Media

(Re)Name the Candidate

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With the general election just a sound bite away, our biggest concern shouldn't be the economy, Iraq, gas prices, immigration, or rumors that Jake Gyllenhal and Reese Witherspoon have finally moved in together. Instead, we should be thinking about nicknames—for Barack Obama.

Newsweek ran a story some months back about Obama's switch from "Barry" to "Barack." Although conservative pundits relished the condescension potential in Barry, it ended up making everyone who used it sound like a schoolyard bully with a byline. But there is an older nickname floating in the ether, one with an innocuous construction but damaging implications, and I can't help but wonder if it will experience a revival: the good Senator from Hyde Park.

If John McCain manages to figure out why everyone is so upset over the price of gas between now and when the MSM quits humping his leg, he might have time to pull a bastardized version of the stunt Reagan pulled in 1966, and tie Obama to the academic radicals of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago. (Granted, the folks at U.C. aren't dropping acid en masse, occupying campus buildings, or hosting love-ins, but our cultural deviance threshold has decreased since the '60s—just ask David Horowitz.) Or maybe the average voter no longer feels threatened by the pale-faced residents of the Ivory Tower. If that's the case, my vote for "Anticipated Smear of the Year" goes to the one suggested over at Talking Point Memo.

Dave Weigel wrote about the biggest Obama smear to date here. Michael Moynihan wrote about the U. of Chicago's 100 least-informed faculty members here. Jesse Walker wrote about political paranoia and its deep roots in American politics here. Visit Obama's hopeless anti-smear website here (subjects include "Barack's Books," "Barack's Religion," and "Barack's Patriotism.")

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  1. Barney-O

  2. I thought the University of Chicago had a positive connotation for conservatives. No? Anyhow, it’s all about “Hussein” in the south.

  3. Baraknedinejad

  4. Saddama?

    O’Saddama?

    I thought “Obambi,” from early the Democratic primary, was pretty sharp.

  5. Back home in Chicago we’ve been going with Hopey McChange.

  6. “Mike Riggs”? That’s a made up name, right?

  7. “Back home in Chicago we’ve been going with Hopey McChange.”

    In Brooklyn we call him Hopestien Changinovichsky.

  8. Maybe I’m not reading the right publications, but I do not get the impression that the MSM is all googly over McCain. From what I’ve read, not to mention what I’ve seen out in the streets, the Zach Efron of this race is his opponent in the upcoming.

    To lefties of my acquaintance, Obama is Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Che all rolled up into one hunky, race-positive package. I haven’t heard anyone say one nice thing about McCain.

  9. But if they say nice things about Obama, shouldn’t they have to say nice things about McCain? Wouldn’t that only be fair?

  10. I vote Lamar at 12:17 for the win

    Also, what about “the black guy?” – I hear that’s being used all around the country already.

  11. It really does spell the end of the Republican Party when their idea of a smear is to connect a candidate to the University of Chicago. It seems they’re taking their cues from Naomi Klein these days. I guess it doesn’t matter if most of them are free market economists, they’re Latte Sipping Intellectuals, the lot of ’em!

  12. We’re all limousine liberals, now!

  13. The media is humping McCain’s leg? This is something that is repeated ad nauseum, but never proved. (Though it was certainly true in 2000) There is, though, some serious Obama leg-humping going on.

  14. If John McCain manages to figure out why everyone is so upset over the price of gas between now

    He knows the price of gas. He’s mentioned it in speeches (less than a week ago, gave one that said “gas has now reached $4/gallon nationwide), and he’s even proposing the ridiculous gas tax holiday. The latter, while stupid, does make it a bit harder to come up with a political line of attack that makes any sense. What, are they going to go with, “Sen. Obama knows exactly what gas prices are– and that’s why he’s fine with them, as they aren’t that high compared to other wealthy countries?”

    McCain just answered the question honestly, saying that now that he has Secret Service protection, he doesn’t pump his own gas, and so he doesn’t remember the price the last time he pumped it. (But of course he felt obligated to claim that, previous to getting Secret Service support he pumped his gas for “many, many years.”)

  15. Obama doesn’t have to worry about smears from the Republicans. People desperately don’t want to vote for McCain, and are looking for any excuse to like Obama.

    Obama’s greatest threat is Obama. All Obama has to do is not go too left wing on issues where there is a disconnect between the left-wing establishment and working class people: things like gun-control, racial quotas, etc., which play well to the self-identifying “progressive intellectual” but piss off joe sixpack union member who would normally want to vote Democrat.

    If Obama can get his wife to keep her mouth shut, and be willing to ignore the far-left contingent of Democrats who he really doesn’t need to impress (they will vote Democrat, no matter what), he *WILL* win the election. No doubt about it. People *WANT* to love Obama.

    The danger to Obama is that he will respond too strongly to a Republican smear attempt. Much like Dukakis alienated Americans by calling them racist for being concerned about letting violent criminals out of prison on furlough… Obama could end up pissing people off by playing the race card to deflect embarrassing criticism.

  16. The media is humping McCain’s leg? This is something that is repeated ad nauseum, but never proved.

    He is a republican candidate the media has not beat to a bloody pulp….

    Relatively this is leg humping.

  17. John McCain himself has described the media as “my base.”

    And numberous newsies have written about how they go easier on him.

    But really, it’s all made up by the liberals. The media HATES McCain. You can tell, by how they’re all talking about how Wesley Clark raised a fair point about how being a veteran is not the same thing as having executive experience.

  18. You can tell, by how they’re all talking about how Wesley Clark raised a fair point about how being a veteran is not the same thing as having executive experience.

    Cuz it is closer to executive experience then anything Obama has?

    Media’s leg humping of McCain can be characterized as giving him a relative pass.

    Media’s leg humping of Obama can be characterized as devout worship of their new god.

  19. Call him B.O.

  20. How about “the man who will actually make me hold my nose and vote for McCain?”

  21. Obama-Rama-Ding-Dong is my favorite
    Hope and Che is another good one
    Marxist race-baiter is more a description than a nickname

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