“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 â‚¬139 ($216) and is flying off the shelves. What? â‚¬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.
Arianna Huffington’s slam on centrism – â€œMemo to Obama: Moving to the Middle is for Losersâ€ â€” 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 â€” and his victory in the Democratic primaries â€” 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 â€” and for America to heal and to prosper â€“ 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!