Obamaganda

By Michael Baker

It occurs to me that I’ve been hammering away at Romney pretty hard in recent posts.  That’s not necessarily deliberate.  Mitt’s campaign has just been experiencing turbulent times lately, and far be it from me to refrain from piling on.  But now I’ll go after Big O.

Here’s a post from a whacky Right-wing blog.  It’s a pretty interesting discussion of the Prez’s campaign imagery and makes the obvious point that a lot of it harkens back to Stalin and Mussolini (the author stops short of mentioning Hitler, which is probably wise as a matter of good taste).  I’d noticed the similarities of some Obama posters – most notably Shepherd Fairly’s supremely popular “HOPE” image of 2008 – to classic propagandist imagery, but I’d never really thought about what that might mean (aside from thinking that O & Co. really must have balls to think that no one will notice/care, which evidently most people don’t).

So now I’m considering what all this means, if anything.  Should I care that my President presents himself the same way that some inarguably bad dudes did when they were attempting to maintain power?  Does this really mean anything aside from the fact that the public responds to a strong image of a particular individual?  After all, I’ve seen real estate agents who strike similar poses on bench ads, and no one compares them to an Italian dictator.

I don’t know.  I definitely don’t fear Obama will become our supreme leader.  Then again some people would say that our failure to fear the tyranny of O will be our downfall.  I guess I just think that you’d have to be able to convince everybody that you were born in this country before you could become a supreme leader, antichrist, etc.  Once Big O gets The Donald on board, I’ll start to worry.

I guess the real issue is that something about the President presenting himself in such an individualistic and singular fashion just seems a little…un-Presidential.  At least it is up to this point; I can’t think of another President who’s campaigned with posters that could fairly be called “dictatoresque” (wait, was Uncle Sam a President?).  But maybe that’s because Obama is one of the less ugly Presidents.  He’s no Kennedy, but he’s no Quincy Adams, either.  I mean, who wants Grover Cleveland’s ugly mug staring them down on the way to the ballot box?

In any event, Obama’s up in the polls, so Obamaganda seems to be working.  If I were Mitt, I’d hurry up and commission a statue of Paul Ryan’s chiseled physique.