Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Pop Quiz of Character for Barack Obama

I first saw the above Japanese cell phone company ad on CNN which said:
(CNN) — A Japanese cell phone company has pulled one of its television ads that used a monkey to portray Sen. Barack Obama.

The commercial opens with a crowd rallying behind a well-dressed monkey speaking from a podium. The supporters are cheering and waving signs that say “Change.” In the ad, the monkey was encouraging users to change providers.

Watch: Cell phone company pulls ad

The company behind the ad, eMobile Ltd., insists it had no idea of any racial undertones and says the ad was just a nod at Obama’s worldwide popularity.

Eric Gan, president of eMobile, points out that their company’s mascot is a monkey – an animal revered in Japan — and has been used in previous ads.

“When we saw the idea for the first time, it was ‘Hey, you're copying the idea from the presidential election in the U.S.’ Yes, but, you know, that's how you make a presentation. How you make an impact. We thought it quite was interesting,” he said.

Bloggers immediately voiced their disapproval of the ad and accused the company of being racist.

Gan says the company was unaware of how the ad might be interpreted, but “now, of course, we know.”
I'm not paying much attention to the statements and reactions of either supporters or opponents of the Democratic Presidential candidate in this November's US Presidential elections because I want to see how BARACK OBAMA himself reacts to it.

Will he ignore it? Be indifferent? Be defensive or outraged? Or will he laugh it off and say something witty, intelligent, stupid?

To me it is an important gauge of his character on the aspect of RACE in this historic election. It has implications too for things like "cultural sensitivity" and even, "foreign policy" and "diplomacy." A pop quiz, a calibration test. Never mind what anybody else says. Not that my one vote matters, but how he reacts will tell me a great deal about him and what I must think of him for the purpose of exercising the precious sacred right of suffrage and in what direction I ought to case my small particle of national sovereignty.

What really is Barack Obama, the Black and White Man, made of?

More on the character issue with respect to the problem of EVIL in the world, with a comparison to John McCain--over at the Volokh Conspiracy.


Amadeo said...

I have not a bit of qualm about the generally complimentary analysis of Obama in the Volokh Conspiracy piece. After all, the author based his entire thesis on what he read from the 2nd autobiographical book authored by Obama.

For somebody who wrote two autobiographical books prior to his ascendancy in the political sphere, one has to assume that a grand design preceded all these succeeding actions. A well-thought and cadenced plan all leading to the goal of securing the highest office of the land, maybe?

So how does one go about doing this? By alienating certain segments of the electorate, or espousing very unpopular stands? Or trying to appeal and appear in agreement with as many as possible?

Thus, subsequent acts and pronouncements, especially during unguarded and unrehearsed moments, become key to understanding the man.

Now, we find in the news that the presumptive Democratic nominee has started his expected trek toward the middle or where he gains the most, changing various positions as he campaigns along. Shades of your typical Mr. Smart Politician?

DJB Rizalist said...

what politician can you point to that is any different? There are no saints in that business, as you well know. Remember we are only choosing between these two specific men, Barack Obama and JOhn McCain. What for example might've possessed Mr. McCain to go to Colombia all of a sudden? Could it be advanced information on the release and rescue of Ms. Betancourt. How should we read that move?

Amadeo said...

Are we agreed then that Obama is more special, historic, or Messianic as his campaign and supporters are trying project, as the politicians in this current milieu?

If so, then we have no disagreement, because it is precisely this aura of special-ness and “above the fray” parries to critical issues that his campaign and supporters, especially the fawning media, have invested in his candidacy.

Let the equally intrusive vetting and obtrusive treatment then begin for candidates on both sides.

DJB Rizalist said...

I think every candidate is special in one way or another. Certainly, the service of John McCain in the Armed Forces makes him special. Whatever distinguishes Mr. Obama is not any special kind of special. But of course the supporters of each would like their candidate's accomplisments or characteristics to be noticed and valued by the voters.

They are all equal to me in this regard.