Category Archives: world tour

>REACT: Obama’s tour de farce.

>Was the Barack Obama world tour as successful as his media boosters claim? And … will it resonate and sustain with the voters?

Answering the last question first … probably not. By the time the election comes around there will be two major conventions and a lot of attention grabbing campaign issues and events. The only residual benefit appears to be raw footage for future television advertising – and how much will be aired on this theme is questionable, since most pros think the economic issues will be driving the election.

As far as success, the bar of achievement for this foray was set very low. Since this was purely a public relations tour, without any substantive issues to be addressed and resolved in the various meetings, it was a fail safe gimmick. If you look at the tour, it was nothing but a series of photo-op meetings.

They say there were no major gaffes. How in heaven’s name can a reasonably intelligent (and Obama exceeds that standard) person screw up a social call. His carefully crafted remarks were well delivered.

Some of the John McCain-ites nitpicked a few things – such as Obama’s failure to meet with wounded troops in Germany – but they miss the big picture. The fairer and more substantial criticism of his tour was the superficiality of it all – and the ruse that it was NOT a political junket. (You should remember that he claims he was only part of a Senate delegation [wink wink] that included another Democrat senator and, in the interest of bipartisanship [wink again], included Republican apostolate Chuck Hagel – who is on Obama’s short VP list.)

The “success” of Obama’s tour was a forgone and inevitable conclusion. As long as he did not pee on the Wailing Wall, Obama was assured the acclamation of the predisposed media.

There are two sides of a candidate – actor and policy wonk. So far, Obama has proven himself to be the consummate actor. He has stage presence. Charisma. He delivers his lines perfectly on cue. What is lacking is the policy wonk. To resurrect an old advertising slogan, “Where’s the beef?”

His so-called “plans” for education, healthcare, Middle East wars, gas prices, etc. are vague approaches lacking the specificity by which they can be judged objectively. If his cavalier tendency to promise expensive solutions to every problem were implemented, it would add trillions to the already beleaguered budget. He is, by all measure, a “promising candidate” – promising just about everything to everybody.

After months and months of a highly contested primaries, and a short one-on-one run with McCain, Obama has been able to sustain almost solely on notoriety, uniqueness and personal charm. His world tour is only the latest and grandest example of the “elect me because I am … ME” strategy.