Campaign Metaphor - ship of state

I am trying to work out a metaphor to illustrate the choice we are presented in election '08. One old and moldy one is the "Ship of State". Our ship of state has been under the command of a reckless captain and a self dealing, corrupt crew. Working together, they have steered us onto the rocks, presumably hoping to get rich from salvaging the wreckage, or maybe they are just fond of shipwrecks. Soon our bad captain will be stealing a lifeboat, (and taking some of his evil crew with him).

All the Republican candidates seem to be saying variations on "Elect me your captain, and full speed ahead! We'll smash those rocks, because of my manly leadership."

Hillary Clinton's message is: "Elect me your captain. I have been in these waters before, and I know how to steer us clear of the rocks and get us back on course."

John Edwards message is: "Elect me your captain. I have the strength of will to fight the remaining evil crewmen if they dare to disobey my orders."

Here is where I need some help. I cannot figure out exactly what Obama's message is. Maybe: "Elect me your captain. I can win the rocks over to our side." or "Elect me your captain. I will unite the evil and good crewmen with my charisma." or "Elect me your captain. It's time we got past petty bickering over which way the ship is headed, and worked together to form a new ocean, where the rocks are all soft, and the water isn't wet." Any ideas?

I am being somewhat silly above of course, but it does illustrate a real point of confusion for me. I really cannot understand the Obama phenomenon - why so many people (including many public figures for whom I have great respect) go for his message, how it could ever actually work in the real world, what Obamaism (assuming that is a word) means in practical terms.

I'd welcome any real thoughts from any perspective. There is a decent chance that I will be voting for this man in November, and I would like to understand his movement.

Tags: clinton, Edwards, obama (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Campaign Metaphor - ship of state

Unfortunately, if you elect Obama "Captain," his ship will be called the "Titanic."

by reasonwarrior 2008-01-29 09:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Campaign Metaphor - ship of state

OK, I gather you are not an Obama supporter. (Neither am I for the primary, but since my state votes in May, it hardly matters.)

I am looking for perspectives from both supporters of Obama and others. How would you characterize his pitch? "Make me your captain because ..." Snark is good, but insight would be even better.

by itsthemedia 2008-01-29 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Campaign Metaphor - ship of state

Elect me and I'll let our enemies tell us how to steer around the rocks so they like us.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-30 01:54AM | 0 recs
Elect me

and I will let the people who have run us in to the rocks tell us how to avoid them....so they will like me and I can win.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-30 01:59AM | 0 recs
public figures for Obama

don't buy his nonsense, they just figure the people do and they think he can hypnotize us all in to voting for him.  They have a profound disrespect for the voters.

by MollieBradford 2008-01-30 01:56AM | 0 recs
Re: public figures for Obama

Well, I picked an old moldy metaphor on purpose. People have been using it for ages, and the fact that Obama's value proposal cannot easily fit into it seems to imply that it is psychobabble.

by itsthemedia 2008-01-30 07:23PM | 0 recs

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