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Idol Chatter

batmanpicforic.jpgPresumed presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama have revealed their favorite pop culture icons, including superheroes, with McCain favoring Batman and Obama, Spider-Man and Batman, according to Reuters.
I find myself asking two glaring questions:
1. Was this a light story about what candidates prefer or will it actually influence the vote in our ever-shallowing nation?
2. Were the candidates authentic?
Ever since politics became more about show, sound-bites, one-liners and smart photo ops than about issues, I think just about anything we read about these guys has the chance of being as believable as their plans to fix Iraq, the economy, and the oil crisis. Obama makes a hoop shot. McCain hugs a soldier. Obama dresses casual to appear youthful with kids. McCain dons a cap to be hip with that day’s audience. Obama says he likes Spider-Man and McCain says he likes Batman. Or, do their campaign wonks just fill out the survey and send it back?
Obama is quoted as liking Spidey and the Caped Crusader because “they have some inner turmoil.” McCain articulates a preference for Batman because he “pursues justice against insurmountable odds.” Heck, these sound like veiled references to the men’s respective identities as racial revolutionary and war hero.


McCain’s response also said he liked ABBA (whose music is conveniently featured in a current hit movie) while reaching out and mentioning Usher, whom he met while doing Saturday Night Live. Obama, reaching out to McCain’s generation, mentioned Frank Sinatra among his favorites. Further, Obama listed older generation shows like “M*A*S*H*” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show” while McCain names more recent shows like “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Dexter.” Obama’s favorite actor playing the President? White guy Jeff Bridges. McCain’s? African-American Dennis Haysbert.
It’d be nice if these were authentic responses, but whether it’s called politicotainment or enterpolitics, there sure seems to be enough cross-over that makes me hesitant to trust–or care–much about the daily stories such as these. I find it more believable that someone in the campaign handled the survey request, and the candidates read about their tastes on the plane to their next campaign stop.
Gosh, do I sound too cynical?

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