A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm really struggling. . .

. . .to come up with a good analogy for Barack Obama. Some have tried to draw one between him and Joe Biden and his past plagiarism in campaign speeches, but I can't really go that far. I think it falls short because, in Biden's case, he lifted passages that would tend to make him appear to be a much more dynamic speaker than he really is, complete with big ideas and everything. The parts that Obama cribbed from Deval Patrick were fairly standard oratory that he probably could have done better himself, but simply used them because they seemed to apply so well to the criticisms he was taking from the Clinton camp.

I thought Milli Vanilli was the more apt comparison, given the lip syncing scandal that eventually led to their being essentially forced to return the Grammy Awards they received under false pretenses by claiming credit for singing that had been performed by studio artists on their record. But, this doesn't seem quite applicable, either. Much of Obama's appeal is, in fact, in his performance and delivery -- and there seems little doubt that he is perfectly capable of giving a good peformance, regardless of the actual content of his speeches.

Now, though, I think I've finally stumbled upon the proper parallel.

Obama has the ability to generate immense enthusiasm in an audience while saying, for all its exciting appeal, absolutely nothing of substance. His technique seems to be to whip listeners into a sort of rapturous frenzy for the purpose of creating a desire to hear something more meaningful and substantive, but leaving that work to the headliner.

Indeed, Barack Obama is the hype man for the DNC. Here's a good example of what a hype man does, courtesy of Dave Chappelle as Li'l Jon.

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