Sunday, September 14, 2008

An Open Letter to the Barack Obama Campaign*

I hope this comment finds its way into the right hands.

I was reading "Dreams from My Father" this morning, listening to music, and was struck by a moment of unadulterated brilliance.

The campaign seems to be a bit stagnant right now. McCain seems to be gaining ground, and it would seem to be less and less related to a Convention bump as time passes. The Palin nomination, despite the fact that her qualifications and more importantly her job performance are questionable at best, seems to have captured much of the momentum. The Republicans are brazenly airing ads stating that she is a maverick because she was against the Bridge to Nowhere without being held accountable for the dubious nature of that claim. And people are eating it up.

It would seem the campaign needs to be reframed.

I believe it can be done through ads--not your typical political ads, either.

The concept came to me this morning in a vision of sorts.

The image of Barack Obama doing the work of the everyman. Living the life of the average American. Working on the assembly line in a factory. Helping an elderly person carry their groceries into the house from their car. Doing things that blue-collar middle Americans can and do every day of their lives. All of these things could be set to an epic post-rock score of someone like Explosions in the Sky or Sigur Ros.

For too long, the Democrats have allowed for the Republican Party to claim the working man as their voting block when that means the working man is voting against his best interests.

An ad campaign of wordless ads set to grand, sweeping music would be refreshing in both its departure from the tiresome malaise of the political ad and its framing of the candidate as an able-bodied everyman, connecting him to his rightful base of working, middle- and lower-class America.

It can show America he really is the man for the job without even having to say a word.

*I sent this to the campaign through their website as well.


KRD said...

OK, generally I would shy away from commenting on anything political, but--

I can't imagine having THIS thought while reading THAT book. The thing that struck me the most about the way that Obama constructs himself in this memoir is how much distance he creates between his own experiences and those of the "everyman".

I'm not so much commenting on your idea, which may or may not be a good one. But I have been struck again and again by how differently I read this book than people I know (and even people I respect). After having read it, I would have a hard time buying Obama as an everyman figure.

Perhaps I would not be the audience for this particular ad campaign.

Old Man Duggan said...

The comment wasn't necessarily inspired by the book. It did, however, spring to mind while reading it. It wasn't inspired by the content, but he would be able to do all of those things, unlike his opponents.

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