Shepard Fairey, the artist who created the image of Obama that became an icon of Obama forces during the 2008 campaign, admits that Obama isn’t the great vehicle of Change and Hope they were counting on: he says he understands why so many people have lost faith in the false messiah, his own disappointment is a common feeling that has affected many Democrats who had placed great expectations in the Obama.
Fairey explained the poster was a single image that was meant to convey the issues that he considered important health care, helping labor, and curtailing lobbyists.
The lobbyists’ and their influence ended up being nothing more than business as usual if not more so. Helping Labor has become a matter of promoting national unions with international aspirations and health care has become an albatross around the neck of Democrat incumbents up for reelection.
Fairey’s much-reproduced portrait of Obama — head tilted slightly upward, gazing into the distance, with the word “Hope” emblazoned underneath — captured the imagination of Democrats and unintentionally tweaked Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose husband had been elected as “The Man From Hope.” Hundreds of thousands of posters and stickers with the “Hope” image were distributed to supporters throughout the country. But that was just the beginning. It’s been reproduced countless times on the Internet, and a parody version, with Obama as The Joker and “Socialism” in place of “Hope,” is a favorite at Tea Party rallies.
Maybe it was inevitable that Hope would fade. Fairey’s blue-and-red image was altered from an Associated Press photograph of Obama, and the artist is embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit over use of that picture. (He didn’t discuss the case with National Journal.) Fairey, who at 40 is no kid himself, said it’s easy to see why young voters are down on Obama and the Democrats. He lamented that health care reform was watered down, Tea Party activists have been emboldened, and his man has fallen short on bold campaign promises like closing Guantanamo Bay.
“There’s a lot of stuff completely out of Obama’s control or any of the Democrats’ control,” Fairey allowed. “But I think there’s something a little deeper in terms of the optimism of the younger voter that’s happening. They wanted somebody who was going to fight against the status quo, and I don’t think that Obama has done that.”
To be sure, Fairey still supports Obama, and he says he would use his talents to assist the president’s re-election efforts in 2012. But he said that he couldn’t design the same Hope poster today, because the spirit of the Obama campaign hasn’t carried over to the Obama presidency.
There were many Americans seduced by the feel good Madison Avenue campaign of Obama, but the trouble with hype is that after all the BS, you must be able to produce something, four years is a long time to run on hype and lies. The great leader and community agitator who supposedly had the skills and knowledge to bring the country together has caused a much greater division in the country and weakened the country in the eyes of the rest of the world. His exposure as a failure has been so obvious that committed Democrat incumbents are distancing themselves from Obama and their votes on his agenda.
Yes Fairey, don’t feel alone in your disappointment, Independents and Democrats are admitting to themselves that the Obama image that you helped create is nothing more than an allusion that they wanted to believe, against common sense.
A professional horseman for over 50 years, Skook continues to work with horses. Skook has finished an historical novel, Fifty Thousand Years, that traces a mitochondrial line of DNA from 50,000 years ago to the present. The story follows a line of courageous women, from the Ice Ages to the present, as they meet the challenges of survival with grit and creativity. These are not women who whimper of being victims, they meet the challenges of survival as women who use their abilities without excuses or remorse, these women are winners, they are our ancestors.