Monday, June 23, 2008

Obama To Get Chuck E. Cheese Letters

A more lighthearted story: 
Wash Post: Barack Obama was chatting with Katrina Davis, a Missouri woman whose daughter was hospitalized with a heart ailment, when he turned the talk to the half-dozen 7-year-olds who had slept over for his daughter's birthday.

"I know Chuck E. Cheese," Obama said as a group of reporters looked on. "That's as noisy a place as there is on Earth."

In his march to the Democratic presidential nomination, the Illinois senator has demonstrated an ability to mesmerize 20,000 people in an arena, but for all his sudden fame, most voters know little about the texture of his life. Now, in ways large and small, he and his staff are trying to add some dabs of color to a gauzy portrait, using media coverage to convey the sense of a down-to-earth fellow.


The jock narrative continued when Obama's traveling aide, Reggie Love, told the New York Times how the two men wind down after a long day by watching ESPN's "SportsCenter." And Obama repeatedly played hoops before the cameras during the final primaries, in one case with the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Such images can be an asset in neutralizing the false rumors that have been dogging Obama. "Where there are gaps in knowledge, there's always the danger of misinformation," Axelrod says.

The media can also serve as a megaphone. After the Chicago biking excursion two weeks ago, Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan wrote: "It's hard to get Willie Hortoned -- turned into the radical black guy who gives white America the heebie jeebies -- when you look as suburban, as unchic, as let's-hop-in-the-Explorer-and-head-to-Costco wonky as Obama looks in this oh-no! photo."