Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC = Does Not Compute

Would you be surprised if I reported that not everyone in the United States has a computer and/or regular Internet access? What if I told you the numbers were something like 18 percent? I guess that doesn't sound like a lot, but what if I told you that this equates to 20 million homes?

"Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document," said John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. "These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, uses a computer."

So, doesn't it make you wonder who Barack was trying to reach when he announced his running mate by way of text messaging?

Okay, so you are probably thinking to yourself "wait a minute, text messaging is for cell phones." That's true. But did you know that (according to the US census Bureau) only 70 percent of the nation have wireless phones? And when given a choice, less than 40% of US consumers prefer text messaging to radio or TV advertising.

Anyway, not to get hung up on statistics, the point is this: When did Barack become a candidate and stop being one of the people? Although his campaign promises "change we can believe in", I must admit that I can not believe how much he has changed in just one year. And apparently I am not alone in my lack of belief.

According to the New York Times, The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press poll last week found Barack Obama’s lead over his Republican rival withering. In late June, Mr. Obama held a comfortable eight-point margin over John McCain. A look at these latest trends suggests that while Mr. McCain has made some gains over the last two months, perceptions of Mr. Obama have stalled.

I believe that Barack's early and unforeseen popularity resulted from his special ability to relate with the average American. He didn't talk to people, he engaged them in conversation. Even during the early democtratic debates, he rarely if ever allowed himself to stoop to the level of his competitors.

But somewhere along the way, he began stooping. First with Hillary and now with John. And now when he communicates with the people he seems to be preaching and relying on celebrities and the Internet to "engage" the public (both in person and over social networking sites). In the beginning, he simply was "everyman," last night was the packaged everyman.

It is not my place to advise Barack [editorial sidenote: I have not committed my vote to anyone yet], but if it was, I would suggest a quick move forward to the past... Barack Redux as it were.

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