Sunday, June 08, 2008

Barack Obama gets younger

Have we ever seen Barack Obama wear jeans in public before?

Can't recall it.

Today the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee went for a bike ride along the lake shore in Chicago with his family. Perhaps for the first time in this campaign, he allowed himself to be seen in public wearing jeans and a casual shirt.

He looks really, um, young.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But it's hard to escape the conclusion that the Obama campaign has shifted its visual language now that 60-year-old Hillary Clinton is out of the race and 71-year-old John McCain is the opponent.

It appears that Senator Obama and his pollsters have calculated that voters would prefer a candidate who's older than 46 but younger than 71. And now that there is no candidate in the race who is older than 46 and younger than 71 (Ron Paul's still in, technically, but he's not younger than 71), they've concluded that voters are a lot more frightened of 71 than they are of 46.

So the senator was out in public today wearing jeans and riding a bicycle, recorded by cameras and sure to be seen in somebody's campaign commercials.

He's the picture of youth and fitness.

Or he's the picture of youth and inexperience.

He's the image of vigor and new ideas.

Or he's a college student home for the summer with his ideas and his laundry.

Place your bets.

Copyright 2008