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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Obama mania

This is really getting out of hand. And while it may have been a case of self-promotional "modesty," the only one who seems to realize that the hype is already at ludicrous levels is the man in the middle of it.

Barack Obama has already been described as a "rock star" as he travels the country on his book/self promotion tour with an eye to running for the White House in 2008. But front page treatment in the Washington Post and Boston Globe and national front attention in the New York Times? It really was a slow news day.

Obama is an intriguing character but the facts remains: the new Congress hasn't even been seated yet and its pre-Christmas 2006. There's a lot of time for stars to rise and fall and -- truncated primary season notwithstanding -- it's way too early for the average American to focus on 2008.

Obama may be the only one who has it in perspective (or he may be a master of self-image control, or both). In describing the audiences who greet him, he said:
“It is flattering to get a lot of attention, although I must say it is baffling. I think to some degree I’ve become a shorthand or symbol or stand-in for a spirit that the last election in New Hampshire represented,” he said, referring to the losses of two incumbent congressmen here in November. “It’s a spirit that says we are looking for something different — we want something new."
That is true. We are weary of George Bush and his refusal to admit error -- a stubbornness that continues to kill American soldiers -- and we are weary with his Amen Chorus and our "allies" who continue to enable his dangerous "policy."

But the media star-making, star-trashing machine is revving up way too early -- even if Obama is doing nothing to slow it down. Candidates should not be made and broken before the overwhelming majority of Americans start to focus even faint attention on the race.

The 2008 election is way too important to fall victims to all of the bad habits that the political media bring to the table. Let's calm down and let the guy sell a few books in obscurity.


Anonymous Girl600 said...

Reminds me of the Howard Dean before the scream hype.

December 11, 2006 9:54 AM  

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