Team Obama 2012 was no doubt attempting to shore up its constituency of single, young women when it released its ad late last week featuring actress, writer, and director Lena Dunham likening voting for Obama in 2008 to losing her virginity to a great boyfriend.
Yet when one considers the speed with which this ad has been mocked and parodied, one could make the case that the Obama campaign unwittingly summed up the legacy of his presidency, which in a week’s time may well be consigned to the ash heap of history.
Four years ago, much of America felt a tingle up its leg as it was seduced by the soaring yet smooth talk of President Obama. But in the four years since, much of America is asking, “Is that all there is?” For not much had changed, at least not for the better. The tingle soon became a pain that soon became infected. Your health insurance should have been able to cover it, but as it turns out just because you like your health insurance doesn’t mean you can keep it.
As a result of that Tuesday night four Novembers ago, Obama sired the largest increase in the national deficit in this country’s history. Given Obama’s insatiable appetite for spending, no amount of federal coverage of contraception could have prevented the deficit from gestating. And it’s not like America could turn to Planned Parenthood to fix the problem. Where spending our money is concerned, Obama is no-choice, not pro-choice.
What makes the Obama boyfriend ad so peculiar is that he is perceived in some quarters as the boyfriend who talked a good game but couldn’t follow through on his commitment. Back in June, Independent Women’s Voices (IWV), a conservative women’s group, released a video on this very theme. The ad features two women Mary and Melissa, a mother and daughter, talking about the Melissa’s frustration with her boyfriend with Obama’s iconic Hope picture hanging over them like the Sword of Damocles. This 30-second spot sums up the past four years under Obama concisely:
Melissa: I was so excited at first.
Mary: I know.
Melissa: He seemed so perfect.
Mary: They always do.
Melissa: And I could listen to him talk for hours.
Mary: Did he ever do more than talk?
Melissa: I wanted to believe him. I trusted him
Mary: Melissa, we all did.
Melissa: I’m tired of waiting for him to get his act together. It’s been almost four years.
Mary: You can’t change him.
Melissa: He always has an excuse for everything. There’s always somebody else to blame.
Mary: You can’t live on excuses.
Melissa: Why do I always fall for guys like this?
Mary: You know you deserve better.
Given the response to the Obama boyfriend ad, IWF is quite fittingly re-exploring this fertile ground by putting out two new ads reinforcing Obama as the unreliable boyfriend. The two ads are titled “Feeling Guilty” and “Mr. Dependable,” the latter of which contrasts Obama (Mr. Cool) with Mitt Romney (Mr. Dependable).
The question that remains is whether America will fall for Mr. Cool once again or if it is prepared to take a chance with Mr. Dependable. Will America once again be seduced by the same promises Mr. Cool made four years ago knowing they are promises he cannot and/or will not keep? Or will America see through Mr. Cool’s words and conclude that talk is cheap but deficits are expensive? Is America tired of Mr. Cool blaming others when things go wrong? Will America take a chance on Mr. Dependable even if he is a bit boring? America clearly doesn’t believe what Mr. Cool has had to say about Mr. Dependable being a felon and a murderer of women with cancer. But it remains to be seen if Mr. Dependable has sealed the deal with America.
When we vote with our hearts, we Americans can be a rather fickle bunch. As with politics, a week in matters of the heart can be a lifetime. So while it may appear that America is prepared to make a commitment to Mr. Dependable, there is no guarantee we won’t be fooled by Mr. Cool again. If so, America will suffer four more years of another bad one night stand.