Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations Mr. Obama

Jon Favreau wrote the Inauguration speech that Obama will read today. Even after the embarrassing picture of him with his hand on the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Clinton, Favreau kept his job and now moves into the White House to write the words our next President will be saying to us, and to the rest of the world, for the next four years.

Favreau stayed because he is a good writer, the one who put all those magic words into BHO's mouth throughout the campaigns.

As millions of Americans cheer and grin and celebrate Obama's inauguration, they should notice what is happening, beyond the crowds and the glitzy balls. Like retaining Favreau, Obama does what makes him look and sound good, what furthers the image of his transcendancy.

From his train trip to D.C. (he was already there so had to leave D.C. to take a train back...) to the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, we are given images of crowds, adulation, and the voice over is "first black president", "MLK's dream is realized". It is surreal.

His venues of choice are opulence and excess on a grand scale, and one need only look back to Denver and the Obamarama at Invesco Field to realize that this level of self-glorification is how Obama chooses to frame himself.

Obama presents us with this figure that is larger than life, and the media dutifully writes a narrative because that's how it covers any story. What's the angle? What's the pitch? The story about Obama is "first black president' and no other story is allowed to see the light of day anywhere but on the internet. Anything he does furthers that story and anything that doesn't further it, doesn't get covered.

Obama is about image - choosing a backdrop, having the magic words, wrapping himself in symbology (whether it fits the occasion or not), and knowing the media will sell it for him. He can flip flop and backtrack, nobody cares. It is cognitive dissonance and since it doesn't fit with the story, it can't be seen.

No matter what he does after today, he will enjoy the longest honeymoon in U.S. history. That is how powerful the narrative is about him right now.

In fact, the re-election campaign for his second term began before his hand ever was laid on the Lincoln bible. His campaign organization is sheltering inside the DNC, is hiring, and will be expanding its reach so that it can press our elected officials to vote Obama's way.

Personally, I didn't have a horse in the race this time. My candidate bowed out in June. I was not inspired by either McCain or Obama. While I am a registered Democrat, I do not share the enthusiasm of this inauguration.

Still, I offer my congratulations to Mr. Obama and my hopes that the country is in respectful hands, and that he will do his best to safeguard and protect it.


Anonymous said...

Favreau's words worked for the campaign. The job was to convince people without a clue that Obama would solve all their problems for them. Now the job has changed, and I doubt an immature faker like Favreau is up to the difficult challenges reality presents.

Willow said...

1/23/09 - your words proved to be prophetic, as Obamam delivered a flat, inspiring speech, designed, if ANYTHING, to lower expectations. The Faithful loved it, but even the MSM found it unsatisfying, and for them, that's tantamount to disapproval!