Obama Doll“Expert” German dollmaker Marcel Offermann has created a Barack Obama doll. While the doll, pictured here, possesses some accurate details, like Obama’s off again, on again US Flag lapel pin, his favorite sky-blue tie and a dark suit, something about this doll, I don’t know… seems a bit off?

“However it was difficult to replicate the attention to detail given to the clothing when it came to the doll’s head. Offermann explained that he was forced to adapt an off-the-shelf black doll’s head for his tribute to Obama, which is his first attempt at making a black doll… Offermann did, however, lighten the standard skin color of the doll’s head. “We tried to make it even lighter so that it would look more like Obama, but then it didn’t look so good,” he said. “So we said, let’s stick with this skin tone.”

The doll, meant to be an hommage to Obama, is 14 inches tall, costs €139 ($216) and is flying off the shelves. What? €139 is too much? 14 inches is too big? How about “Six inches of plastic freedom” (I didn’t make that up…) by a company called Imaginegate? For between $11.99-$14.99 you can get an Obama action figure or talking bobblehead doll. And it looks like more like Obama and less like baby Sambo.

But what’s the real story behind these pop culture manifestations of Obama? Are his recent policy moves towards the center resulting in broader popularity? These questions were asked by Gil Troy’s kids in the video below meant to promote his latest book Leading From the Center:

The issue to some is not whether or not Barack Obama can strike a more moderate pose, but rather ought he. Ariana Huffington didn’t mince any words in her strongly titled post Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers. Responding to Obama’s rethinking of his opposition to NAFTA as well as his reconsideration of his Iraq policy, Huffington stated:

The Obama brand has always been about inspiration, a new kind of politics, the audacity of hope, and “change we can believe in.” I like that brand. More importantly, voters — especially unlikely voters — like that brand…. Pulling it off the shelf and replacing it with a political product geared to pleasing America’s vacillating swing voters — the ones who will be most susceptible to the fear-mongering avalanche that has already begun — would be a fatal blunder… Realpolitik is one thing. Realstupidpolitik is quite another.

Gil Troy responds:

Arianna Huffington’s slam on centrism – “Memo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losers” — proves that the struggle for the soul of Barack Obama continues. Moderate voices must stand tall and strong against the partisans pulling him to the left. Obama’s meteoric rise to national prominence — and his victory in the Democratic primaries — resulted from the lyrical centrism of his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. Without that message of unity, moderation, centrism, civility, and sanity, Obama would be just another junior senator… For Democrats to win in 2008 — and for America to heal and to prosper – Barack Obama needs to find his centrist voice, showing that he can bring a new tone to American politics, as well as creative, broad-based solutions to some of the pressing problems the country faces. Obama has to make sure that the Republicans do not cast him as the next George McGovern. The young Illinois Senator could learn a lot from the pantheon of democratic heroes who understood how to have core principles but also the broad centrist vision necessary to keep this country united.

So is Obama pandering to swing voters in a cynical attempt to gain votes? Or is he being true to his principled commitment to national unity? And which strategy will ultimately result in a victory? As a Canadian, I’m all in favor of Troy’s approach, and despite being Canadian, I have a vested interest in Obama’s success – see I figure all these Obama dolls I bought online will shoot up in value if he gets elected President. So go on Barack! Win!

Yes you can!

Hat tip: Racialicious. That’s right. Racialicious. I didn’t make that up. Nor do I have anything to do with the site. Seriously.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

15 Comments

  • The most entertaining analysis of Obama’s lurch to the center is Charles Krauthammer’s in the Post.

    Nothing wrong with changing your mind: in the case of Iraq, the Moveon.org viewpoint has been discredited by events, and Obama has little choice but to revise his position. In a month, you’ll be unable to tell him apart from George W. Bush or McCain on Iraq.

    However, Obama’s wholesale trashing in a matter of weeks of his views on a raft of issues– FISA, gun control, Iran among them– suggests, in Krauthammer’s words, not that he’s a bad guy– but just another pol.

    The only ‘change’ Obama truly believes in is his occupancy of the White House in 2009. Of course, he’ll have to survive the damage his flip-flopping has caused. He’s given McCain something to run on.

  • This is the only Obama Doll many people need. By the way, at least on FISA, Obama’s recent shifts aren’t a move to the “center,” unless you consider the shredding of the US Constitution to be a “centrist” position. Listen to my man Feingold for some bracing words (except for the part where he defends the Democratic candidate).

    FEINGOLD FOR PRESIDENT 2008

  • McCain can’t run on that alone, Tom. Flip-flopping can be turned against him pretty easily.

    Whoever can convince the American public that they’ll be good for the economy will win. I think the Iraq issue is falling back into the shadow of a sick economy.

    Of course, the Democrats are idiots for not trying harder to push through bills helping out with the mortgage crisis because as the situation worsens, they will end up taking equal blame for a Republican debacle.

  • The parties will get together on a bailout, and the subprime crisis per se won’t be an issue.

    McCain’s got a longer voting record and paper trail, true. (Obama’s more likely to cast him as a doctrinaire conservative, not a flip-flopper.) Obama, though, has made concrete promises– like opting out of Nafta, and withdrawing from Iraq by 2010. How will he explain an about-face on Nafta?

    Is he the most orthodox liberal in the Senate, as his record indicates? Or this newly-minted centrist? This is grist for McCain’s mill, and the liberals who hold their noses on the FISA vote and others may regret being so indulgent.

  • They may get together on a bailout but the delay in getting here has made everything much worse. Pure idiots!

    You’re right that McCain will be depicted as Bush II and Cheney II all mixed into one, but my point was that any time McCain brings up flip flops, Obama can neutralize the attack by showing the hypocrisy.

    I agree regarding Obama’s about-face but he brought it on himself. Hillary would have had the same problem with NAFTA. Wait a minute, did I mention Hillary? Gosh, the fond memory of that woman makes me want to not defend Obama…

  • This doll looks nothing like him, what is the point of purposely not making the doll look like him. If you have eyes you can see he looks totally different. Why would you not just have a replica of him?! You should have worked on the doll more before it was sold. Anyone can buy a doll and put a flag pin and a suit, not impressed. If you are doll maker then you should take more time and effort to let them come out right!!

  • I think that the doll maker is a sad and pitiful person. This doll he has created looks nothing like Obama. It is a sambbo type doll desinged to make fun of him being of African American descent.If you are a real artist you would portray him as he naturally looks as to what the artist eye really sees not from a racist standpoint of deceit.

  • I would agree with “Kim”. This “So Called” artist, lacks professional integrity, and self respect of the proclaimed arts. Obiviously the “artist” has such deep seeded issues with desendants of African heritage,of whom have done nothing to him,accept exist. Well, get over “IT” and yourself. Society IS moving forward, even without miserable people like yourself!I would usually be of the mind to pray for such individuals as you, but I’ve come to accept that the devil has his people,just as the Lord Jesus Christ has His.And therefore, will be judged accordingly, AMEN.

  • It’s a traditional type doll that is meant to honour Obama’s achievements. To read contempt for Obama into the actual depiction is, frankly, ignorant of the history of such dolls and also a tad paranoid.

  • In fact,Obama is worth a doll of gold.The best deed he is doing now is U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq.He deserves honor for that,not a random doll!!!

  • Dear fellows,don’t make fun of Obama the most moderate and just president that U.S citizens and residents of the wretched and poor Globe have never seen before.In comparison with him and that wicked cruel ex-president Jorge W.Bush;Obama is an angel whereas Bush is a dirty devil.

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