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Jan 26, 2008

Putting The Peddle To The Mettle


Last week, Clinton advisers believed Mr. Clinton was rattling Mr. Obama and drawing his focus away from his message. The results on Saturday indicated, instead, that voters were impressed with Mr. Obama’s mettle and agreed with him that the Clintons ran an excessively negative campaign here.

-- From NYT 1/26/07 News Analysis: "Obama Weathers A Test Of Mettle."

With Zogby warning the race was tightening, and the media convinced Bubba had gotten into Barack's head, this proved a quintessential photo in the South Carolina media narrative.  (It appeared in Friday's NYT "On The Trail" slideshow.)

What I was specifically wondering, however, is what the caption might have looked like if those Clinton advisors had dictated that too:

Clearly, the campaign was distracted and agitated, the mood as cold and hard as that manilla block wall at Kingstree Senior High School.  Axelrod kept repeating that they couldn't lose, but nobody was listening.  Gibbs, the communications director, just kept his head down, playing with his Blackberry. Obama, of course, was the picture of disgust.  He kept looking off in the distance, as if enduring Clinton spouting off again.  His focus clearly drawn away from his message, Obama grumbled:  "These notes...  Why, they're not worth the paper their written on!"

Surely, that's how it went down.

Next episode: Tired of "change" and "hope," Super Tuesday voters clamor for "mettle."

Obama Weathers a Test of Mettle (NYT)
On The Trail Slideshow (1/24/08 - NYT)

(image: Damon Winter/The New York Times.  Kingstree, South Carolina.  January 24, 2008.


The beige, the brown, the black; the off brown. I have a sneakin’ feeling that that the drive of this Presidential campaign is gonna revolve, not around policy. But footwear!

Except for the insousiance of Obama's leg, he might be in a sheriff's office explaining why his car registration is out of date.

Pictures are one thing, and as the BAG so often points out, captions another.

Funny, isn't it? That the guy from Chicago is so courteous, vs. the gal from Arkansas, who is so rude. Folks from Down South don't particularly like rude folks from anywhere. Thus, Obama wins and Clinton loses. This is a taste of what's to come for her across the South, where men turn red in the face at the mere mention of her name, and women purse their lips and say, "I'd like to vote for a woman to be president, but not Hillary Clinton."

ref : “voters... impressed with Mr. Obama’s mettle and agreed with him that the Clintons ran an excessively negative campaign

Perhaps the single most elegant way to defeat ‘Hillary’ is to refer to her in the greater plural: “the Clintons.

For from this branding the entire meme of CHANGE = OLD : NEW, or past -v- future, etc., is derived as self-evident. Indeed,‘woman’ = Mrs. Clinton's gender identity appeal is instantly uncertain, perhaps reduced by one-half ~ as ‘she’ becomes a neutered ‘them’.

otoh, when Mr. Obama is pluralized, or neutered; ie., when Obama = he becomes ‘Obama!’ = them, the movement, it works to his advantage: Obama ceases to be defined as brand ‘a black man’, with all that that evokes; while Obama! becomes -ism, ‘a blend of many’... the whole of ‘him! -ism’ being greater than the simple sum of ‘them’.

further, imho if either the netroots progressives or Obama! populist movement apparent is successful in ramming this language = image into the MSM echo chamber, we may be able to overcome the stacked deck; e.g., “superdelegates: a politburo structure in all but name ~ from which the Democratic Party incumbent powerbase deals The Candidates.

Cool. Classic mixed metaphore. Was that your intention?

"Pedal to the metal" is a reference to getting it done - meaning hit the gas.

"Testing one's mettle" refers to testing one's committment to an issue or ideaology and their tenacity.

"Pedal to the Mettle"? Doesn't make sense.

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