Finally, the greatest reality show in American history — “Who Wants to Be An American President?” — is about to start up again! With Barack Obama officially launching his presidential campaign for 2012, political junkies, academics and journalists can start justifying their constant critical analysis of Obama in the context of running for re-election. As opposed to him being that black guy who lives in the White House and won’t leave for some reason.
But before getting into his YouTube teaser video let’s clear up a few historical issues. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his announcement coming this week despite some media folks wanting to gin up the issue.
George W. Bush announced he was running for re-election in May of 2003. Right?
Bill Clinton announced in April of 1995, no problem with that.
So Obama’s announcement on April 4th had nothing to do with the president’s feelings of strength or vulnerability for 2012. If you really want to see a baller of a presidential announcement consider Ronald Reagan didn’t say he was running again until January of 1984 – and he still took Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale to the woodshed. Moreover Obama actually has a higher presidential approval rating (48 percent) at this point in his first term than Clinton or Reagan – and they both won their re-elections handily.
While, the disturbing fact that he made this announcement on the 43rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination does strike a sort of morbid tone for those who know history, there is no hint of anything overtly or subtly strategic on behalf of the Obama team with respect to that. The fact is, with a Republican field that seems scared or disinterested in running against him, why not start now?
Obama’s video was flat overall. But, who cares: he’s the incumbent. Nobody is going to match Governor Tim Pawlenty’s commercials that are so incredibly awesome that you don’t know if you want to vote for the guy or if he’s an extra in Transformers 3.
The thing about this teaser video is that it addresses the one thing Obama critics have been charging: that he’s “Out of Touch.” Instead, he shows that he knows exactly what his supporters are thinking of him right now. The video is that first sheepish text back to an old girlfriend, hoping that she’ll talk to you again after you disappeared with your fancy new gig (if you can get one in this climate).
See, Obama broke a lot of hearts in the last few years since 2008 with his compromises, his seemingly tin ear on race issues, his soft response to the oil spill and his ability to only be able to do so much for an economy that’s in the gutter.
So this entire Obama ad — which does not feature Obama or his voice or likeness at all — is saying: “It’s up to YOU to get this man back in office.”
Which means the President is calling through his little black book again. He feels so bad that he hasn’t been around because his new job has tied him up. And – oh – by the way, he could totally use your help moving to his new apartment this weekend and before you know it you’re in love again and have agreed to bring your own duct tape and a few empty boxes from that Kroger behind your house.
Damn! This guy’s that good!
“Alice” the black woman from Michigan epitomizes this strategy when she all but says: “Obama’s been busy doing his job and we can’t expect him to just come back out and inspire us again.”
Don’t be fooled, girl. This is all part of the president’s brilliant plan to suck you back into his web of charm before selling us out to Wall Street bankers again.
The reality, however, is that you can’t knock his hustle. Obama has figured out exactly who he needs to target to stay in the White House. While Republicans can’t even figure out who wants to step up and get beat down in 2012 he’ll spend this year shoring up his base so he can snag independents next summer with an improved economy. By focusing on guys like “Ed” who aren’t always ‘happy’ with Obama, he’s targeting those educated middle aged white guys who were happy to vote for an ‘articulate’ Negro last time. Still, they might need a little more than smooth talk to get them to pull the lever again.
This article originally appeared in TheLoop21.com under the headline “Get Ready America! Obama Kicks off his Nationwide Seduction Tour.”