Wednesday, July 30, 2008

McCain Campaign Picks Up On Obama's Celebrity Status

The campaign of GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain may have picked up on a theme which will resonate with middle America. Sen. Obama's campaign is all about being a celebrity. When you peel away the facade, there's no substance underneath. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis calls Obama the "biggest celebrity in the world, comparable to Tom Cruise, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton." One particular statement following Obama's foreign trip is biting him hard and re-enforcing the perception of him as a narcissistic, egotist. Obama told a group in Washington after his trip that he is the "symbol" for the world's aspirations for America and that we are now at "the moment … that the world is waiting for." Yes, it's the arrival of the new messiah. Davis says:

Only a celebrity of Barack Obama's magnitude could attract 200,000 fans in Berlin who gathered for the mere opportunity to be in his presence. These are not supporters or even voters, but fans fawning over The One. Only celebrities like Barack Obama go to the gym three times a day, demand "MET-RX chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars and bottles of a hard-to-find organic brew -- Black Forest Berry Honest Tea" and worry about the price of arugula.

Yet, despite all of the fans, paparazzi and media adoration, the American people still have questions: Is Barack Obama prepared to lead? Is being famous the same as being a credible commander in chief?

Like most worldwide celebrities, this status has fueled a certain arrogance. As The Washington Post reported this morning, Barack Obama has gone from his party's presumptive nominee to "its presumptuous nominee." His advisers are constantly reminded that their candidate is not actually the President of the United States, despite the "presidential" seal. On his plane, his chair reads "President."

The arrogance of a man with so few accomplishments is really hard to stomach when you think about it. The man has been a U.S. Senator for 3 years and has been campaigning for president for more than half of that time. He was an undistinguished member of the Illinois Senate where he engaged in "politics as usual", lining the pockets of his political contributors with government contracts and jobs. The Washington Post's Richard Cohen hit one out of the ballpark today with this simple question to those fawning over Obama's candidacy:

"'Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire,' I asked a prominent Democrat. He paused and then said that he admired Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 2004. I agreed. It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech. On the other hand, I continued, I could cite four or five actions -- not speeches -- that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe."

McCain's campaign manager has Obama pegged. "As the world's biggest celebrity, Barack Obama has the entourage and all the trappings of fame," Davis says. "Today, his campaign is more about advancing Barack Obama and less about solving the challenges facing our country." In my view, Obama epitomizes everything I abhor about my generation. People of my generation expect everything without working for anything. They look down upon and disrespect people who've found their place through hard, honest work. They hate their parents for what they aren't. They admire people who trample all over others resorting to any means, legal or otherwise, to get that 5,000 square-feet home with a 3-car garage to fit their Lexus and BMW automobiles. Ronald Reagan used to look at our country and say confidently that the best days for America are still ahead of us. Does anyone really believe that anymore? Does the Obama generation really have any respect for a 70-plus year-old former prisoner of war who demonstrated unselfish valor in service to his country? Sadly, I think not.


DMC said...

Just out of curiosity, what exactly is the substance of John McCain? The fact that he was a POW? It certainly can't be his beliefs: which ones? Raise social security taxes or don't? Timeline or no?

I can understand criticism of Barry but you ought to cover your own side's failings as well.

Gary R. Welsh said...

dmc, If you have to ask what John McCain's beliefs are, then you're either clueless or just being a petty partisan who would lick Obama's shoes on command. McCain has a well-documented record. Do I agree with everything he's supported? No. Do I respect the fact that he has steadfastly opposed earmarks? Yes. Do I respect the fact that he tried to work on a bipartisan basis to fix our corrupt campaign finance system, even if the courts have gutted the law? Yes. Do I respect the fact that he risked his own presidential ambitions to pursue a bipartisan immigration reform law? Yes. We can't even find out where Obama was born, what his real legal name is, is he still a citizen of Indonesia, why he says he was never a Muslim when his school records show otherwise or why he thinks white people are greedy as he wrote in his book. And that's before we try to find a single legislative accomplishment of note in his 3-year record in the Senate and have to wonder why he would bother to accept the role chairing an important Senate subcommittee if he had no intention of ever convening a meeting.

DMC said...

I have licked Barry's boots and they tasted like cotton candy.

/sarcasm off

Obama has been consistent in his views and arguments. McCain can't decide whether or not raising payroll taxes is on the table of not, he articulated (and I use that word loosely) three different opinions in the space of three days.

Jon Easter said...

Advance Indiana, you get further and further off the real issues of the campaign and, unfortunately, are stepping into the area of the absurd. Just my opinion though.

McCain's this year's John Kerry...not on policy...on flip flopping. The latest flip-flop comes courtesy of This Week with George Stephanopolous. On that show, McCain said nothing was off the table when it came to taxes including payroll tax increases. Now, he says he won't raise any taxes stopping short of "read my lips".

McCain also said in April that he would run a clean campaign. Now, we see negative ad after negative ad culminating with this crazy comparison between Obama, Britney, and Paris.

All the while, McCain keeps "charming" the press with unfortunate jokes, geographical gaffes, and general confusion.

It's perfectly fair to ask if Obama is ready to lead. It's perfectly fair to also ask the same question to Mr. McCain. We don't know what he stands for because he keeps changing his mind.