Look at the clothes. Ignore the words. Watch the clothes. “The apparel oft proclaims the man.”
The night of Obama’s first speech to Congress (September 9, 2009) we wrote this bit of wisdom:
“One of the first things to watch for will be Michelle Obama. Will the White House wranglers be able to get her to wear a sensible dress, or costume, most Americans with common sense would wear? Will Michelle Obama again show up in a gin-soaked cocktail dress or one of her silly “I wanna-be a fashion icon” messes? Will Michelle Obama show up in a sober outfit with sleeves that have not been yanked off?
If Michelle Obama shows up in a sober outfit, sleeves still in place, it means that the White House is focusing on bamboozlement of ordinary Americans not the Hopium addled. A sober outfit will demonstrate that the White House understands the level of trouble they are in – bad enough to force Michelle to wear something sensible that will not frighten the visually unimpaired.
A crazy quilt cocktail dress without sleeves will tell us the target audience is still the Hopium addled.
A sober outfit but without sleeves will clue us in that the Obama’s are still playing both sides of the fence.
Michelle Obama’s frock will clue us in as to what audience Barack Obama has been told to target.”
Think we are nuts about the importance of clothes? A recent Women’s Wear Daily article we cited spotlighted how right we are to watch what the pretentious, red-velvet rope, self-absorbed, narcissistic, clown and mrs. clown in chief wear:
“One Embassy Row hostess, who gave dozens of black-tie parties before the Obamas came to town, was horrified to be asked if an upcoming dinner was black tie.
“No, no, no,” she gasps. “It’s cocktail attire. This administration does not like black tie. You are more likely to get them if you do cocktail dress.”
We’ve mocked Michelle Obama many times for her inappropriate cocktail dresses – morning, noon, and night – at funerals, weddings, vacations and speeches (“Dignity? It’s like expecting Michelle Obama to wear something sensible, not cocktail dresses, at every opportunity.” Our purpose is not fashionista gawking (we prefer style to fashion anyway) though we do adhere to the Bard’s precepts in dress – “Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy, For the apparel oft proclaims the man….”
These ruminations on apparel bring us to the question – How desperate are Barack Obama and Michelle Obama? A few days ago Barack Obama and Michelle Obama made a video to be broadcast into now thinly populated internet Hopium dens. The twosome plead for enthusiasm and applause:
“This year’s elections are just too important to sit out,” Michelle Obama says in the video. “There’s so much at stake right now for our future and for our children’s future.”
The Obamas make a cheerful plea to the Democratic faithful for help from now through Election Day.
“Now’s the time to make plans – not just to vote, but to help get out the vote,” Mrs. Obama says.”
Our immediate reaction to the video was a visual one although we also thought that when Michelle Obama said there is much at “stake right now for our future and our children’s future” she literally meant her two children and Barack and Michelle’s future of vacations in Spain and golfing.
Our reaction to the video was visual. Something was odd and jarring. What was the message, not the words, of the video? Here’s the off-kilter video:
The odd hair almost in a bun, the lips deprived of her usual gallons of lip-gloss, the eyelashes not smeared with Maybelline, the eyebrows not overemphasized and over-shaped, the too humble too homespun modesty from a grasping carnivore-toothed duo. At first we though Michelle Obama was trying to imitate a First Lady from the 1950s – Mamie Eisenhower. But upon examination of Mamie photographs we realized that was an injustice to the dignified and appropriate and well dressed Mamie Eisenhower.
No, it was not Mamie who was the inspiration for Michelle’s latest video get-up. Something about the video clearly bothered us. It was clearly an overly produced production of modesty but what was the message? What was the intent? Was Michelle’s outfit a sly variation of a trussed up Thanksgiving turkey in a weird attempt to show how “American” she is? Then it hit us – Grant Wood! American Gothic!
It isn’t only Michelle Obama playing farmer’s wife in the video. It’s also Barack Obama playing farmer in American Horror – jacket and shirt which match the curtains and Michelle’s dress with the odd collar and the cords which bind her like a cooked turkey. Notice how Obama’s gray hair is emphasized – that harsh lighting which washes out both of them. The down-home modesty is ostentatious.
So why do this video? What’s the message?
For the Hopium addled the video is a “play victim” message. The attempt is to appear like sweet down-home folks doing their best – and “won’t you please help us po’ folk out?” Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are desperate so the cocktail dresses and golf caps are out and the “we’re normal folks” is in. After months of “the beatings will continue until moral improves” tactics against allies, the new video is the opposite – “we’re in this together, please help us out friends.”
More importantly the video images are an attempt to patch up the flat tire which is their relationship with independents and the white working class.
Barack Obama and his campaign henchmen know they are in trouble. While gullible Hopium Guzzlers believe early voting will help them keep the House of Representatives and the Senate and that Democrats will vote, the Obama henchmen have read this September 22 poll which has not been discussed nearly enough by anyone:
“Unhappy Democrats are more likely to vote
I noticed something in our polling today that I hadn’t yet this cycle. It’s a well known fact that Obama voters aren’t planning to show up to vote this year in the numbers that Democrats need. Beyond that, I realized today, that Obama voters who are planning to show up generally have more negative feelings toward him than Obama voters at large. And obviously the folks who voted for Obama but have soured on him are more likely to fall into the GOP column. [snip]
The place where Obama’s lost the largest degree of his support is West Virginia, where only 76% of his voters are still happy with him. That’s why Joe Manchin appears to be in a tight race despite his high level of popularity. In Pennsylvania just 78% of his voters think he’s doing a good job and there’s a pretty strong sense that Democrats will lose both the Senate seat and Governorship they hold there, and quite possibly by wide margins. That 78% mark holds true in Wisconsin as well, where we need to see more polling but things are beginning to look pretty dire for the Democrats.”
“West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is taking a political battering, thanks to his support of Barack Obama, so he’s uniquely qualified to offer counsel on what many think is the president’s central political problem — his failure to connect with white working-class voters.
His advice: Go to where they live and work. Listen. And don’t talk down to them.
“If I were him, I’d start going to the places where people don’t like you that much,” said Manchin, who is locked in a close race to replace Robert Byrd in the Senate and struggling mightily to shrug off his opponents’ description of him as Obama’s “rubber stamp.”
“You can’t win if you only go where you are comfortable,” added Manchin….”
Obama’s American Horror visit to American Gothic is about as far as he will uncomfortably go to address the “bitter” and the “clinging”. The first person to occupy the White House having only lived in urban areas has a prejudiced view of “small town Americans” as American Gothic hicks filled to the brim with prejudice and closets sparsely inhabited with drab Sears Catalog clothing.
Obama does not know, and does not want to know who these “hicks” are. Back in 2008, on the day before the West Virginia primary we discussed the Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. We discussed Kevin Phillips’ remarkable analysis and the “Southern Strategy” of Republicans from decades ago. We also wrote this:
“All the Democratic Party talk about inclusion and respect for the rights of women crumbled when the prospect of a woman in charge became a possibility.
All the Democratic Party talk about a “big tent” stops when the targets of inclusion are white working class voters.“
Those words spoke truth at a time when few wanted to face truth. Hillary Clinton understood as she made her case that Democrats consistently allow states like Kentucky and West Virginia to “slip out of the Democratic column. Too many people felt our party didn’t speak to their values and concerns…”
Yup, those white working class voters held in such contempt by Obama and the “creative class” are not going be abandoned. It is Obama that will be abandoned:
“The long-term danger for Obama is that if his approval ratings among whites stay low, the revolt could take root — shredding a 2008 map that included single-digit wins in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, Michigan, Florida and all-important Ohio, which Obama won by 3 percentage points with the political wind at his back.
“Would he win the state now? Can he win it in 2012? Geez, that’s going to be a tough one for him,” said a staffer to an endangered Democratic House member in the state.
“Right now, he couldn’t sell ice water in hell,” said Dee Davis, who runs a Kentucky nonprofit that studies voting patterns in the Appalachian belt, which encompasses southern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, western Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.”
[Claire McCaskill engages in language in the Politico article that if a Tea Party member, or us, used we would be called “Racist!” Says Claire: “Here’s the gorilla in the room,” said McCaskill. “He can roll up his sleeves and he can take off his jacket and he could not wear a tie, but it is very hard for a lot of people in working-class families to imagine him next to them at the laundromat.” “Gorilla?” “Obama?” McCaskill must be a “racist.” In either case her advice to “take off” the jacket and tie is what he did in his American Horror video with sleeve-wrapped lantern-jawed Michelle.]
In yesterday’s “Obama The Snob” Michael Gerson recalls certain events in order to try to “explain” Obama:
“There have been several recent attempts to explain Obama’s worldview as the result of his post-colonial father or his early socialist mentors — Gnostic attempts to produce the hidden key that unlocks the man. The reality is simpler. In April 2008, Obama described small-town voters to wealthy donors in San Francisco: “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” Now, to wealthy donors in Massachusetts, opponents are “hard-wired not to always think clearly.” Interpreting Obama does not require psychoanalysis or the reading of mystic Chicago runes. He is an intellectual snob.”
If Obama passes for an “intellectual” we certainly are in trouble. What he is is an American Horror of a flim-flam boy raised by wolves.
The boy raised by wolves in his wolf in farmer’s clothing and his American Horror wife know they have to raise the flim-flam up several notches
“During the last 14 days the White House and President Obama have gone on the attack, and their strategy is pretty simple: “Let’s acknowledge the voter anger and make sure it gets funneled toward something else.” Thus we have seen political attacks on just about everyone — and everything — out there. The problem, though, is that voters aren’t angry with Karl Rove, John Boehner, the Chamber of Commerce or even the “undisclosed financing” of elections. Voters are angry about the economy and they have two devastating perceptions of this administration: voters think it is incompetent and that it has overreached over the past two years. [snip]
So let’s just come out and say it: there is no reason to think that Republicans will do any worse than 1994 (when they picked up 54 seats) and there is plenty of data to suggest that it will, in fact, be a better year for the GOP. Our projection — based on all current available data — is that the GOP will gain between 60 and 70 House seats in November.”
“Barack Obama is being politically crushed in a vise. From above, by elite opinion about his competence. From below, by mass anger and anxiety over unemployment. And it is too late for him to do anything about this predicament until after November’s elections.
With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle. [snip]
Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama’s decisions are causing harm — that businesses are being hurt by the Administration’s legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.
And that sentiment is spreading.”
To this “vise” which comes “from above” and “from below” Obama has responded with his campaign of attacks and with his campaign of modesty. As usual for a flim-flam man the responses are situational – arrogance and modesty combine in a orgy of flim-flammery not seen since Miss Cleo sold televised psychic advice for 99 cents a minute.
Even Miss Cleo can really see November from her window. National Review has a long list of individual races for Miss Cleo:
“As promised, here is a quick update on that May list of 99 open seats or vulnerable Democrats. As you can see, quite a few have been added; we’re now up to 117. (I added one, WA-2, after initial posting.) [snip]
My current assessment is in line with the conventional wisdom: Roughly 100 seats are in play under the broader definition, and it’s hard to see Republicans winning fewer than 40 of them. The ceiling depends on how angry the country is on November 2, but it is pretty darn high . . . 60? 70? 80?”
Taking into account the Obama Dimocrat held seats in districts won by Bush and/or McCain the House takeovers may be as high as 120 seats and as high as 15 Senate seats – depending on how high the wave crests. Although the numbers will be lower on election night those super-high numbers are the absolute high water mark that can at absolutely most ever be expected if there is a mad meteor caused tsunami wave on November 2. Certainly Republicans will get at least 5 new seats in the Senate and 50 seats in the House putting them in effective, if not actual, control of Congress. Even Chris O’Tingles sees the iceberg ahead:
Even catch-up Politico sees the writing on the wall:
“With two weeks remaining until Election Day, the political map has expanded to put Democrats on the run across the country — with 99 Democratic-held House seats now in play, according to a POLITICO analysis, and Republicans well in reach of retaking the House.
It’s a dramatic departure from the outlook one year ago — and a broader landscape than even just prior to the summer congressional recess. As recently as early September, many Republicans were hesitant to talk about winning a majority for fear of overreaching.
Today, however, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report predicts a GOP net gain of at least 40 House seats, with 90 Democratic seats in total rated as competitive or likely Republican.”
The alienation from the white working class, the coming election doom and disaster is why Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have decided to play Ma and Pa Kettle.
Fashion “icon” Michelle Obama dressed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and put her hair in a bun style to woo what she imagines is the white working class hicks. But the fashion has “icon” is hardly an icon (more a kiss of death “Bermuda Triangle”) and the stereotype “hick” imagery is not going to help.
As John Kass wrote – the Hopium has run out because real life Ma and Pa Kettles are bitter and clingy:
“America’s Hopium farmers must increase production, because the nation’s supply is dangerously low, and the November midterm elections are only weeks away.
Even my personal Obama Chia Heads don’t produce as much Hopium as before. And this should worry the president.
Because as readers know, Hopium is the stuff that sends tingles up reporters’ legs and keeps everybody, even taxpayers, feelin’ all right.
If America has a Hopium deficit, we might have no way of altering political reality like we did a few years ago. And these days, reality bites.”
Like the “Rent Is Too Damn High” candidate, who does not even pay rent, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama will do anything to save their vacations in Spain and the weekly vacations and hours long golf outings. They’ll dress up as modest likable hillbillies for the camera if that is what it takes to bamboozle yet again.
But it won’t work. Some of the people, via Gallup, are no longer fooled.
The white working class Barack Obama snubbed is about to snub him.