Saturday, June 16, 2007

What Do You Make of This Video by Obama Girl?

Okay, we are pretty sure that there are not making this kind of video about McCain, Guiliani, Romney, or for that matter, any of the other Republicans. This video clip has already been seen on You Tube over 800,000 times. The question becomes, according to this blogger on Huffington Post, what white American males are going to make of this video. Will it help Obama by making him appear hip to younger voters, or will it frighten white Americans, especially white American males, with its obvious reference to Obama's sexuality?

The Huffington Post blogger is afraid that this video clip will do to Obama what the infamous video clip of the white woman telling Harold Ford to call her did in the Tennessee 2006 campaign for U.S. Senate. Of course, one problem with that ad was that Ford didn't address the obvious racist appeal of that ad head-on. What he should have done is cut an ad that said somthing like,"Have you seen that ad with the woman telling me to call her? Well, here's the thing. I don't know that woman and never met her. Now, why is she lying about me? Because the people who made that ad think all white voters are ignorant racists." He didn't and he lost by about 3%.

See, here's the thing. That kind of ad is always going to work with a genuinely racist voter, who isn't going to vote for a black candidate anyway. What you want to do if you are the black candidate being attacked is make white voters who aren't racists mad at the people who made the ad, and, by extension, at the candidate benefiting from the ad.

When Republicans appeal to fear and play culture war politics, the only answer is to call them on it. Think about the swift-boat ads against John Kerry. Think what would have happened if Kerry had cut an ad along the lines of "Let me get this straight: George W. Bush used political connections to avoid serving in Vietnam. I volunteered and now my service record is being attacked by Republicans? Does this make any sense to you? Why are Republicans talking about my military service? Because they can't talk about their own."

Instead John Kerry ignored the ad, put no counter-theme out there and lost the election. We don't think that Democrats should necessarily be the first to go negative in political advertising. What we do believe is that when Republicans hit Democrats, Democrats need to hit back hard and fast.

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