Obama's crowds

As I watched the Fox news coverage of Obama's speech from St, Paul, Minnesota and looked at the faces behind him on the podium I had to wonder where were all the men in Minnesota on Tuesday night?  They weren't in evidence at the Xcel Center. I saw one middle aged black man and one white man who seemed to be close to retirement age immediately behind Obama.  The rest of the crowd behind Obama as he spoke consisted of mostly middle aged females. 

Furthermore, when I turned the sound off and focused only on the visuals, I got a whole different vibe than what I saw back in February, when the crowd behind Obama was full of energetic and attractive young people evenly divided between the sexes.  In fact, now that I think about it the crowd I saw behind Obama Tuesday night bore a strong resemblance to the platoons of lower level unionized government employees who dutifully marched through the lobby of the building my CPA firm occupied the October of every even numbered year, on their way to work the political phone banks at the Chicago headquarters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). 

While Obama may have concerns about attracting working women who strongly supported Hillary, his staff forgot to match his slogan with the visuals. Signs about change we can believe have a certain sweet naive charm when being energetically waved about by fresh faced college kids. In the hands of union hacks the effect tends more toward malodorous cynicism.    

Seeing so few male faces around Obama I began to wonder.  Was their absence something peculiar to Minnesota, the land of snowmobile boot chic where being unfashionable has long been a badge of honor for males?  Or were larger trends perhaps at play here? 

It's been noted that it is risky to base a two year long political campaign on a theme as amorphous as change. After all, what is hot this spring among those who have come to consider a political campaign button the latest fashion accessory is all but guaranteed to be not hot at all when summer cottons give way to fall wool. 

Could it be that the Obama campaign, once on the very cutting edge of change, now faces the risk of having to concede the hot new demographic trend? I am talking here about a new buzzword now entering the lexicon: The retrosexual.  Those who spot trends say that seeming sensitive, facial moisturizing, arugula nibbling metrosexual men are out and beer guzzling, stoic retrosexuals are definitely back in, as are the charms of much older men.    Exhibit one here is the fact that Harrison Ford's being eligible to collect Social Security has not hurt the macho Indiana Jones at the box office

The mind simply boggles at how this campaign is playing out. For if retrosexual is now in and metrosexual is out, that does that also make John McCain the trendsetting agent of change we can believe in?   While I am not a McCain fan, I cannot deny (his misguided concerns about global warming aside) his retro-appeal. No retrosexual man bothers with fashion, except to anticipate that warmer weather means more women in less clothes, John McCain is certainly retrosexual.  In fact, McCain has been unabashedly retrosexual long before retrosexual was considered important enough for anyone to write a book on the subject. 
As I watched the Fox news coverage of Obama's speech from St, Paul, Minnesota and looked at the faces behind him on the podium I had to wonder where were all the men in Minnesota on Tuesday night?  They weren't in evidence at the Xcel Center. I saw one middle aged black man and one white man who seemed to be close to retirement age immediately behind Obama.  The rest of the crowd behind Obama as he spoke consisted of mostly middle aged females. 

Furthermore, when I turned the sound off and focused only on the visuals, I got a whole different vibe than what I saw back in February, when the crowd behind Obama was full of energetic and attractive young people evenly divided between the sexes.  In fact, now that I think about it the crowd I saw behind Obama Tuesday night bore a strong resemblance to the platoons of lower level unionized government employees who dutifully marched through the lobby of the building my CPA firm occupied the October of every even numbered year, on their way to work the political phone banks at the Chicago headquarters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). 

While Obama may have concerns about attracting working women who strongly supported Hillary, his staff forgot to match his slogan with the visuals. Signs about change we can believe have a certain sweet naive charm when being energetically waved about by fresh faced college kids. In the hands of union hacks the effect tends more toward malodorous cynicism.    

Seeing so few male faces around Obama I began to wonder.  Was their absence something peculiar to Minnesota, the land of snowmobile boot chic where being unfashionable has long been a badge of honor for males?  Or were larger trends perhaps at play here? 

It's been noted that it is risky to base a two year long political campaign on a theme as amorphous as change. After all, what is hot this spring among those who have come to consider a political campaign button the latest fashion accessory is all but guaranteed to be not hot at all when summer cottons give way to fall wool. 

Could it be that the Obama campaign, once on the very cutting edge of change, now faces the risk of having to concede the hot new demographic trend? I am talking here about a new buzzword now entering the lexicon: The retrosexual.  Those who spot trends say that seeming sensitive, facial moisturizing, arugula nibbling metrosexual men are out and beer guzzling, stoic retrosexuals are definitely back in, as are the charms of much older men.    Exhibit one here is the fact that Harrison Ford's being eligible to collect Social Security has not hurt the macho Indiana Jones at the box office

The mind simply boggles at how this campaign is playing out. For if retrosexual is now in and metrosexual is out, that does that also make John McCain the trendsetting agent of change we can believe in?   While I am not a McCain fan, I cannot deny (his misguided concerns about global warming aside) his retro-appeal. No retrosexual man bothers with fashion, except to anticipate that warmer weather means more women in less clothes, John McCain is certainly retrosexual.  In fact, McCain has been unabashedly retrosexual long before retrosexual was considered important enough for anyone to write a book on the subject.