Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obama's New Clothes

Hillary Clinton's camp released this photo of Barack Obama taken from an August visit to Kenya. Obama wears traditional Somali clothing. Why did Clinton's camp release the photo? Does it have anything to do with Obama having Muslim ancestry? Is this possibly insinuating ever-so-slightly, maybe on a subliminal level that since the terrorists we're fighting are Muslims, and Obama has a Muslim name and ancestry that the Junior Senator from Illinois is packing plastic explosives for Al-Qaeda? At a recent rally for Republican Senator John McCain, a supporter referred to Obama by his full name: Barack Hussein Obama. Why just stop there? Why not insist that Obama and Osama bin Laden were college roommates? If the guy has Muslim ancestry, he must be a complete terrorist, and therefore unfit to be president. I mean, it's not like we've ever had a president who used fear to intimidate people and waged acts of violence for his own personal reasons, right?
The problem with the photo is it's a desperate move by the Clinton camp to make people question Obama's background. Showing a photograph of him dressed like Hadji from Jonny Quest isn't swaying anyone. It's just showing that politicians, when going abroad, dress in native garb as a goodwill gesture.

See? Looks like Ally McBeal's pajamas. Stunts like releasing photos are basically what modern political campaigns are all about. Let's make the opposition look stupid, let's create fear, let's demean and demoralize. It isn't about showing what your candidate stands for or what they'd actually do if elected.
Obama may be running a Seinfeld campaign - a campaign about nothing. It might be flowery speeches and pixie dust and rainbows. So when Clinton complains of Obama's pretty speeches and shallow message of hope, she should look to her own husband, whose own campaign in 1992 sounded eerily similar. Except Bill Clinton never was caught dressing in a stupid turban.

Fine! I stand corrected!

1 comment:

Kenji Summers said...

Very insightful. I am impressed with your look at politicians adaptations when visiting foreign dignitaries.