The Worlds Gone Obarmy…

November 12, 2008

The unprecedented number of young American votes is a feat of which Obama and his team should be rightly proud.

The numbers speak for themselves in that they indicate the extent to which Obama understands the America he has newly inherited…this man knows how to get things done.

And both Barack and Michelle Obama understand how important image is.

Michelle Obama making a speech

Michelle Obama making a speech

In an interview with British Vogue, Michelle Obama talks about the beautiful but classic image she has developed for herself, a look that comes across as no-nonsense but feminine – and a look that many high-powered women find difficult to master.

The President-Elect is an attractive man who always looks impeccable. He is certainly in tune with the young of America, even being spotted in the occasional basketball cap. He also famously intends to install basketball hoops at the Whitehouse080828_obamagym22

writing for The American Prospect, explains how American elections can often be a popularity contest. When working at a bar in Washington during my gap year I overheard a worrying remark that sent shivers down my spine, but has enabled me to understand the psyche governing some peoples attitudes towards voting in the States.

A perfectly normal looking man stated he would vote Bush because “the guy looked like he would be a good fishing buddy”… I have no words.

In part to combat middle Americas instinctive leaning towards republicans for reasons as stupid as this, online social networking has been used furiously by Mr Obama and his team. But as Jose Antonio Vargas of the Washington Post points out, blogging does not make communities but grows around communities that are already there. Obama understood this, which helped him to infiltrate diverse pockets of voters.

The quote on the OBAMABIDEN blog is telling in its insight.

‘I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington…I’m asking you to believe in yours’

What this election hammered home is individual people really do have a voice. But although Mr Obama won the presidency for a number of very good reasons it is unlikely that he would have had the same lead if McCain’s lot had been more web savvy.

The media hype surrounding Obama has been almost sycophantic, but in using the Internet, Obama has exposed himself to criticism too.

Understanding that has enabled him to connect with his countrymen, in a way never seen before. Obama effectively brought politics into the modern era, accepting society today is more interactive, something we as journalists certainly have to adapt to. It has taken the Internet to bridge the gap between politics and its perceived relevance to people’s day-to-day lives.

The media hype surrounding Obama sets standards for the Democrats, which they will find difficult to live up to. And now his campaign has finished I will be interested to see what happens to his Web presence.

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