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Victor Laslow
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« on: November 02, 2011, 12:18:18 PM »

from an email

The  Obama Problem

By Monty  Pelerin

The Obama Problem is simple to explain  but impossible to solve.  The problem is Obama himself, and most people  not named Barack or Michelle understand that.

President Obama's political career is  in free-fall.  He will not be reelected.  Many Democrats and media  personalities now understand what appeared impossible even mere months  ago.

Mr. Obama burst onto the political  scene as a relatively unknown wunderkind.  He could read a mean  teleprompter and did so with fanfare at the 2004 Democrat Convention.  He  had good speechwriters, an intelligent and disciplined campaign strategy, a  carefully crafted biography, and a highly compliant media.  He was  charismatic and eloquent.  Joe Biden awkwardly described him as "the  first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a  nice-looking guy."

The Perfect  Storm

The 2008 election was the political  equivalent of a perfect storm."  Two factors were key to Obama's  election:
1.Americans were  disgusted with Washington , and especially with George Bush.  The media  anointed Obama as their man.  They publicized his strengths and hid his  weaknesses.  They painted him as an outsider, someone who could bridge  the gap between political parties and make Washington function.  The  media engineered Obama into the nomination and threw Hillary Clinton  overboard in the primary process.
1.The Republicans chose  a sure loser to run -- shopworn Washington-establishment figure Senator John  McCain.  McCain offered nothing that had not already been rejected by  the public.  He was little more than an elderly George W. Bush who  carried the additional baggage of a Washington insider.  It is likely  that any Democrat would have easily beaten McCain.
When the perfect storm cleared, Obama  was president.

No president in recent history began  his term with higher expectations and goodwill than Barack Obama, but the  promise and exhilaration that accompanied his election was short-lived.   In less than three years, Obama plummeted from the heights (his "Messiah"  entry) to the depths (a "worse than Jimmy Carter" figure).

The turnaround was astonishing in its  speed and magnitude.  To put matters in perspective, it took George Bush  almost eight years to hit bottom.  And Bush always had little support  from the media, a force that continues to protect Obama.

How Things Went So Wrong So  Quickly

To understand Obama's loss in  popularity, it is necessary to recognize that Barack Obama was a fluke.   He was an unlikely candidate, pushed to his party's nomination as a result of  the media.  His election was another quirk, more aberration than  achievement.  The perfect storm virtually ensured that the Democrat  candidate would win in 2008.  It is not a strain to conclude that the  mainstream media, rather than the electorate, put Obama into the highest  office in the land.

In hindsight, a great mistake was  made. Even the fawning media and the Democrat establishment now recognize  that, although are unwilling to publicly admit it.  Their behavior is  analogous to refusing to discuss a friend's terminal illness in the hope that  it will somehow go away.

The media and the Democratic Party are  at risk if the tragedy they foisted on the nation continues.  Their  future is intertwined with the Obama Problem.  Both sponsored him, and  both may ultimately be held accountable.  The battle so easily won in  2008 may cost them subsequent battles, if not the war itself.

Both know the risk.  They just  have no easy way of solving the problem.

Opinions regarding the factors  responsible for Mr. Obama's political demise abound.  A full menu is  available -- the economy, broken promises, cronyism, socialism, bailouts,  corruption, disillusionment, inexperience, incompetence, Chicago-style  politics, etc.  Pundits have a target-rich environment from which to  approach the failure of the Obama presidency.

The factors above are relevant but one  level removed from the root cause.  The real problem is that there never  was any substance to Obama.  He was the political equivalent of a  Potemkin village.  There was nothing behind the face.  There was  no "there" there.  All of the problems arise from this obvious  flaw.

President Obama is little more than a  run-of-the-mill Hollywood extra hired to play president of the United  States .  A brilliant marketing campaign coupled with the perfect storm  put him in office.  The marketing campaign was so good that it merits a  case study for the Harvard Business School .

The "man with no past" and a Hollywood  veneer turned out to be a perfect candidate.  "Sizzle" rather than  substance was sold.  Little was known about Obama and his past, allowing  David Axelrod to market the political equivalent of a Rorschach blot. 

Voters saw in Obama whatever they  desired in a candidate.  To some, Obama was a breath of fresh air, a man  of principles.  To others he was an outsider, not a crass  politician.  Others saw him as a chance to prove that they were not  racists.  Still others saw him as the reincarnation of Roosevelt or  whomever else they admired.

Obama was a blank slate to be imagined  or drawn upon by the voters.  He was their chameleon, and each voter  could use his or her imagination to create the ideal candidate.  Not  surprisingly, voters bought this product that existed only in their  minds.  They elected Chauncey Gardiner.  Unfortunately, this fraud  did not come with Peter Sellers' range or abilities.

A brilliant marketing strategy can  make a first sale, but performance and satisfaction are required for the  second.  Axelrod's skill in marketing had no counterparty in  production.  No one seemed to be concerned about delivering a product  that actually worked.

Obama entered office unorganized and  unstructured.  Nothing in his background suggested that he knew anything  about management, organization, or leadership.  Nor did anyone see the  need for bringing in talent with these skills.  As a result, the   Hollywood mannequin was almost immediately exposed as nothing but flair, hype,  and hot air.  The public had bought a product that did not  perform.

Marketing can do many things, but it  cannot sell a product that people have tried and rejected.  That is  Obama's reelection problem.  At the risk of being unsophisticated and  abusing the concept of Occam's Razor, Obama's reelection problem can be  expressed in one simple sentence: "Now, too many people know  him."

Obama's only strength was Axelrod's  ability to play on the imagination of voters.  That strength no longer  exists.  People now know the product and have rejected it.  They did  not get even Chauncey Gardiner.  Embarrassed and angry, the public is  stuck with Chance the Gardener.

The irony is that Mr. Obama has not  changed.  He is the same man who was elected.  His problem is not  communicating, Republicans, George Bush, tsunamis, or anything else.  His  problem is the man in the mirror.  There is no more there than an image. 
Obama was all hype and no  substance.  That realization has dawned on voters, resulting in   horrendous polling.  Richard Nixon was never liked, but he was at least  thought competent.  Obama was liked but never competent.  Now Obama  is living proof of the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt.  He is  neither liked nor competent.
Even the hapless Jimmy Carter did not  attain that status.

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