October 30, 2008

The Tattlesnake – Obama Infomercial Seals the Deal Edition

While the Tattler doesn’t usually like the kind of wan-music-in-the-background soft emotional porn of the ‘Oprah-ized’ infomercial, Obama’s half-hour spot Wednesday night avoided most of the worst aggravations of this TV cliché, especially the forlorn solo piano music sound track with flourishes of swelling strings redolent of tacky video matchmaking and cancer treatment center ads.

It featured battleground-state stereotypes – a laid-off white male Ford Motors worker, a Latina woman trying to make ends meet, an elderly black couple hampered by chronic illness and worried about the future, et al — struggling with life in Bush’s downsized economy, but at least the people were real and their stories didn’t sink into cheesy Lifetime-channel melodrama; Obama’s interspersions in office surroundings reminiscent of Camp David were obviously intended to make the Low-and-Slow-Information-Voters of Middle America, awaiting the ballgame, feel comfortable with him as president, which was the main point of this smart $4 million investment.

Obama laid out his economic plans clearly, appeared mature and confident, and didn’t, as I recall, mention Sen. McMoribund or the Ice Princess even once. Contrast this with tone-deaf McCain’s free hour on Larry King following Obama’s spot – in a country thirsting for unity and a different direction, he mostly griped about Obama and reprised the half-baked GOP themes of the past four election cycles, although he finally admitted he really didn’t believe his Democratic opponent was a socialist, negating all of the frantic rhetoric emanating from his campaign to the contrary. (Incidentally, if you know anyone who supports McCain, ask them exactly what he plans to do about the economy that is fundamentally any different from what Bush has done.)

Bill McInturff, McCain’s lead pollster, claims he has internal numbers that contradict the national polls showing Obama way ahead – he proclaimed that McCain was “functionally tied” with Obama (whatever that means), but didn’t comment on why, if that’s true, McCain has been forced to spend money defending states that have safely been in the Republican column for decades, including his home state of Arizona. (Perhaps McInturff has been consulting the same secret figures Karl Rove used in 2006 when he boasted to an NPR reporter that the Republicans would hold Congress – “You may end up with a different math, but you’re entitled to your math, I’m entitled to the math.” Two weeks later, the GOP was blown out by the Dems in the off-year election. Following the drubbing, it leaked that Rove’s fatuous optimism was merely a ‘job requirement’ and not based on any inside information – in other words, ‘the math’ was entirely in his head.)

McInturff’s private polls notwithstanding, and barring a monumental screw-up by Obama or Biden, or some sort of, at this point, impractical and impracticable mass voting treachery by the GOP, you can get used to saying ‘President Obama’ after next Tuesday.

Wednesday night’s well-produced infomercial sealed the deal.


  1. RSJ,
    Barry kept the usual smarminess down to a dull roar,probably being cynical but older voters seize on that old Fred Astaire,Ginger Rogers schtick.
    Come to think of it if they had spent some SFX
    money and digitally put Barry’s countenance
    on Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain clip,it might have jarred loose some votes from the chronically undecided Hoozier style Senior Citizens.
    Maybe one for the younger crowd with Obama versus McCain grafted into the original StarWars flick where Obama struggles to send a Nukkular missle down the vent of the Death Star as McCain strafes the tail of Obama’s x-wing and swears “I have You now!” only to spin off into space .
    Too late now,the production company put Me on the Do not receive calls list years ago;).

    Speaking,I saw this little story and got a tingle of warm patriotism and pride at the actions of these unfortunate red-state workers:

    These People reflect the America that I remember as a boy growing up in Tobacco Row Oklahoma.


    Comment by Rainlander — October 30, 2008 @ 7:57 am

  2. Yeah, Rain, back when Americans workers knew what side they were on and who was doing the screwing. That is a heartwarming tale of the kind of walk-out you don’t hear about much these days.

    I hope things are changing for the better and we’ll hear much more of this kind of thing going on. My theory is that the GOP will have a tough time cheating this election since, unlike Gore and Kerry, Obama’s challenging them in so many states that they’d need a vast number of techie tools to change the votes. That means more people to go to the media and turn them in, more indictments and lawsuits, and judges are more likely these days to clamp down on this nonsense than in the past. The question is: How many goofball Repubs are willing to risk jail to put McCain in office?

    Maybe we’ll get our country back after all, Constitution restored.

    Comment by RS Janes — October 30, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

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