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As Barack Obama barnstormed around Europe last week, the thought occurred that we aren’t looking at a man, nor are we observing the not-yet officially nominated presidential candidate. We are looking at a “brand.” Barack Obama has been branded. We are looking at the result of “Mad Men” at their finest. We are looking at an image. Think “Marlboro Man.”

Every moment is designed. Every photo-op is choreographed. Every background is contrived. Every word is practiced, which makes one wonder if any of his thoughts are his own. Where is his core? Does he even have one? Who is this man who glides into every room channeling Henry Fonda?

Does he have a “stylist” like George’s Clooney’s, who chooses all of his clothing for Oscar night or movie premieres? Does his stylist match his suit to each occasion? Does he don his Armani attire on the West Coast and his Brooks Brothers on the East? Is he wearing an L.L. Bean shirt, sleeves perfectly rolled up to his elbow, when he meets with blue-collar workers? Picture perfect.

Reporters are now asking Michelle who designs her clothes. Women were flocking into stores to buy the black and white sundress she wore on her first appearance on “The View.” Where did she get those signature pearls? She is being compared to Jacqueline Kennedy. The Obamas are appearing very “Kennedyesque,” the young and vibrant political duo ready to change our world. It’s all about image. Who is this couple? What do we really know about them?

Barack Obama counts William Ayers among his friends and advisers, a domestic terrorist who loathes our country. He chooses as his pastor and spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. For 20 years, Obama sat in his church listening to his vitriolic tirades and hatred for this great country of ours. He finally left the congregation when he was taken to task for the venom that the reverend spewed, then and only then.

Sen. Obama travels throughout the world apologizing for the sins our country has supposedly committed. He is embarrassed because Americans speak only English, forgetting that the rest of the world is only too anxious to learn and speak our language, the language of freedom and success. He claims that we are bitter, disillusioned and frustrated, forced to carry guns and go to church. Just this week, while campaigning in Elkhart, Ind., he told a 7-year-old girl that America is no longer what it could be, what it once was.

While speaking to a group of minority journalists last Sunday, Obama, pressed for his position on apologizing to blacks or offering reparations, said he was more interested in taking action to help people struggling to get by. Because many of them are minorities, he said, that would help the same people who would stand to benefit from reparations. He subtly suggests that our country should acknowledge the “wrongs” of the past, but stops short of saying that we should actually apologize. He traveled all the way to Iraq and couldn’t be bothered with visiting our wounded and injured soldiers because he could not turn it into a photo-op.

When was the last time he said something good and positive about our great country? His wife tells us that only now has she come to be proud of America.

Obama’s message is all about change. He and his wife have been afforded the opportunity of attending our country’s best universities, receiving an education that is second to none. They live in a $1 million home. He is a political neophyte who has been a senator for only three years, one of which he has been running for president.

It takes a certain arrogance to run for the office of president of the United State. That cannot be denied. He and his wife have gotten where they are today because of the opportunities our country has afforded them.

Obama’s message is one of “change.” Indeed, what is there to change? If this nation is as bad as they say it is, why do they even want to stay?


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