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Jun 23, 2008

Barack Obama, Master Manipulator


I guess you can always be too effective an organizer.

Although he professes it won't do any good, Steve Kornacki of the NY Observer takes his turn propagating the emerging wingnut meme of Obama as master manipulator.  Echoing the Machiavelli description employed by the NYT's Michael Powell a couple weeks back, Kornacki also relays Friday's David Brooks formulation that Obama (mirroring Carter, and topping Bill Clinton in the cleverness department) "succeed(s) in politics by pretending to renounce politics."

For The BAG's purposes, the image deserves as much attention as the words.

The pic here is an elegant choice to marry to to the attack, featuring Obama in an askance look, unsmiling, his first finger pressed into his temple like he's not just tired or lost in thought but (smack up against that anchor text) slyly monitoring the unfolding of his plans like the mastermind he must be.

The point is, if the corporate media starts to latch on to this "Chicago boss" theme, you can expect a lot more photos, pulled out of context like this, to flesh out the picture.

The Calculations of Barack Obama (Kornacki - NY Observer)

(image: unattributed)


The right will continue adding to Obama's legend until the election and beyond. Much of it is plainly contradictory, like the notion that a Muslim sympathizer is overly reliant on a Christian preacher.

The sequel to Obama as babe-in-the-woods is Obama as conniving crook. We were once told that the inexperienced, lightweight Obama couldn't negotiate with world-class politicians; they'd eat his lunch. Now we're told that the Harvard lawyer who became a Chicago boss is too much of a criminal to be trusted.

Someone said that impeachment hearings will begin against President Obama the day after he takes office. That's to keep him from actually using the presidential powers left behind by the Bush administration. Imagine Obama with Unitary Executive authority - bug off, Congress. I'll do things my way.

If the trains run on time, the potholes are filled and the garbage is picked up, we should laud such masters.

The stripes from the flag in the background appear to radiate from his head, like thought waves emanating from his giant brain.

The anti-intellectual theme has worked for the Republicans in the past. I don't know if it will get as much traction this time around after everybody has seen the damage wrought by nearly 8 years with an anti-intellectual president.

Have they darkened Obama's face again? Compare it to the skin tone on his neck. Is it my imagination, or is it much darker?

"succeed(s) in politics by pretending to renounce politics"

Reagan, anyone?

Obama's hand gesture has one very visceral connotation: suicide.

Always interesting how Republicans don't want to have leaders who actually CAN think....

If he wants to become President, he'd *better* be a master manipulator.

This is a great post. Nice blog you have here too!

I don't mind this meme at all. Are they trying to psych him into *not* playing politics? Good luck!

And I think he cuts a dashing figure here.

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A "wingnut meme of Obama as master manipulator"? That's no wingnut meme, it's the truth.

This is a campaign that very tightly controls its message for the express purpose of managing/manipulating Obama's image. The campaign has always been about Obama's biography, not his accomplishments or any other qualifications.

Rep. Keith Ellison offered to help the Obama campaign reach out to Muslims:

He volunteered to speak on Obama's behalf at a mosque in Cedar Rapids, one of the nation's oldest Muslim enclaves. But before the rally could take place, aides to Obama asked Ellison to cancel the trip because it might stir controversy. Another aide appeared at Ellison's Washington office to explain.

"I will never forget the quote," Ellison said, leaning forward in his chair as he recalled the aide's words. "He said, 'We have a very tightly wrapped message.'"

Perhaps the good congressman was exaggerating?

Take campaign finance reform. Obama was all for it. It was even on his website as one of his ethics issues. But once he backtracked on his pledge to accept only public funds, it was conveniently erased.

How very Potemkin. Still want to stick with your story that it's only a "wingnut meme"?

Well, no matter how you slice it, he sure reformed the way campaigns raise money. He just didn't do it Feingold's way.

But then neither has McSame.

This was the period during which the "Obama is a muslim manchurian candidate" email smear was reaching a feverish pitch in Iowa. Hillary's campaign had to let go of 2 people caught forwarding them. Local papers in Iowa were getting a load of letters relaying the smear theme. I can understand Obama's reticence to have Ellison speak on his behalf at that time.

Manipulative? Hardly. Even with the finger pressed up against his temple that picture screams "bored and tired" to me. If anything, I'd say his weight leans into his finger (and by extension his arm) because he is completely uninterested and trying to support his head. Even his eyes are headed toward closed. I don't see lofty and crafty calculations...more of a "please stop talking so I can take a nap."

I think so too. Everyone needs to give him a break.

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