I’m watching Morning Joe again. They are talking about Barack Obama – Mr. Cool. The reference is to his image versus the manner he is displaying. Barack Obama hit the national scene with the stature of remembered charismatic leaders of the past. People talked about the intelligence of Bill Clinton, the charm of John Kennedy, and commanding presence or Ronald Reagan. So what happened?
While participating in the debates Obama has been the last on the ballot – that spot endearingly referred to as ‘none of the above.’ He has been stilted, non creative, and verbally challenged. At this rate he will soon qualify for the first and last question of the debates, under provision 6.1.2 of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
He reminds me of Al Gore in the Presidential debates of 2000 – Trained and coached right out of his own personality. Earlier in the 1990’s Ross Perot made a big splash with his flamboyant characterizations of current events – Ross said that NAFTA would create a big ‘sucking sound coming from south of the border.’ Ross was funny, witty, and relevant. So Ross Perot and Al Gore debated on Larry King Live. Everyone – and I mean everyone – just knew that Ross would eat Al alive. It did not happen. Al Gore was relaxed and confident, he knew the facts as a career Washington type should. Ross tried his witticisms and Gore pinned him with facts. I loved it – it was Al Gores greatest performance until “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Then Al Gore ran for President. He was to debate the misunderestimated George Bush – this should have been a proverbial walk in the park. Bush was no Perot. Both men were from political dynasties – but Gore was a student of the political arts. The expectations were high and Gore fell on his face. He tried some Ronald Reagan sigh tactic that was completely fabricated and obvious. Because of this foolish preparation to perform rather than to be, we have suffered the Presidency of George Bush. If there is blame – it is with Al Gore.
Barack Obama is going down the Al Gore path. The early image of Obama was the real image – Obama was being Obama. The force of his personality and his intellect garnered huge grass roots support. The hope of disenfranchised democrats generated phenomenal excitement and the money followed. All that green stuff clouded the vision and Barack appears to have hired Al Gore’s debate coaches.
Barack Obama is now trying to be Mr. Cool. His attempts to look Presidential by being calm and reserved and visually thoughtful have stilted his natural charisma. His coaches have convinced him to be some image that he is not. Barack needs to play his game. Barack is playing prevent defense (football term). He is being so careful not to give up the big play that he has lost his stride, his strut, his swagger, his appearance of confidence.
What would I say to da’ man? Loosen up Mr. Cool! Play your game – you are trying to play Hillary’s game – play to your strength – not to her weakness. Be yourself – have the audacity to believe that it is you – not some stilted image – that excites the voter.
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