Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
Barack Obama’s biggest challenge as a candidate has been convincing people not to fear him, fear his difference, his skin color, his name. Luckily, it is a task to which he has proven himself well suited.
Obama’s calm demeanor has been his biggest selling point through the ups and downs of the past few months, and his 30-minute infomercial ad was the icing on that cake.
He spent the entire time pitching his plans, not deriding his competitor, but the real point of the ad was to portray the candidate one last time as a person that people can trust, that they can be comfortable with, that they can vote for.
His faux Oval Office décor will no doubt have the McCain campaign yowling that he’s jumping the gun, but Obama pulled together an impressive range of endorsements, including a retired Brigadier General, and wove his own personal story in with stories of several American families, black and white, from around the country.
McCain’s response ad claims yet again that Obama is not ready to be president, implies that he’s just a celebrity, but it cannot be denied that there is something about Obama’s presence and quiet confidence that is calming. It has been harder and harder for voters who actually watch the debates and his speeches to picture him as a terrorist, an angry black man, or a communist out to steal their wealth.
As propaganda, Obama’s closing commercial was the opposite of what you’d expect. Instead of whipping a crowd into a frenzy a la Palin rallies, he soothed Americans with references from a range of similarly popular, uncontroversial authorities.
At the end of the video, Obama appeared live from a rally in Florida, making his usual closing pitch to Americans to come out and participate. It is this quality about Obama more than anything else that has truly inspired. He has asked people to come help him and take back their country, and they have responded.
Like another famous Democratic president once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”