Where is Obama’s Charisma?

By Ryan Devine

Widener University American Government Student

Jim Rutenberg recently penned an article depicting President Obama’s current campaign headquarters, strategy and enthusiasm.  Rutenberg’s article paints a picture of a very methodical, down to earth campaign committee that is working feverishly and with a slight air of desperation due to the recent surge by Governor Romney.  This stands in stark contrast to his 2008 campaign that became as much a pop-culture movement as it did a political one.  The boardwalks up and down the coast were littered with “Yes We Can” t-shirts and the iconic “Change” posters of Obama infiltrated every walk of life.  These gimmicks that then Senator Obama employed fueled him to a convincing win that never really seemed all that close in the waning weeks of the 2008 election.  However, this time around the possibility of defeat appears to be very real.  President Obama lived and died with the charismatic showman persona throughout his first run at presidency and, due to his natural talents, beat Senator John McCain.

President Obama seems to have abandoned that approach for the most part though and I have to believe it is a major factor in his inability to put Romney away before the debates and played a key role in his embarrassing performance in the first debate.  Essentially, he is playing a game that suits Mitt Romney’s strengths.  This year’s election seems to be a more classical campaign from both sides without the fanfare that Obama drew in ’08.  This has been a he advantage for Mitt Romney who comedian and political talking head John Stewart described as what you would get if you asked for a president to be shipped to you in a box, in terms of his appearance and his actions, while speaking with Bill O’Reilly on “The O’Reilly factor” in 2011.  Barack Obama’s inability to make himself the biggest celebrity in the world for a second time has clearly held back his ability to take control of this election.  Unless he can turn back the clock and really energize the nation around his image in the next two weeks, he is going have a very difficult time beating out Mitt Romney.


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