Barack Obama & The Oldsmobile of Doom

After John Edwards suspended his campaign, I started looking at Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama as candidates. I gave serious consideration to both. What I saw in far too many pro-Obama threads was a strong anti-"How to Win Friends and Influence People" tone. There seemed to be an eagerness to throttle any perceived dissent and to forcefully steer the discussion. I attributed this to overly-eager youthful supporters. And I found myself thinking, "If only the Obama campaign knew about this." I'm now convinced that this style is not only being tolerated, but encouraged by the Obama campaign.

Why the hip & trendy insults (unrebuked by the campaign)? Why the gratuitous anti-boomer rants (unrebuked by the campaign)? Why the 'post-a-tip-jar-so-we-can-give-you-a-don ut threats over at the big-orange (unrebuked by the campaign)? Why would a campaign want to allow its most active and visible online supporters to alienate a large and usually dependable portion of the electorate?

Then it came to me. An old man will buy a youthful automobile; a young man would not want to be caught dead in a geezer-wagon. That's why GM killed the Oldsmobile brand. And that's what I see the Obama campaign gearing up to do in the general election: run against John He-Is-Your-Father's-Oldsmobile McCain.

What about Hillary Clinton? I'd say she's a mini-van with side-impact airbags. Practical? Yes. Sporty? No.

So that brings my next question. If McCain is an Oldsmobile, and if Clinton is a mini-van, what model is Senator Barack Obama?

I drew one in fifth grade. I've updated it some, but the new model is every bit as realistic and practical as my fifth grade effort. So here goes:

Presenting the 2008 Obama! Imagine a car so nimble and compact that it can squeeze into the tightest Whole Foods parking space - with the hauling capacity of a hundred-car freight train! Imagine a top-end speed capable of passing traffic on the Autobahn - with the torque of a full-size Caterpillar bulldozer! Imagine a gas-sipper with mileage that puts a Prius to shame - able to do 0 to 60 in 2 1/2 seconds! Priced below a Yugo - with more prestige than a Bentley! Yes you can! The new Obama 2008!!!

A car like that just has to beat an Oldsmobile or a mini-van. Doesn't it? Even if the mini-van comes with side-impact airbags. Who needs those? So revel in the rudeness, Obama supporters! Snap your rhetorical fingers in a geezer's face today! It's trendy! It's kool! It's youthy! It's Obama!

Of course Senator Obama or an official campaign representative could register online and publicly rebuke the name-calling and dismissive tone from the campaign's more fevered supporters. The questions are: will this happen, and if so, when and where?

This is my first diary here: and my first multi-selection poll anywhere.

Tags: Barack Obama, branding strategy (all tags)



Re: Barack Obam & The Oldsmobile of Doom

Sorry for the space between the 'don' and the 'ut.' I couldn't make the word format.

by jabney 2008-02-15 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obam & The Oldsmobile of Doom

You must not spend much time here at MyDD.

by dmc2 2008-02-15 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obam & The Oldsmobile of Doom

Back to the question though, I'd say Obama's probably like a new Beetle or Mini. A slightly snazzy and upscale, but well-designed and well-built modern version of a classic model that was once a staple of democratic transportation.

by dmc2 2008-02-15 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Barack Obam & The Oldsmobile of Doom

Yes, if you look at the rec list it is filled with anti-clinton... oh wait, it's all anti-Obama stuff...

Wow, how many people recommended "Obama has terrorist ties."

When will the Clinton camp log-in to rebuke that.

Good it would be insane thing to do, I hope both campaigns have better things to do then go on blogs and tsk tsk anyone who says something stupid.

by labor nrrd 2008-02-15 11:59AM | 0 recs
Wow...way to woe supporters.

Keep it up!

by Shazone 2008-02-15 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: People at dKos are hurting my feelings

Obama's whole campaign is about cultism and authoritarianism.

Noooo thank you.  Don't want that in the White House.

by Sensible 2008-02-15 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: People at dKos are hurting my feelings

Senator Obama describes himself as, "An imperfect empty vessel" waiting to be filled by his supporters' thoughts and dreams. I've seen those thoughts and dreams expressed online. Sometimes the voices are less than welcoming. The tone seems to sometimes go out of the way to be impolite.

I don't know any Senator personally. So people like you are the candidate voices. Based on that, Sen. Obama has implied (through you) that I am not in 'real life,' that I have a 'weak cry' because someone was 'mean' to me, and that I am making, "...the single most pathetic excuse..." you've ever heard.

You have every right to be as insulting as you wish. Perhaps the chance to get in a good zinger every now and then makes you feel better about yourself. Does it help your candidate? I don't think so, but you do what you like.

Encouraging (or a failure to discourage) an exclusionary voice is a style choice. Sort of like a trendy NYC or Chicago nightclub that filters clients with a velvet rope and a snobbish doorman. WalMart-dressed patrons are kept out on purpose. The enforced exclusivity is often part of an upscale club's business plan.

If the general election were changed to a general caucus, the velvet rope strategy might work. As long as the general election uses secret ballots, though, I think the velvet rope is a mistake. What do you think?

by jabney 2008-02-15 03:45PM | 0 recs


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