Saturday, November 01, 2008

McCain, Obama: The Authenticity Gap

What's left of the real Barack Obama and John McCain after all this nonstop being seen and heard? If Obama wins the prize Tuesday, it may be, behind all the political jabber, a victory in the media war of attrition not to lose his authentic self.

After eight years of having a beer with a nobody-there George W. Bush, voters gave the nominations to candidates who appeared to be most themselves--Obama over the seen-as-calculating Hillary Clinton, McCain over an empty suit known as Mitt Romney.

If McCain goes down, it will be due mainly to his mystifying decision to keep being the semi-fictitious figure required to appease the Far Right in the primaries and not reverting to the straight talker who won over so many media people and independent voters in 2000.

John F. Kennedy summed up the problem in 1960 saying he sometimes felt sorry for Richard Nixon: “It must be hard getting up every morning trying to decide who you’re going to be that day.”

In these past months, there have been too many McCains, with only rare glimpses of the real one, who has fittingly enough surrounded himself with fictitious figures like Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber.

Obama's most crucial campaign decision was to try to hold on, as much as possible, to his authentic self--a problem he recognized early in the process, telling Tim Russert with a worried smile that his wife and friends thought he was still there behind all the hype and admitting on 60 Minutes that the “attempt to airbrush your exhausting.”

That he has made it seem effortless is an important part of his achievement, but if wins, it won't get any easier, as foreshadowed by his irritation with photographers last evening as he took his daughter out for Halloween.

In the White House, it will be four years of trick-or-treat, to say nothing of hide-and-seek with the media trying to find the "real" Barack Obama.


Unknown said...

Makes me think,
Sat in a Church for 20 years but didn’t know Wright was a racist, Did business with Ayers for 15 years but didn’t know he was a terrioist. Bought property from Resko but didn’t know he was shady. Didn’t know Dr. Khalid Abdullah was anti Semite. Didn’n know Auntie Zeituni is here illegally (living in Public Housing and contributing to his campaign illegally). Sent a Director from his campaign to a meeting with Islamic Terriost but didn’t know. Seems to me he doesn’t know some very important things….or did he and is not being honest! Obama is a dangerous man!

1. Occidental College records –Not released
2. Columbia College records – Not released
3. Columbia Thesis Paper – “not available”
4. Harvard College records – Not released
5. Selective Service Registration – Not released
6. Medical records – Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule – “not available”
8. Law practice client list – Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate – Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth – Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published – None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles – None
13. Your Record of baptism – Not released or “not available”
14. Your Illinois State Senate records– “not available”

Anonymous said...

Wow, you can copy and paste,Impressive. His medical records were released in May of this year. As for this college records, there is absolutely no reason we need to see these. The institutions involved were aware of his records when they granted his degrees and honors. You only claim we need to see them because you're on a witch hunt.

Where are Palin and McCain's college records? Have they been released?
where are McCain and Palins medical records?

Anonymous said...

Howard, at least change the wording on that list or make up some new "facts". It's getting boring reading it on every blog. While you're at it, let us know what you find out about Palin's medical records, which apparently reveal that the infant with Down Syndrome that she's been dragging all over the country is her daughter's and not hers. Or how about John McCain's military records, which are no where to be seen? Could it be because they would reveal that his poor pilot judgment played a role in several crashes of military aircraft? All's fair, Howard.

Anonymous said...

This will tell us all about Obama and the ones that follow him!

Chris Orr said...

13. Your Record of baptism – Not released or “not available”

this is funny because god certainly is not real. Baptism is only different from your morning shower in the fact that one is a complete waste of time and one isn't.