Are the (you know they’re intentional) “viral” ads surrounding the election helping or hurting the candidates? While the Yes We Can video is so hip it hurts, it has inspired some withering satire and unintentional self-parody. Hurt doesn’t begin to describe the damage wrought by the Fox affiliate that found a Guevara poster in the Obama campaign’s Houston headquarters. While “Islamofascist” is the new “Communist,” you can’t discount the proportion of the electorate still holding onto the Cold War.
The Clinton camp’s response to the Obama supporter’s bravura turn on YouTube, Hillary4U&Me, is an ironically earnest rehash of Sly (with a little KC and EWF thrown in). The whole thing is post-modern propaganda analysis gold — the best analogy I could come up with is that it represents the difference between the beautifully overbuilt but homely furniture in my beloved public schools vs. the flimsy but somewhat stylish and mostly functional wares from Ikea.
As Obama has begun to assume the media-bestowed mantle of frontrunner the Clinton campaign assumed was theirs from the start, the anti-Clinton viral video forces have now directed their scorn away from Clinton-as-establishment and towards a matchup against McCain. After Clinton won California, a troop of Angelenos were quick to use the Obama template to cast aspersions on John McCain in john.he.is.
The Obama Girl producers Barely Political took the template and ran with it too, with No, You Can’t. Although some editing in the wake of john.he.is could have differentiated it more from similar stolen moments with McCain — it goes a long way in suggesting that “ba-ba-bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” clip will be stuck with him for the rest of the election.
So while Roger Moore did much in feature film to center the debate on the health-care question, online video upstarts seem to be focused on high rhetorical style and the expansion of hostilities in the Middle East to Persia. God bless America.