing a loss of market share. By revamping the formula and a massive media operation, New Coke originally took off. Which just goes to show how effective advertising is. Because marketing can only do so much, three months later, Old Coke was brought back and the New Coke was rebranded as Coke II.
Like New Coke, Obama has had the benefit of a media that is in love with him. But the reality is that it is an infatuation. And like all infatuations, it burns hot for a while, then when reality is revealed, bitterness and anger replace the passion.
Let's say that Obama is able to limp across the finish line and actually become president of these 57 States. No President is ever able to get anything done by himself. So let's assume that there are only 39 Republicans in the Senate, and the House is overwhelmingly Democratic. Obama should be able to get anything that he wants right?
Except with his history of flip flops, who is going to put their political capital on the line? Sure, the President has told you that he fully supports your issues, and they are just what the country needs. But you know that in the back of your and his mind, he will completely reverse himself with no compunction at all.
New Politician - New Coke. I have a feeling that by 2010, we will be back to the old ones again.

No comments: