Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Brand vs The Old Man


The Brand Obama has hit Number One on the Democratic Hit Parade. I believe Hillary Clinton is still shaking her head with disbelief; and Barack Obama also. How is it possible that Hillary is not the presumptive candidate (hereinafter "PC") of the Democrats? I contend that the burned bridges of the Clintons' arrogance would take down the Brooklyn, Golden Gate and the one over the River Kwai all put together. Possibly Bill's $100 million capitalist booty also upset those jealous liberals. In any event, the "liberal press/popular media" got even. And as they whacked her, they helped create from [Hillary's rib] [scratch] a brand-name, not simply a candidate. The Brand Obama. Talk about adulation. Worship? Bill Clinton step aside. Yet. Yet, put yourself in Obama's shoes. (And apparently he has a lot of them.) All of a sudden you are a rock star. You are Kolbe Bryant, Kanye West, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Jay-Z, Dwight Freeny and Elvis Presley all put together (collectively "rock stars".) Clearly the American Dream. Except. Except you can't believe this is happening to you. No experience. No preparation. No warning. Hundreds, even thousands of rock stars have failed to understand their fame, manage their emotions and they plunged into depression and substance abuse. Will Sen. Obama? No, he's already done that; he won't again. But it is certain that one year ago he had no idea, I don't think a clue, that one year later he'd be the PC for the President of the United States of America. The mightiest nation in history. Arguably he has become the most famous person in the world. Like many brands, the Brand Obama came from nowhere, surprised the nation and now I believe Obama is a brand-name marketed by the liberals of America as their Savior (yes, with a capital S). Fearfully, I think he might believe it. No doubt in my mind that he's overwhelmed, as is America, perhaps the world. Will he end up a one-hit wonder? Will hubris infect him? Will the Brand Obama be a super nova?

At the same time that the Brand Obama has soared, I see many Americans waking up and truly considering for what Liberals stand. And it ain't pretty. America's bad, negative, wrong, inequitable, insatiable, needing change, needing a strong central control of the population. Does each American really believe the United States of America isn't the best in the world. I think not. We like to believe we are winners. We adulate winners. Here in Seattle if the Mariners, Sonics (may they RIP), and Seahawks win some games or make the playoffs or the Superbowl, we salivate with pride. So how can we admire a Brand who says America is a "mean and racist" country? (Whether it is or not, is irrelevant.) Most of us can't! The Old Man said: "America's best days are ahead of us". That's what most of us believe and we admire someone who says what we really believe. Those two comments billboard the differences between the two 2008 presidential candidates.

The Brand Obama's opponent, the Old Man, didn't need to equate The Brand Obama to the Brand Paris. The public did it itself. Do we want the American Idol as president? The Old Man says America will soar this 21st century. He is forceful. Certain. Sure. Clear. Osama Bin Laden? "I'll chase him to the gates of Hell." The Old Man is serious as is a man who's done what he has, the time he's put into life. Yet, he has a sense of humor and can laugh at himself. He's short, gray, has a fat cheek, yet he seems to enjoy. The Brand Obama started out to be...The Change Agent and, as the underdog/long shot, probably believed he was a change from Bill and Hillary (hereinafter "BAH") and President George Whatever Bush (hereinafter and heretofore without a backbone). He is seriously serious, and takes himself seriously. I think he's seriously infatuated with himself. And now he is basking in applause, preaching to the choir but does he really know what he is saying? His choir seems to be shrinking. Is the euphoria over? Are Democrats going from being overwhelmed to being just whelmed, as Sen. Obama's highly memorable disc jockey voice booms doom, changes tunes, and finally debates itself?

I once -- in my early 30's -- became a manager of a retail establishment I owned with some friends. I had no perception of what that really meant. I didn't understand how my employees viewed me. I made assumptions based on my imagination because I had had no job experience being a manager. I didn't know how to act; I didn't know what to say. Later I discovered that how I acted and what I assumed and said all were laughably incorrect or inappropriate (not as in today's meaning of inappropriate which typicall means sexually so, just...inappropriate). I empathize with Obama. I think he's been elevated not only beyond his pay grade (a deeply meaningful phrase) but beyond his own comprehension. He is a disc jockey voice without gravitas, without superstructure, without roots. It is becoming apparent to many Democrats that they have made a grave mistake in their instant mania. One that cannot be undone. Hillary will look like a breath of fresh air in four years and become the Democratic PC, if she maintains her composure, supports her PC and reins in her posse.

Issues? This election is only peripherally about issues. I see the deciding factor will be about respect, confidence, plain talk, beliefs, strength, experience and, yes, age. Of course the issues are black and white: this campaign is a contest between job creators/wealth creators and job destroyers/wealth destroyers (and perhaps wealthy wealth haters).

In my dreams, in 2008 the electorate will grab the reins of their freedom from special interests such as environmentalists, trade union leaders, trial lawyer billionaires, the hypocrites of moral superiority. Let us be free to eat trans fats, use plastic bags, talk on a cell phone while driving and laugh at ourselves.

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