Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rest of the World v. The American Electorate
I may just be letting my natural political anxiety show here, but I am afraid the big spectacle being made of Obama's trip overseas may have some backlash here at home... I just figure that Europe liking a left-of-center American candidate will make most Americans like the candidate less. Not that it would make any sense, mind you.

Still, that backlash will be nothing compared to what this will cause. Do the DNC and Obama campaign have nobody on staff that can tell them how poorly the Hollywood-class endorsement route will play among the voters we need to convince between now and November? Are they *trying* to lose? Actively forgetting how hard Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, and Ben Affleck worked to elect Kerry in 2004? Remember that big tour through the swing states?!

It's real simple. Scarlett Johannson couldn't save Woody Allen at the box office, Affleck couldn't save Daredevil, and they are not going to get Barack Obama elected. The people we have to go after don't want entertainment celebrities telling them who to vote for. In fact, they would seem to resent it. I don't see how the DC Democratic political culture could be so star-struck they wouldn't notice they're handing Republicans fodder for their favorite stupid charge: elitism.

If he wants to close the deal on the election, the only relationship Obama should be having with the music and film industries is telling them to stop peddling smut and violence to kids. People love that. All of this rock-star-candidate stuff was great fun and exciting and provided necessary energy for the fund-raising and primary stages. But the campaign is in a different phase now, the one where he has to simultaneously look both presidential and genuinely in touch with working people. (Kerry got 1 of those 2, Bill Clinton 2 of 2.) I'm afraid the plans for Germany this week, and Denver in August - which might be exciting for a partisan supporter like me to watch - nonetheless work against both goals.

Then again, I have never been correct about a political prediction yet, so we will see how the polls develop this week. Hopefully, this isn't the time I'm finally right about something.

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