Cultists Of No Personality

By Zandar
Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:39 EDT
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Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove and his merry band of propagandists at Crossroads are going after our “celebrity” President again, just like the GOP did in 2008.  Nothing new under the sun, except for the $300 million in Obama-bashing they plan to do in the next six months.

A new ad released Thursday by the conservative super-PAC American Crossroads seeks to use President Obama’s “cool” status against him, appealing to the youth vote by asking how America’s “biggest celebrity” has helped them find jobs.

The ad evokes an anti-Obama ad released by the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that hit Obama, then the Democratic nominee, for being “the biggest celebrity in the world” but not ready for leadership. It was one of the most memorable campaign ads in the election cycle.

“Four years ago, America elected the biggest celebrity in the world and America got one cool president,” the text of the Crossroads ad begins. The ad features clips of Obama dancing on the Ellen DeGeneres show, “slow-jamming” the news on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show, singing at a fundraiser and drinking beer.

The text continues: “After four years of a celebrity president, is your life any better?”

Actually, yes.  But thanks for asking, guys.

In all seriousness though, let’s not pretend we don’t know what the “celebrity” angle means in a country where most exposure of African-American males in pop culture comes from music, sports, and mug shots.   Obama’s an “entertainer” not a president, and that little trope is loaded with all sorts of HE’S BLACKITY BLACK BLACK connotations.  He’s nothing more than a song and dance man, you see, completely dismissing his intelligence, his accomplishments, and his ability to repeatedly get the better of the GOP politically.  Selling him as a Dubya-esque lightweight, the “empty suit, not that bright” charge, has been leveled relentlessly by the Bell Curve crowd on both sides of the political aisle for going on four years now.  Didn’t work for McCain, did it?

Besides, when your own candidate is a bland dufus with the overwhelming charisma of a half-eaten and stale watercress sandwich, attacking the other guy for being too likeable is the only option you really have, now isn’t it?

Going after the President’s “cult of personality” was a key component of the attacks in 2007 and 2008.  No surprise that they’re trying it again here in 2012, but we kind of have empirical evidence that they don’t work, you know.  Still, expect to see more of this for the next six months relentlessly.

Zandar is ABLC's Cincinnati-area correspondent, covering Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana politics and all the nearly endless unintentional comedy the Tri-State area brings. He's proprietor of Zandar vs. The Stupid, where he's been blogging since 2008, and you can also find him at Balloon Juice and The Reaction as a contributor, or you can yell at him on Twitter at @ZandarVTS.
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