Barack Obama’s presidential nomination campaign looked like it was steaming ahead perhaps a bit too smoothly. The headlines this weekend, “Obama ancestors owned slaves, a researcher found” http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/03/04/obama_ suggest that some dark force had a reason to throw a spanner in the bandwagon. Pals of mine in the U.S. had suggested Obama would be an antidote to the political spin game and many thought he would escape the bondage of PR consultants. I rfeckon his initial success and a measure of his power has frightened certain quarters of Republican America, and this research has been used to undermine his campaign. His political credentials were never great, he is no Martin Luther King, but he does appear to be something different. Much of liberal America thought he would be a Capraesque figure with the ability to make a fairy tale ascension to the big job. I suggest that this spurt of publicity has been generated by those that fear him most. One would hope that there aren’t too many other skeletons in the cupboard or they’ll be used against him as well.
Let’s not forget the man who wrote the PR handbook for political spin, way back when was Edward Bernays. He clearly identified that it was possible to manipulate negativity to turn public opinion. It’s true that the public is getting frustrated by spin, but this make the spinners choose to work harder on an ever escalating scale. When Jessie Jackson was supported by black democrats in 1988, he scored high, but there was enough other information was leaked that counteracted the headlines, so belief in his brand was undercut by the very heartland of the black American lobby. It was described at the time as “telling people that what they think is true, is actually true” in other words it had the same effect as telling people that what they think is true, is not true. This cleverly played out to undermine momentun deliberately making real truth ununclear. When there is too much news around in any political race, everyone gets suspicious. I was once told that when talking about creating an explosive device, people tend to focus not on the explosive damage of the device , but why the bomb is being discussed. There are book shelves full of political spin but there are no significant text books, as those involved choose not to put their true experiences into words and therefore create a legacy for their work