You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 6, 2009.

We all remember Winston’s job at the Ministry of Truth: changing the news of the past so they don’t contradict the slogans of the present.

When your President is a brand, the adjusting of the past has to be done on daily basis – and sometimes a big re-shuffle of a large slice of time. Such is the task of this Politico Ministery of Truth effort, mind numbingly titled

President Obama is morphing into old rival Hillary Clinton

Of course, everyone who paid attention to the primaries and what’s going on is doing a double take upon reading this. But the key into the intent of this article is the world “rival”. It’s an indication that, while this is some sort of  a negative piece, as usual, the lightning rod will be not Obama but Hillary

Two techniques are used to advance such a preposterous idea:

1. Remake the past

We all knew that whenever Hillary spoke of something it was evil and when Obama agreed with her – it was inspired. But now their differences are simply reversed

Obama never missed an opportunity on the campaign trail to remind Democrats that he was the sole candidate to oppose the war in 2002, and — unlike Clinton — he had a hard date for ending the war. Clinton repeatedly questioned the wisdom and sincerity of Obama’s pledge to remove all combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office

While we all knew that Obama used some mythical speech to claim anti-war credentials, we also know that Hillary did more than question his sincerity. Hillary had a plan – a one year plan. Not only was her date harder and earlier, it was supported by an entire plan.

Obama did not – and Samantha Power once rebuffed a reporter in UK “What’s wrong with devising the plans later”?

So, how did Obama morph into Clinton?

just weeks after entering office, Obama largely dropped his campaign plan. Rather than withdraw all combat troops on a set timeline, Obama opted for a conditions-based withdrawal that will leave as many as 50,000 troops in the war zone at the end of 2011 — exactly the sort of drawdown he maligned Clinton for proposing.

In other words, he dropped the plan he never had. As for leaving troops there – it was always the plan.

2.Lie about the present

On healthcare –  a bit of truth is allowed in

Health care is another example. While Obama was outflanking Clinton on the left on Iraq,(according to Obama media)

she made up for it by criticizing his health care plan as inadequate. Both candidates claimed to support universal health care, but only Clinton’s plan included a government mandate that would force all Americans to have health insurance.

And we have some rhetoric to posit the thesis that Obama wants now universal health care

Just as with Iraq, Obama is now moving toward Clinton’s position. His budget outline proposes a health care plan that “must put the United States on a clear path to cover all Americans.”

Since I heard the rhetoric about closing Guantanamo too, I’ll believe this one when I see it.

3.Mix in some truth

Whistling back to the ugliest moments in campaign lies

One of Obama’s first breakthrough moments was at the YearlyKos convention in August 2007, when Clinton defended her relationships with lobbyists, saying “a lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it not, represent real Americans.” Drawing a sharp contrast, Obama promised to ban anyone who had recently worked as a lobbyist from serving in his administration.

I am sure Hillary didn’t actually defend lobbyists – but it turns out Obama’s sharp contrast – not unlike the war speech was just another snow job


But that promise was broken even before he took office
, when the president-elect chose several lobbyists for high-level posts, including deputy secretaries at the Defense and Health and Human Services departments.

So, as the clue in the beginning suggested, the attack piece is only apparently on Obama.

It’s really meant to say: she was evil, he was good, but sometimes ge gets a bit eviler. Like HER.

Let’s go back to Chris Hedges brilliant essay on Brand Obama:

Brand Obama is a marketer’s dream. President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they can make you feel.

Of course, Brand Obama is created by daily articles like this one

Not Your Sweetie