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New Obama Campaign Theme: Just a Dude

By Doug Powers  •  December 29, 2011 01:10 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

In 2008, voters were promised that a vote for the candidate of Hope & Change would mean the rise of the oceans would slow, the hungry would be fed, the jobless would have jobs and Kardashian marriages would last more than a week. This led some Americans to believe that they would no longer have to worry about paying for their mortgages and gas anymore, while causing others to get thrills up their legs.

The hero-worship soon faded as the gathered post-inaugural throng watched their high-flying Superman get sucked into the jet engine of reality. The administration, in recognition of that problem, is changing themes this time around. Our hero’s cape and halo are being shed and replaced this election year by a bowling bag and a six pack of Busch Light. “Just a dude” has arrived:

…the president’s 2012 campaign has a new Joe Sixpack theme: “He’s just a dude!”

Softening his image and making him appear more approachable than his whining White House press corps—kept far from his Hawaii vacation stops—suggests, the campaign is distributing a short interview with one of President Obama’s donor dining guests who said his host was far from Superman.

“He’s just a dude!” says Casey Helbling, who attended Obama’s hot dog dinner with low-dollar donors in northern Virginia last October. “It was great to have a frank conversation with him, to realize that he’s not Superman,” he added.

The campaign is using Helbling’s interview, and emails from the president, first lady and even former presidential “body man” Reggie Love to promote his second donor dinner for the campaign. Aides say that the dinners are extremely successful in raising money and energizing supporters.
Presenting the president as just a regular dude is a smart move, according to Democratic advisors, who are concerned that the president hasn’t connected well with middle-income Americans, especially men.

While on vacation in Hawaii, a strategy is being tweaked that will make Just a Dude — or maybe “The Big O-Bowski” works better — more approachable to regular joes:

Diners have been trying to takes pictures of POTUS, only to be chased off by advance staffers.

Okay, they didn’t say the “approachable dude” thing was going to start today.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media