January 31st, 2008

The art of politics

Gerard Vanderleun has called our attention to a campaign poster of Obama, created by graphic artist Shepard Fairey in his characteristic retro-Soviet style:

It’s really got it all, hasn’t it? The iconic angle of the fearless idealized leader as seen from slightly below — the supplicant’s viewpoint. The soulful gaze directed slightly up and slightly to the his left as if seeing farther and deeper into the future than mere mortals. The punching up of the red, white and blue — a color scheme no candidate can afford to do without. Then finally the large single word that somehow assures and inspires at the same time; the word that motivates as well as palliates: PROGRESS.

And indeed it does have it all, just as described:


But since I’ve been immersing myself lately in images of the 60s, I noticed another thing it’s got: a distinct resemblance to JFK.

The graphic seems to stretch and widen Obama’s face in a way that enhances any likeness he might have to the late President, thus subliminally underscoring the recent endorsements of Kennedy brother Ted and daughter Caroline.

Unless I’ve become unhinged from watching too many You Tube videos of JFK, perhaps you can see what I’m talking about:


23 Responses to “The art of politics”

  1. Campaign poster art….The Mantra remains the same… at Amused Cynic Says:

    [...] Neo-neocon looks at this poster and sees an attempt to invoke JFK. Funny, I see the “retro-Soviet” iconic image as stylistically reminiscent of those Che Guevera T-shirts so popular with the undereducated college students and aging boomers who form Obama’s groupie “base.” [...]

  2. Valjean Says:


    No, you’re not unhinged — but you might expand your horizons about leftist obsessions with graphic visages. For example, there’s this fellow, who seems to have had his mug rendered a few times:


    … and, of course, the original thug pin-up:


    Interesting to see Mr. Obama in the same company …

  3. nyomythus Says:

    Slight resemblance, yes … but I also love retro-Soviet style art!

  4. Cappy Says:

    Is fearless leader. Can Mr. Big be far behind?

    Moose and Squirrel must die!

  5. driver Says:

    Michelle Obama does kind of look like Natasha, come to think of it.

  6. harry9000 Says:

    Good call Neo. By the way, I aslo love the old Soviet modernist art. The romanticism of a politcal movement. You klnow what else was cool? Pictures of Yugoslav partisans during WW2. Those guys were always striking dramatic poses with weapons and banners. They looked awsome. I wish I had that to post. I only have Lenin:

  7. harry9000 Says:


  8. Perfected democrat Says:

    “The punching up of the red, white and blue — a color scheme no candidate can afford to do without. ”

    I must be color blind, I see red, yellow and blue… and “Progress”, a typically vague and Orwellian platitude which, based on his more concrete discussions, actually intends more and bigger central government programs and higher taxes, which some people call socialism. In reference to Obama’s interview with the french magazine and his intent to have “muslim summit”, “I will ask them to join us in battling terrorism but we should also be willing to listen in terms of some of their concerns,” he said. Didn’t they just have one, called “Annapolis”, and when the Israelis spoke they removed the translation monitors in their ears…. There is much indignation when people like myself suggest that what we have in hand here is a real life version of a “Manchurian Candidate”, but as the addage goes, “if it walks, talks, and looks like a duck, it must be”….

  9. douglas Says:

    Interesting observations. Progress. As in “Progressive” as in the inexorable march of history toward the inevitable communist future!

    WHat I can’t figure out is what is in the middle of the Obama ‘O sunrise’ logo? The logo normally has an empty center (perfect representation of the original). This one has something with a star and I’m not sure what… I zoomed in but the resolution isn’t that great. Pixellated, it looks reminiscent of some old soviet star on a military medal.

  10. driver Says:

    Heh. I zoomed in too, and I think it’s a face superimposed over a star. Big Brother?

  11. Al Fin Says:

    Big Brother Barack? It has a ring to it.

    Yes, it is indeed neo-soviet art, the revival of which should be cheered by collectivists everywhere!

    This is the season of Audacious Hope in America, as in Kenya.

  12. Xanthippas Says:

    There is much indignation when people like myself suggest that what we have in hand here is a real life version of a “Manchurian Candidate”, but as the addage goes, “if it walks, talks, and looks like a duck, it must be”….

    Well now wait…is he secretly a Islamofascist or a Communist? Which “duck” are we talking about here?

  13. Portia Says:

    Well now wait…is he secretly a Islamofascist or a Communist? Which “duck” are we talking about here?

    Both are empty shells to claim the right of the “enlightened few” to control all actions of the unenlightened many. Both are attempts to restore a form of “nobility derived from birth” that wonderful system that kept most of humanity in shackles for millenia. It quacks like a duck. It waddles like a duck. It is of little importance to me whether the duck is yellow or pink.

    I’d like to say I don’t know if he’s conscious of being a manchurian candidate. But I do know he has internalized guilt for his father’s desertion of his mother and himself, and has idealized the foreign and “other” who are of course among our enemies. I don’t know if he ever had a choice to do otherwise, or if he was programmed to choose this way. I would think he nursed white guilt with his mother’s milk, and that too he’s interiorized. I think what we’re looking at is an even more naive and blinkeredly traitorous Carter, dressing up his wish to reunite with his “oppressed” — never mind he’s an elite politician in Kenya. He’s black, therefore oppressed — father by appeasing the islamists and stabbing his white mother (US — never mind we’re not by any means a white country. Thank heavens. I’m talking about what I’m sure — from reading his bio — is his ideation, not the reality) in the back and making daddy see it’s all HER fault, so he’ll come back for sonny and see he’s worthy of daddy. This unconscious need is cloaked in the language of rescuing the oppressed in America and leveling the classes and all that rott, in the old Marxian patois that always comes in so handy for such things.

    In other words, he’s a profoundly damaged individual, marching to a tune he can’t even understand, and having to hold on to cherished illusions in order to survive relatively sane. All those leftists who accused Bush of a daddy complex are about to see the real thing.

    If this duck gets power, our goose is cooked.


  14. harry9000 Says:

    The messiah is above having to make plebeian gestures.


  15. Ymarsakar Says:

    Since the Soviets were not defeated by a war, now we see the consequences of what happens when one claims victory without a war to settle the issue once and for all.

  16. nyomythus Says:

    There is the hope that he might mature as a leader, though I would prefer to see evidence before becoming president.

  17. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    And this image as well: http://members.telering.at/pat/goua.jpg

    I’m noticing a theme, here…

  18. Perfected democrat Says:

    The problem is, about half or more of the country is buying into this…. so we now have a dead center mainstream democrat (McCain) close to becoming the Republican nominee (and which would make him a very respectable contender if he were running as a democrat); Instead the dims are about to nominate an authentic manchurian candidate, while Hugo Chavez courts hezbollah and harasses “his” Jews (with his “security” director a former saddam/Iraqi ambassador), and the mayor of London is a second term Ken Livingstone….. The islamization of western europe, the europeanization of America, a steady erosion of culture and character which reminds me of the evolution of the 1930′s, and which had to become a crisis and a blood bath before people with some common sense, inspired by some finally gut level fear, finally felt compelled to take responsibility….. But the stakes are so much higher now, no doubt someone with a little money, and access to some obscure caves and the internet, could easily fabricate some nasty wmd which would easily fit into a standard shipping container…. people don’t have enough appreciation and respect for what has been accomplished in Iraq and Afghanistan due to Bush and Darth Vader’s leadership…. What really bothers me is the devolution of Rice…..

  19. Perfected democrat Says:

    P.S. … and this interesting tidbit from Politcal Mavens site: “There are people turning 20 next year who have never known a time when there has not been a Bush or a Clinton as president of the United States.” Think about it…..

  20. Perfected democrat Says:

    It’s doubtful this is what the founding fathers intended….

  21. sf Says:

    Lots of thoughtful analysis in the above comments.

    Obama’s seeming anti-American streaks will simply ensure a Clinton win–compared to Obama, Hillary looks like a moderate.

  22. Al Fin Says:

    It is fascinating to contemplate a US presidential cabinet composed of members whose last names are all “X.”

    I am reminded of the wave of populist hope that rose around the David Dinkins mayor-ship in NYC. A wave of glorious change was supposed to sweep across the city, bringing a new millenium. Most of us remember what actually happened.

    The same type of audacious hope for millenial change surrounds the candidacy of Barack Obama. And I think we all can see where it would actually lead, should the candidacy achieve its ultimate goal.

  23. j Says:


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