I was talking to my students today about the focus on image and marginalisation of substantial policy from much of the political communication that is made mainstream. In other words the stuff that is promoted to us is more about building a perception of the man rather than telling us what the man will do when elected. The following video is a prime example.
The link is sent around by email saying that his opponents are asking 'who is Barack Obama'. His campaign team's response is to: "share a video of personal moments from behind the scenes at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, so you can see Barack and Michelle as they are -- decent, warm, and kind people with a loving family". It is a fly on the wall style video, well done yet appearing to capture private moments - a cynic would wonder how much is staged and whether anyone can act normally when a camera is pointed at them. But the broader picture is also whether this is asking the US voter to vote Obama simply because he is a nice guy, a family guy, a guy 'like you' or just to get them interested and involved to collect further information. While the latter may be an aspiration is the former more likely in reality and if so does this have a negative impact on how informed voters actually are?