I can’t figure out Barack Obama. He’s almost a living advertisement for the United States: Foreign, black father; poor white mother; chose and worked his way through Columbia University (expensive and elite); became a politician and is a US senator; currently is the first serious African-American candidate for president — ever. He praises the American values he got from his US family. He praises the US involvement in the world, not least his father’s Africa.
And he wants to change that. It’s weird. He has spent eleventeen million dollars on his first big advertising campaign of the 2008 presidential season, an advertisement playing in 18 key states. The ad features him.
In the advert, Obama says that “America is a country of strong families and strong values.” He talks about being raised by a single mom and his grandparents, taking accountability, being self-reliant, working hard and taking loans to get through college. At the end of the ad, he says:
I approved this message because I’ll never forget those values, and if I have the honour of taking the oath of office as President, it will be with a deep and abiding faith in the country I love.
So what is it with him that the main thing he wants to do to his country is change it. His official motto is “Change we can believe in”.
His website brags about change on every page.
“I’m asking you to believe, not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to to believe in yours.” (ellipsis in original)
The official campaign T-shirt (a mere $20.08 [sic] but no sales permitted to Thailand) proclaims the big word CHANGE. The website… well, there is no other word for it but brags:
Barack came to realise that in order to truly improve the lives of people … it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.
I really don’t get it. In effect he is saying: I am Barack Obama. I am the first serious mixed-blood candidate for president in US history, I worked my way through one of the world’s top universities. I am a US senator in the greatest country on Earth.
Vote for me so I can change all that.