Sunday, November 02, 2008

Northern Obama.

From Douglas Bell yesterday. The comments below his post are of particular interest as they seem to disagree with :
1. The Ignatieff comparison to Obama, and
2. His ability to be re-breanded into an "I-feel-your-pain" style candidate.
IMHO, Don Guy best re-watch the now famous Harper "Sweater Ads" and be reminded that a Merino wool vest and a smarmy smile does not a connection to the "average Canadian" make. These ads failed. The make-over failed. The attempt to re-brand here was transparent and frankly, painful to watch. Here, Harper's image was imbued with the sincerity of an undertaker and Canadians saw right through it.

So it does beg the question: Can you re-brand and wash away a lack of sincerity? Can someone step in and help weave together a candidates connection to the average man? Or is it in fact the real and genuine essence of Obama that our friends to the south have connected with and is it that essence that distinguishes his candidacy from the branded "Maverick" that John McCain tried to become?

Finally, is that what the Liberals are looking for in a new leader? Are they looking for someone who needs to be re-branded from the start? Someone who needs to part his hair on the other side, guard his tone when speaking to single moms, and offer a half smile when asked about foreign affairs as if to suggest a quiet confidence?

If we are going to strive for a Northern Obama, then is it not best that we seek the genuine article among us?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Even his worst detractors would admit that Iggy is the closest thing we have to Obama. In many ways in fact (and all Liberals would agree) he has superior talent.

Mark said...

Anonymous said: "Even his worst detractors would admit that Iggy is the closest thing we have to Obama"

More of a sad statement than an endorsement. I'd also say that Layton is more Obama-like than Iggy, and even tried to imitate Obama, yet the NDP still only ended up with 37 seats.

The Cons tried to build a cult of personality around Harper, and only got more seats because the Liberal campaign failed so miserably.

The cult of personality thing works in the US, because politics in the US has become so degraded, that cult of personality is all that's left. Canadian politics haven't sunk that low, yet. (Although the Cons are working on it.)

Yes, it would have been nice to have had a more charismatic leader, but until we fix the other problems the Liberal party faces, having a charismatic leader still wouldn't do us any good.

Anonymous said...

Obama just turned 47. Ignatieff will be 62 in May.
I'm just saying...

Anonymous said...

Ignatieff is actually a very dull and boring speaker (remember how NO ONE was cheering along with his convention speech except his own supporters). And Obama's appeal is at least partly that he represents someone that came from modest means who made it to the top.

Ignatieff will be branded as an elitist out of touch professor who stepped on everyone to get ahead in a way Obama NEVER could be. Anon 8:28 is working for the Iggy campaign is full of it. Iggy would lead to the NDP becoming the official opposition.

Manchild said...

Some of the things I've heard Obama say are indeed similar to what Jack Layton has been saying. Ignatief is a far cry from this.

Anonymous said...

This is why I sometimes think too many Canadians are irretrievably stupid. When did we Canadians all of sudden require an Obama?

Importing these ridiculous American narratives all the time is precisely why this country has gone down the tubes lately.

Anonymous said...

Iggy like Obama?

Laughable and absurd.

whopitulia said...

If "all Liberals would agree" as stated by Anonymous Iggy Supporter #1, we wouldn't be in the fix we're in over the Leadership.

RuralSandi said...

Oh cut with the age thing - look how old Reagan was.

I think that age/health should be the factor. If someone is 60 and in great health - no problem.

Don't know for sure but a political guy who rides the VIA train with my husband said that Obama and Ignatieff are actually good friends.

KC said...

Not an apt comparison whatsoever.

Arnone and Co. said...

Hey don't shoot the messenger - feel free to vent on Douglas Bell!

We are just putting it out there. We'll let you decide.

The point of the post is to open the dialogue on the "re-branding" question and we - like most of you - agree that the concept is disingenuous.

Particularly so, when framed against the Harper ads and when a forced Obama-ization is intended.

One thing for sure though, it feels good to be back!
Tobias