Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kill 'em With the Swag

By Ernesto Alvarado

Photo courtesy of

The Republicans are in trouble. Their inability to create a cohesive platform in which to challenge Obama is becoming increasingly comical and their unlikeable candidates have left the GOP scrambling.
The debates have been abysmal and the "flavor of the day" candidates cannot keep their feet out of their mouths long enough to build on any momentum they manage to garner. As the candidates leave the safe haven of the Midwest, Newt and Co. are trying to gain support from Latinos in Florida. Grudges don't die easily amongst Latinos however, and Gingrich calling Spanish "the language of living in the ghetto" has not been forgotten. Apart from all of these shortcomings, Barack has one massive advantage over these candidates:


I'm not talking about the superficial flaunting of arrogance in attempts to impress or create an image of invincibility that has become increasingly popular in urban and pop culture. I'm referring to the self-confidence that arises from someone that has succeeded in obtaining a goal while not relinquishing to defeat but merely bides his time to accomplish others. Some of his most prominent successes were in the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, a recovering economy, the ending (sort of) of the War in Iraq, and a steadily decreasing unemployment rate. Merely accomplishing these feats wouldn't be enough for Barack to be worthy of the 'S' word. It's the fact that he was not able to do ANYTHING under the Republicans' strategy of obstructionism. With every victory the smile widens, the walk loosens, and the words become louder.

Newt has the charisma to win over the American population that Dwight Shrute has in the Office. The elitism oozes out of him and his platform based on conservative morals is a hollow soapbox that screams of hypocrisy as evident by his marriage records (imagine the grilling the GOP would give Obama under the same circumstances?!). Mitt's attempts to be a common American went up in smokes when it was discovered that his income was more than what an average American makes per year while paying minimal taxes. Santorum's extreme platform isolates too many Americans to be considered a serious contender. Obama is no average citizen either as his education as well as his current position demonstrate, but charisma levels go a long way in an election (good or bad) and the GOP candidates' chances of winning over America are akin to Rebecca Black winning a Grammy for "It's Friday."

So is Obama's popularity all hype? Yes and no. He still has a long way to go before achieving the potential many saw during his initial campaign. Dr. Cornell West brilliantly took Obama to task for not exploring the possibility of new advisors and not shaking things up in Washington as promised. Latinos are becoming disillusioned in his immigration reform as record numbers of immigrants are deported while the Dream Act remains dead in the water. The use of drones has opened a can of worms as state sovereignty is introduced within the dialogue. Don't let all the hype fool you. Our President has done both good and bad, but most presidents do within their first term (see Ronald Reagan and his role in Latin America) as they walk on egg shells to avoid the feared "one and done."

He plays basketball with the world's best at the White House. He brushes his shoulders off and recruits celebrities to motivate youth voters. He SINGS Al Green at the Apollo and the Sandman stays clear. He plays soccer with kids in Brazil and has garnered strong support internationally. From eating wings in Buffalo to firing on all cylinders at the past Correspondents Dinner, Obama has excelled in maintaining an image that exudes confidence but always shows flashes of his human side. Michelle Obama has played no small role in assisting his popularity with her health initiatives. His success with style keeps him light years from the competition, who are reduced to seeming stuffy and too rigid in comparison to the smooth and eloquent President. One can look at the State of the Union and its GOP response to view the disparity. Obama's singing "Let's Stay Together" while the Republicans can only muster a song in the Pokemon movie. Case and point.

Swag can only go so far. Much like Obama pointed to triumphs as a form of eliminating Republican excuses for obstructionism, if he succeeds in a second term, the Nobel laureate will have to come through with promises of "hope" and "change" to truly cement his place in history. For now, the GOP candidates will continue to bumble along the campaign trail in hopes of striking a cord with the conservative groups that desperately want the "Kenyan Socialist" out of office.

After facing scrutiny and tough blocks by the GOP, Obama is ready to set fire to the 2012 campaign trail. His ability to highlight accomplishments and promise to come through with more in the second term will be his bread and butter if he can find a way to articulate reasons for certain controversial bills such as NDAA. Even with these attacking points, Obama is poised to stand shoulders above the GOP's candidates which are beginning to resemble sacrificial lambs until Obama's terms are completed and begins speaking engagements. His approval rating is gaining momentum and people will begin to fall in love with his noteworthy speeches during the election year, especially with a group of candidates from the GOP that Fidel Castro has called "ignorant and idiots."

"Guess he got his swagger back. Truth."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oye ve..If I had time I would respond, especially the second paragraph...Interesting point of view.