Friday, June 15, 2007

Overtly Sexual 'Amateur" Obama Ad

Have you seen the new "Obama girl" video featuring a very attractive, buxom young woman singing how she has a "crush on Obama"? And that he can "Barack her tonight"? The New York Times has a piece on it today, and here is a link to the video. The popular video raises a few interesting questions:

First, which audience are the makers of the video trying to attract? African-American males? I doubt it--since they are not as likely as other groups to vote. The makers of the video must be after a female audience, after all, we women are trained to watch images of the female body as if were the object, in that we identify with this beautiful woman who is enraptured with Obama, even though this video makes a sex object out of her, focusing on her cleavage and breasts straining through her varying Obama t-shirts. The idea is, if this woman loves Obama, then so should we--he is an object of lust and attraction for her, so he should be for us, the female viewer of this video.

And we, women, are the voters that candidates are indeed fighting over, especially with the first female candidate running for President. Here's Dick Morris on the subject of women voters (from, Nov. 29, 2006):

"Indeed, so powerful is the female vote that it is credited with swinging two of our last three presidential elections. In 1996, it was the soccer moms who turned away from the abstract “family values” of the Republicans to embrace the more pragmatic and specific child- and education-focused programs of the Clinton administration. In 2004, these same moms, now designated “security moms,” turned away from the bite-sized measures of the Democrats and voted for the tough anti-terrorist policies of George Bush.

Nineteen million single women voted in 2000 and 27 million came out in 2004. If a woman runs for president, it stands to reason that such turnout will rise still further. If single women vote in proportion to their share of the national population, they could account for 32 million votes in 2008. Since women who are either divorced, widowed, or never married voted Democratic by a two-to-one margin in 2004 and 2006, it is likely that this influx of single women will be crucial to Hillary’s candidacy. . . "

That's why Obama supporters made this video.

(Though I wonder if Morris is inflating the influence of women voters, or at least how likely women voters are to support Hillary Clinton, in light of his anti-Hillary stance. Indeed, I remember a study showing how if people think a piece of writing was written by a man they are more likely to think it is worthy then if they think it was written by a woman; I tested this theory in college, giving myself a male pseudonym (in a contest where one of the rules was that we needed to select a pseudonym) and won a prize. In other words, women aren't so supportive of other women.)

Second, is the Obama video making a reference to the infamous Republican commercial inciting instinctual racist fears against Harold Ford, Jr.? In the Republican National Committee commercial against Harold Ford, Jr. in his Senate campaign, in which a ditzy blonde, not terribly sexual looking, not as attractive and sensual as the Obama Girl, says she met Ford at the Playboy party and at the end, says, "Harold, call me." The ad ends with "Harold Ford Jr., He's Just Not Right." The ad was suggestively racist, choosing a white blonde woman to say she met the African-American Ford, Jr at the party, the Republican National Committee was trying to arouse miscegnation fears. The Obama girl says, "Hey B., it's me, I was just watching you on CSpan, call me..." But it's not quite clear what race she is, she is some beautiful mixture, just like Obama--and she really seems to be enjoying herself, she's not a male object, not a ditz, a Gennifer Flowers, she's the perfect "Obama Girl" that even a soccer mom could identify with.

Third, why is there no 'amateur' video floating around on the Internet that's pro-Hillary? An Obama lover made the high-quality futuristic video satirizing the Apple 1984 computer ad portraying Hillary as some demonic dictator and her listeners as drones (it ends with the apple symbol converted into an "O"). Is there an amateur pro-Hillary video out there? If not, why not??

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