Obama’s planned visits to Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe are nothing more than an attempt by his campaign to photoshop Sen Obama into the White House. The fact that all three major networks, ABC,CBS and NBC, are sending their anchors abroad with him is all the proof anyone needs of this veiled trick by the Obama campaign.
As Sen Obama heads overseas, on the taxpayer dime, he will no doubt be looking for opportunities to pump up his bid for the Presidency. There will be no lack of opportunity as he shakes hands with world leaders and our troops as the networks scurry behind. I can see it now…Obama and an Iraqi soldier shaking hands, Obama and a General discussing the surge, Obama hugging an Iraqi boy who has lost his father in a suicide attack, Obama and (insert world leader here) sharing a chat while strolling some historic landmark. His entourage of other Senators (any on the short list for VP?) will be ignored so that America may see just how Presidential Obama can act (act being the key word).
But the theory is widely held that Nixon lost to Kennedy because his 5 o’clock shadow was visible during the televised debate. This trip could very well be Obama’s 5 o’clock shadow. Whatever Obama does will be scrutinized. Perhaps not by NBC or the other networks, but by talk radio, cable news, on the internetand by voters at large. Many will view some of his actions overseas as politically expedient or as just another politician traveling on my dime. This will be made even more clear if Obamaengages in campaign rhetoric while traveling. He may just turn out to be another politicain, a label he despises.
Another potential drawback for Obama is if he looks like he is not leading the delegation. As the Senators head into Iraq and Afghanistan, who will be their spokesperson? If it is not Obama, he could be perceived as lacking the will to lead. If he does not talk about leaving Iraq while in Iraq he may lose support among the most important and largest group of Obama voters, young Americans, who may also perceive him as just another politician.
Also, will rallies for Obama in Germany or other nations on their itinerary really help him win an election to become the President of the United States? Rallies will certainly show that he is popular but while on this trip he can’t engage in politics as usual without offending taxpayers at home who are funding the trip. John McCain’s trips, while held during the campaign season, were not political rallies and he did not engage in politics while abroad. Voters scratched their heads as to why he was in Columbia but did not hear McCain utter phrases about his opponent and his plans (veiled references that mean everything to anyone aside). Sen Obama must walk a tight rope of Senator and candidate while traveling abroad on the taxpayer dime.
In the end, this trip is a taxpayer funded campaign stop, especially with the networks in tow. Sen Obama’s is looking to add to his resume with pictures of foreign dignitaries and currently deployed military personnel. However, even with the technological advances in media since Nixon, the fact remains that you can not photo shop a President. Informed voters can always spot the 5 o’clock shadow and are always turned off by it.