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August 11, 2012
Awaiting the Obama PAC ad that jumps the shark
Don't be surprised when an Obama superPAC ad threatens urban disorder if Obama loses the election.
Jump the shark "is an idiom created by Jon Hein that is used to describe the moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. The phrase is also used to refer to a particular scene, episode or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of 'gimmick' in a desperate attempt to keep viewers' interest."
As the elections draws near, Obama superPAC ads will likely become more desperate. "So what's more desperate that accusing Romney of murdering someone's wife?" you ask. Stand by.
How about a superPAC ad -- the superPACs are the pit bulls of the Obama campaign - that subtly threatens urban disorder if Obama loses the election. It would make the point, while giving the Obama campaign credible denial (We don't control that dog!) of any complicity in crafting the message. We're watching that denial -- incredible, in the current case -- play out with the Obama superPAC ad featuring Romney-as-wife-killer.
Lest "urban disorder" be read as code words, I'll translate: Civil disorder among black youths in and near big city ghettos. Never mind that America's failing large cities have been largely run by incompetent and corrupt Democrat politicians for decades. That wouldn't be mentioned in the ad.
Nor will there be any mention of the rash of flash mobs popping up in convenience and department stores across the nation where they pilfer goods from shelves and racks, then run away. The flash mob phenomena receive local news attention, and national coverage through the DRUDGE REPORT, but not much notice beyond those venues.
So as the prospects for Obama's re-election become dicier over the next two months, how can an Obama superPAC send a message suggesting that Obama must be re-elected in order to keep peace in America's cities? And do it without being too obvious in intent?
How about this approach:
The narrator -- a woman's voice -- begins by reminding viewers that, in '08, America proudly elected an historic Presidential candidate. No elaboration needed.
It transitions to a description of the plight of urban American cities -- like Detroit -- where Romney-like jobs outsourcing has robbed urban dwellers of their opportunities for employment. (The sub-text, communicated via unscripted video, is that rich suburban folks are able to commute to work in their foreign luxury cars. Not so for the urban poor.)
The ad shows idle youth standing on street corners. The narrator asks, "Without hope, what becomes of these young Americans?"
Translation: How will they respond if the man who gave them hope is rejected by the nation? Will this not represent a rejection of them, too?
The ad fades, closing with that lingering question.
By its end, it will have delivered a subtle threat, without blatantly stating the threat.
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