End of Part One
Part Two: The Unraveling Begins — The Mid-term Elections of 2010
We pick up the story with the Mid-terms of 2010 rapidly approaching. The nation is beginning to better understand its new president. Unlike his immediate predecessors, President Obama has never been properly vetted. at least not in the way that Bush 43 and 41, were and Al Gore and Bob Dole had been.
By 2010, people began to understand that Barack Obama was more than a self-made man: Obama was a self-defined man. As a self-defined man, much of the traditional vetting provided by the media was compressed into a number of months, and much of that was taken directly from Obama’s autobiographies, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope”. And so we are back to the self-defined man, to a large extent, vetting himself.
And so it is none too surprising that many of the buzzwords surrounding the midterms are about Obama as a man, a person, a personality.
Comparing data from just before the 2008 general election, we see much the same patterns as today. Citations about Obama’s religion, his supposed “aloofness,” and even his smoking were much higher than what we had seen for other candidates (Bush, Kerry, Gore, etc.) in the previous two election cycles.
What we are seeing in the data appears to be a continuation of the process that ordinarily would have been ongoing for a decade or more. So the public vetting of the president continues on the Internet, in the blogs, throughout social media, and in the print and electronic media itself.
Paul JJ Payack
This MetaThought Commentary was written by Paul JJ Payack, commentator, author, speaker and Big Data Analyst, and president of both the ThoughtTopper Institute and the Global Language Monitor.
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