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Nov. 2, 2008

A half-hour masterpiece

by Poorna Natarajan, Online Staff Writer
With so many projects and tests crammed in before the quarter ended on Friday, I had tons of homework on Wednesday. But that didn't stop me from watching Barack Obama's half hour infomercial that aired primetime on three major networks - FOX, NBC and CBS.
Senator Barack Obama discusses about his policies and plans in a 30-minute infomercial, which aired Oct. 29. <i>Picture courtesy of Associated Press.</i>
Senator Barack Obama discusses about his policies and plans in a 30-minute infomercial, which aired Oct. 29. Picture courtesy of Associated Press.


In the last few days of the election, instead of wasting campaign money on clothes from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue for his vice presidential candidate, Obama smartly composed an effective infomercial. I loved the opening of the commercial, which included picturesque imagery of amber waves of grain (no, really), hands waving the American flag and, of course, Obama himself. The backdrop of when he first appeared in the commercial in a setting similar to the Oval Office, coupled with his steady, comforting, reassuring voice to the American people for a better future was an important gesture in persuading those unsure to become sure and vote for the pragmatic candidate - Obama.

Seated at a very presidential desk, Obama covered his stances on key issues like taxes, health care and foreign policy. However, the ad was far from objective. The centerpiece of the program was the collection of emotionally moving stories depicting four Americans facing different adversities. The impressive rhetoric was mainly targeted towards the Middle America, not just Joe the Plumber (for Congress in Ohio in 2010?). A product of the "American dream" himself, Obama's narration of the lives of the four individuals seemed so profound and rousing.

Most importantly, Obama pushed away partisan politics and did not mention opponent John McCain's name even once. However, the program brilliantly debased the McCain campaign's most emphasized attack of Obama - his lack of experience to run the country. Several of Obama's endorsements, especially those from key battleground states, explained America's need to have Obama - a man who has "changed the rules of Washington," according to Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri - to be the next president.

The infomercial was like a captivating documentary. It captured how Obama, who has faced the harshest adversities since childhood, transcended his problems of searching for his own identity and overcoming the absence of a father. He became a great father for his own children and has found his identity as (hopefully) the next President of the United States. Near the end of the program, Obama's greatest virtue, humility, is stressed when he addressed a rally. "I'm reminded every single day that I am not a perfect man. I will not be a perfect president," he said. "But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand. I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face."



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  • me on November 3, 2008 at 10:58 PM
    Go Poorna and go Obama!
  • strawberry (View Email) on November 4, 2008 at 7:56 PM
    GO OBAMA!
  • Barack Obama on November 7, 2008 at 12:25 PM
    I would like to take the time to say thank you to all students in this school who supported me.

    It has been a long campaign but now it is over and it is time for me to make my plans.

    Don't worry fellow Americans, soon we will have the nation under my contr- Erm I mean my beneficial energy and oil plan.
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