Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Michelle Obama/Sarah Palin: Cool/Hot

Last night's debate showed a contrast between two men of different generations, speaking styles and body language. Tonight the TV screens offered disparity of another gender, between Michelle Obama with Larry King and Jon Stewart, and Sarah Palin out on the stump with John McCain.

Comparing these 21st century women calls up the distinction Marshall McLuhan made in the early days of TV between cool and hot personalities, citing the differences between JFK and Nixon.

Palin's hotness is not erotic but, in McLuhanese, an aggressive style that works on the listener to get a pre-determined reaction that leaves no room for ambivalence or ambiguity, eliciting primal responses such as "Kill him" to her attacks on Barack Obama.

Little wonder that conservative David Brooks calls her "a cancer on the Republican Party" out of a populist tradition with prejudices that "scorn ideas entirely."

Michelle Obama, on the other hand, is the essence of cool, shrugging off McCain's calling her husband "that one" as part of the political game and just smiling when Jon Stewart tried to get a rise out of her about Palin.

Cool media and personalities, McLuhan asserted, are inclusive, inviting watchers into their world instead of manipulating them to their own purposes. If the Obamas get to the White House, they could turn out to be the coolest couple since JFK and Jackie.


Anonymous said...

And it was very nice of clownish Joe Biden to say that McCAIN WAS STUMBLE ALL OVER THE HALL. Sure since the likes of Obama, Biden et al all their history consists on running their unproductive mouths mr.John McCain as a result of the wounds inflicted on his by his captors can hardly move with a broken leg and a stiff arm.
As Bill Clinton stated: McCain is a Great Man !!!
HONOR: President Clinton
VOTE: John McCain

Anonymous said...

John McCain's "war wounds" is that the only honor you can speak about when it comes to John McCain? Is that enough to get him elected..... What about the honor or lack there of it when he served in the Senate for 26 years? What have he accomplished in his 26 years in the senate that he deserves to be elected?? Absolutely nothing! He is part of the reason that this economy is falling, he has been a cheerleader for 26 years for our current president- Obama has done more for change is his so called "limited time in the Senate" than McCain in 26 years---

HONOR- our future
Vote- Barack Obama

Anonymous said...

The very kind of personality we need in the White House is that of the Obamas and Bidens. They both do not over react in situations that demand thoughtful solutions. In contrast McCain/Palin have personalities that "Pull the trigger, ask questions later" reactions. This leads to situations such as the Iraq war which could have been handled much much differently without the tragedy of human losses and financial calamity. Palin actually said we may have to attack Russia in reaction to Georgia type situations. Leadership demands "COOLNESS", taking into account the value of human life and financial importance. Also the basic philosophy of Republicans is to feed the rich and let the poor fend for themselves. Democrats have been traditionally the opposite, creating policy that benefits the middle and lower class while at the same time create policy so as not to allow the wealthy to squander property and monies that need to circulate in the system in sustainable services that all citizens need for survival. The basic responsiblity of government is to protect its citizens not only from foreign aggression but also from internal aggression between different classes of citizens.
VOTE: Obama/Biden '08

Anonymous said...

Does any one realize that 911, Iraq, economic crisis, Enron all happen UNDER the watch of the Repblican party? I sure would not want that soldier watching over my camp.

Anonymous said...

No Contry for Old Men. Obama/Biden in '08