A great philosopher once said “There’s nothing more pathetic than an aging hipster.” Ok, that was Dr. Evil in Austin Powers. However, the aging hipster that occupies the Oval Office is certainly living up to that observation.?The Obama White House, in several desperate attempts, is shamelessly squeezing every last ounce of magical Hope and Change they have left in a final push to somehow make a health care law suddenly popular and attractive to young people who aren’t buying the gimmicks.
While Barack Obama goes on an internet and daytime TV tour, begging people to save his presidency and legacy, Rand Paul is getting standing ovations at UC Berkeley, Marco Rubio is speaking at Google and Ted Cruz is popping up in street art all over Los Angeles.
The contrast is striking and the times are changing.
When Barack Obama appeared on Zach Galifianakis’ web show Between Two Ferns, it was hailed and applauded by Obama media loyalists as hilarious new ground and cutting edge. Almost immediately, administration members took to social media and Twitter to praise the success of clicks and views.
The only problem was over 3 million (15 million at present) immediate views didn’t translate to Obamacare enrollments. Only 19,000 people of those initial 3 million bothered to even go to the website. That doesn’t account for any enrollments that actually came from Obama’s appearance because the administration won’t release that data but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say 3 people.
Fans who love Galifianakis watched Obama, laughed, then they went to class, or work, or back to bed. The ones that did entertain the idea of enrolling in Obamacare went to healthcare.gov, saw that Obamacare isn’t free (as advertised), closed their browsers, went to class or work, or back to bed.
Obama can’t sell health care because he’s never sold anything. He can’t give anyone a reason to pay a couple hundred dollars for something that they might need. Supply and demand, no different than Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street telling someone to sell him a pen.
Obama and his advisors think because Zach Galifianakis is funny and popular, that appearing with him will make Obama funny and popular and therefore they will run out and sign up for whatever he tells us to. The problem is Zach Galifianakis isn’t funny or popular because he promotes a complicated health insurance or the incoherent details of the law we’re all mandated to follow.
Galifianakis wasn’t the pitchman in that skit. The President who already lied to you about being able to keep your plan, period, was.
This has become the pattern with Barack Obama now. Six years ago it was cool when he went on The Ellen Show to dance and say “Elect me!”. Now he’s going on The Ellen Show to talk about how cool health insurance is and oh by the way, you may have to?give up your cell phone and cable to pay for it. This is a President who has always relied on media loyalists and celebrities to act as his credibility crutch. We’ve always been told how cool and competent Obama is by them and then when it comes time to enact actual policy and govern, Obama fails to demonstrate it himself. He simply delays it.
We tune in when Obama dances for us. We tune out when he asks us to fork over a couple hundred dollars for a new expense.
Celebrities are good at selling Obama. Obama can’t see his own policies. Perhaps Presidents of the past felt such displays were shameful to the office they held. Maybe they just believed they didn’t need to submit themselves to meme whoring to push their own ideas on the American people. Good presidents understand that good policy sells itself. They don’t walk out, do a dance, juggle and wait for the applause. The pay off often isn’t worth the risk of diminishing their capital. Except with Obama and the White House, which is his to do whatever he wants with and he cares more about looking cool than being President.
Right now on the official White House website, there is a campaign dedicated to gifs and memes coordinated around the start of the NCAA basketball tournament (Because filling out a bracket in front of the country apparently wasn’t enough this year).
Members of Obama’s digital media team even gloated at critics and “trolls” while making tasteless cat pun jokes. The only problem? None of the links to the healthcare.gov website, the only reason for this ridiculous campaign, worked. Several Twitter users alerted the same cackling hyenas to these mistakes but it took a Buzzfeed writer pointing out, hours after the launch, at how incompetent they were at buzzfeeding before the website links were fixed. Cat-tastrophe!
The Obama Administration isn’t beholden to the same brand and marketing strategies as private business because there are no consequences for the creative decisions they make. They don’t have shareholders (taxpayers are inconsequential other than to generate tax dollars, wait “revenue”) to answer to. There is no requirement to ensure a return on investment with their tasteless campaigns. Some of the most brilliant advertising (the Geico lizard, Allstate Mayhem Man, etc…) is carefully designed to connect to the brand’s audience. Who is the audience for the appalling advertisements the Obama Administration has put out? 27 year olds kicked off their parent’s health care plan are now going to enroll in Obamacare because of a blinking cat?
At this rate it’s expected the Obama administration is going to release photoshop memes exploiting missing flight MH 370 with the text “Get on board before it vanishes on March 31st!”
This is why during the last Presidential election, Mitt Romney was ridiculed for his remarks regarding Putin and Russia, while Obama was applauded for focusing on binders and Big Bird, because social media dictated his campaign’s messaging. Not events happening in the world. His advisors have tried to replicate that same kind of presidency, one that is dictated by social media trends and pop culture. Except there is no twerking gif, or funny webisode that will give people their doctor or their premium back, just as LeBron James isn’t going to prevent Vladimir Putin from expanding his power into other sovereign nations.
Leaders around the world like Vladimir Putin don’t “rspect” Funny or Die. They laugh at it with everyone else and then instead of closing their web browser, they invade countries unimpeded. Countries like Israel see Obama filling out an NCAA bracket on TV and?throw their arms up.
What’s completely lost on this administration is that athletes, movie stars and talk show hosts aren’t the ones that will sign up for Obamacare and be forced to pay a premium they can no longer afford. LeBron James won’t enroll in Obamacare when he blows a knee out and neither will Jonah Hill’s mom. Obama is enlisting everyone to sell his healthcare law that won’t be affected by it in the slightest. There are no doctors, nurses, health administrators or stay-at- home moms selling Obamacare.
Because those people, while infinitely more important to the success of our healthcare system, aren’t cool. Obama isn’t desperately clinging to health experts to sell his image, he’s clinging to the people that used to write his slogans on their hands.
Rand Paul took his anti-NSA, anti-Obama message into the den of progressive civil liberties; Berkeley.
While Barack Obama is telling college students to give up their cell phones to pay for healthcare, Rand Paul is telling them to pay attention to their phone more than ever, as the whistleblower mythology of Edward Snowden grows larger among them.
The timing couldn’t be better, with beloved San Francisco icon Senator Diane Feinstein beginning to wage all out war against the CIA and NSA for allegedly spying on her own computers.
On the opposite coast, the featured image in this post?of the name “Snowden” spray painted and?juxtaposed with one of many stencil Lincolns was taken in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which like UC Berkeley is not exactly the conservative hotbed of cultural relevance.
Last week posters of a tattooed and smoking Ted Cruz were plastered all over LA Streets. Breitbart.com was the first to pick up the story but the news soon spread around Twitter to the point where progressive news outlets like ABC News were forced to report on them?
The response was overwhelming and Cruz himself responded to the caricature?on Twitter and even signed a copy. It was revealed that conservative political street artist Sabo was the culprit behind the work.
The people that Barack Obama is trying to reach with twerking gifs, the rebellion wing of the GOP is reaching with Google, graffiti and tattoos.
The rebellion wing of the GOP doesn’t need to position themselves as the party of answers and solutions, yet. They should continue to build the “badass” brand of opposition to pandering tweets and Obama digital memes with YOLO in them. Embrace the image that Barack Obama himself is crafting for them.
As “Obamacare enrollments” (subject to actual payment data which the administration won’t release and the press won’t ask about) move at a sluggish pace, magically hitting 5 million with zero evidence to back up administration claims, and the amount of money spent on ad campaigns as it relates to enrollment returns skyrockets, the country is no doubt suffering from Obama fatigue. They want the product to work or to go away. Obama himself is suffering from the hangover of an increasingly unpopular and disastrous health care law that no amount of late show appearances can beat back.
Barack Obama can either be the cool celebrity hanging out with comedians and appearing on ESPN to make basketball picks or he can be the President sitting on a 40% approval rating and the face of a mandated law that has hurt millions of Americans or has been flat out ignored by the rest.
He was elected to be only one of those things.
– SM –