.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

...a sweatshop of moxie

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Bush And Obama Styles

In 2004, when John Kerry and George W. Bush were both running for the Presidency, the inevitable question in US presidential politics was raised:

Which guy would you rather have a beer with?

Zogby polls came to the rescue:

"57% of undecided voters would rather have a beer with Bush than Kerry. (In Bush's case, it would be a nonalcoholic beer.)

While both were raised with silver spoons in their mouths and both went to Yale, Bush comes off as less pretentious and more down to earth. Kerry sounds like he is lecturing people rather than holding a conversation with them."

Now in 2008 we have a new Presidential cycle, but a stranger phenomenon at play:

Though a lot of young people like the Democratic nominee's style, thinking it younger, fresher, just more AUTHENTIC, a lot of Americans view Barack Obama as (gasp) an elitist. Yes!

But how could a black guy raised by a single-mum on foodstamps, and who tramped the mean-streets of Chicago for 20 years, possibly get such a rap?

A lot of Americans, but particularly a lot of foreigners just don't get it. They must be thinking to themselves:

Why don't Americans see what we see? He's black! He's underprivileged! MY GOD, HE'S NOT BUSH!

Well, yes, that's right. He's not Bush. A lot of Americans don't like and didn't like President Bush, but they still voted for him.

See, he represented stability, resoluteness, and above all, values.

But those ephemeral notions just don't cut it when talking about the guy. You really have to see what Americans see, to make you understand what you don't.

The simple fact is George Bush is a real down-to-earth kind of guy. There's very little phoneyness about him -- oh, he's ham-handed and ridiculous all right, no doubt about that. But all politicians are ridiculous when campaigning.

But he is who he is, and he's so comfortable in his own skin it transforms him from a goof, to someone knowable. We know guys like that in our lives. He's a red-blooded guy. An American.

Indeed, it's when candidates are not campaigning, when they're just being themselves, that Americans get a sense of a man.

What is he really like? everyone asks themselves in their heads, without verbalising it to their neighbours. But we're all pretty much thinking it.

So, here is my attempt in photographs to try to convey to you why poor Senator Obama, that fatherless kid from the wrong side of the Hawaiian tracks just seems, well, snobby.

But worse than that, much worse for a guy seeking the Presidency -- phoney.

That's the kiss of Presidential death.

...oh! Why not Senator McCain, you must be wondering? The guy survived unmentionable tortures when his plane was shot down in Vietnam. He did so for 5 years in the Hanoi Hilton, earning himself 17 medals, as his captors beat him with rifle butts, slowly making him cough out his front teeth.

He can't lift his arms beyond his shoulders because of this, so let's cut him some slack, shall we?

And anyway, this election is still about George Bush and everything he stood for. Yeah, that's right -- what he stood for.

Remember that last bit when you're reading this.


A President of the United States has to be all things to all people, including to the Dalai Lama.

But it helps if he's 100% American and doesn't get dressed up as the Dalai Lama.

When you put on a cowboy hat, make sure you look like you belong in it.

And not like a Blazing Saddles extra.

If you look like you know a gutter ball from a bocce ball, knock down those pins!

If you can only shoot a pantywaist 37, for chrissakes DON'T.

If you want to greet your wife with big ole sloppy kiss, do us all a favour and get a room.

But not a locker room.

If you do, however, want to be the nation's QB, mug to the camera like this.

Not like this.

P.S.: Also make sure your missus doesn't look better flinging pigskin around than you do.

If you want to be photographed chatting on the phone, throw on an Al Bundy shirt, and get one of those old-fashioned black phones you only see in ratty Motel 8's.

Not like a Ralph Lauren model with your silver Razr.

Know which team you support, and stick to 'em.

'Cause a real White Sox fan...

...wouldn't be caught dead wearing a Cubbies baseball cap.

An US President knows sometimes he has to take one for the team.

And not let his surrogates look stupid for him.

If you look like you don't know how to put on a geeky bike helmet, unlike this guy:

Do NOT get on that bike after being planted in a low-income black neighbourhood by your aides, even though you don't (a) usually bike, since your tire is flat (b) especially in that neighbourhood. You'll totally look like President Urkel or in Wonkette's words: a douchebag.

Instead of the guy who kept up with Lance Armstrong.

And loves to get mud all over himself.

Above all, stick to your strengths. You look awesome when you do.

If you know you're out of your element, show it. Americans will understand.

...because they'll never forgive those who pretend to be something they're not.

Domestic and foreign policy. Decisive mindset. Ideological conviction.

These are the real metres of a presidential candidate, not whether the guy can bowl. Come on Vic! I can hear people saying.

You're right. Absolutely.

And though I just admitted you're right, I have to say, an US Presidential campaign is the severest testing ground for any politician anywhere in this world.

Don't fault the process, if a guy is shown being a great big phoney. Blame him for condenscending to the American public, hoping he can pull a fast one on them.

We call BS every four years in November.

IN THE COMMENTS: Ron makes an important correction! That's a Cleveland Indians baseball cap Obama is shown wearing on CNN.

Gee, he sure does like a whole mess of teams, doesn't he?

(Yes, I know, it's just politics)

ADDED: Reader Chad corrects the correction! It's Da Bearsss hat.

Former JAG officer, Ruth Anne, contributes two important bits of information:

President Bush, in his second term in office, indeed his last year, has been acting up of late.

And McCain Blogette, Senator McCain's daughter's blog, has a lot of photos of her father relaxing in mufti. I had visited a few times, but unlike Ruth Anne, wasn't a regular fan.

Scrolling through several month's worth of Meghan McCain's candid shots just put her family in perspective for me, though. What a treasure trove of visuals it is, and so very down-to-earth!

I hope Meghan won't mind, but here are some of my favourites.

Cindy McCain, daughter and friend horsing around.

The Senator with some soon-to-be-'Qued poultry.

Mmmm. Ribs. Note the young Beta Male hovering on the side.

Oh, and speaking of young males, this is Midshipman Jack McCain. Hotcha mama!

Put him on the campaign trail, and he'll be responsible for a few hundred thousand votes all by himself.

Veddy In-te-res-ting...

That's more like it.

UGH. I cannot BELIEVE I missed this McCain sighting at one of my regular haunts, Cafe Versailles in Little Havana. Ruth Anne has to do a better job of keeping me informed!

...and finally, just thought I'd throw this out there.

This is Meghan McCain's shot of Governor Bobby Jindal's (R-LA) penny loafers. By the way, she has a thing about shoes (I have a thing about her LV handbags).

Since Governor Jindal is now universally believed to be the future of the Republican Party, and that's actually a brand new shiny penny in each of the loafers, just gotta say this to the young Governor:

You want to look like the Alpha Male handling the tongs, sir, even if you're a veggie.

But don't worry. You got time to rework the geek look.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.