Thursday, April 26, 2012


I'm not surprised that the anti-Obama forces are going after the president's appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show, but I expected them to play to their electoral strength by targeting their pushback at older voters who still probably aren't comfortable with these crazy kids doing their jungle dancing to that awful Negro music. But that's not how this American Crossroads ad is pitched:

After a bunch of Cool President clips, the ad, halfway in, switches to statistics about the economic plight of young people. I don't think it's a bad strategy for Republicans to try to remind the young that their economy sucks, but this ad is trying to link that to the president being cool. It's trying to get young people to resent the president's coolness.

Can that really work? If you find the clips in the first half of the ad cool and entertaining, can you really absorb the message "No! Don't listen to the part of your brain that responds to coolness! Coolness is not good! Coolness is bad! Bad! Romney is boring! Boring is good!"?

It's as if one of the least cool men in America, Karl Rove, wants you to share his envy of the president's coolness.

This might work if Obama's coolness didn't have a disarming touch of self-effacement. But the way it is, it just comes off "Screw that cool, interesting, entertaining guy."


Laszlo said...

Yeah, the ad doesn't work all that well. Honestly it just reminded me of how great I felt about him four years ago. Then I see the message – "1 in 2 recent college grads are jobless or underemployed" – and I get angry at Republican obstructionism.

I don't know how representative I am, but either way I don't think the ad is going to change anyone's mind. It'll just reinforce the viewer's existing inclinations, whether one generally likes Obama or resents him.

Greg said...

I love how Republicans repeatedly get in their own political way, with their deep hangups. How Nixonian -- and quite possibly, if we are still in "Nixonland," a feature, not a bug.