Friday, January 16, 2009

Obama Infomercial

Obama's Infomercial

Obama's Infomercial just aired and I could not tear myself away, but let's face it, I drank the Kool-Aid long long ago! Now I'm not really an infomercial type of girl, the last one I enjoyed was for Mirta de Perales' champu de placenta y crema de colageno back in the day, the beauty guru of Puerto Rico and Latin America showcased her Chicas Mirta, who with their hair tosses showed off their "good hair" - straight, glossy and manageable.

Obama's infomercial was a good piece of propaganda. To begin with, he looked "presidential," he had the iconic "American" images - wheat fields and the like. Rather than doing a collage of clips from his speeches where he made references to "everyday Americans" to prove a point in a folksy manner, he cut in mini-stories featuring average working Americans. These were similar to a reality TV show, showing you their "unedited" daily life as you hear a voice over about an issue they are confronting. The families were chosen strategically to reflect issues facing those in swing states, and general themes of the campaign: keeping jobs at home, sustainability and green efforts, access to education and healthcare, retirees' security, and the like. The "closure" however, does not happen in a "confessional" or in a studio after the fact in the requisite reunion show. Rather, it is delivered to us by Obama, who tells us what he will do to solve the American families' problems.

There are also the requisite "talking-head testimonials" that you would expect of an abs-ercizer infomercial at 3AM. But the testifying heads don't have the telling "paid endorsement" as Erik Estrada might when urging you to buy land in TN, no FL, no AK, they are Senators and Governors of swing states. Nice.

There are also spliced in videos of interviews and "behind the scenes" - Barack un-plugged as it were - of him, Michelle and the girls. Those looked like a slick sitcom, the panning across the family in their home, the pulling out, soft-golden-lit, as they burst out in laughter at a joke you are not in on, but that fills you with reassurance. The nuclear family! To those of us who have sat, riveted, throughout the campaign, we recognize the iconic moments from his campaign and his self-created aura including the big Democratic Convention speech in Boston.

In a moment of genius, the infomercial ends with a dramatic cut-away to a LIVE campaign rally in Florida, where you see an enraptured crowd, lots of flags, the brilliant Obama brand logo everywhere, constantly morphing....HOPE, CHANGE, PROGRESS, and now VOTE. And Obama goes for the drama, in six six six days. Call, volunteer, vote. This is not about me, it's about you. Thank you. I was tearing up. And this is the message he is giving to those of us who volunteer through his precinct leaders (I was part of a conference call to prep me for get out the vote in a swing state, I told you I drank the Kool Aid!), don't become complacent, don't assume we'll win, work hard, this is not about me, it's about you.

Six days, I don't know if I will survive the stress, I want to wake up from this nightmare of anxiety on November 5 and know that we won once and for all!

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