Quick Comment: Family Matters

President Barack Obama has come under intense scrutiny following the use of the First Family in an online ad for the 2012 campaign. The family photograph, released last week, has come under fire following criticisms that the family are being used as a political asset despite Obama’s own reluctance to use his family during the 2008 general election.

Family members being used in a campaign is hardly a new tactic, it was seen used by Sarah Palin in 2008, and the 2012 candidates are reeling in their families as political props. Mitt Romney’s five sons have all been included in his race for nominee, and new favourite Rick Santorum temporarily abandoned the trail and cancelled press appearances in Florida in order to stay with his ill daughter. Humanizing and softening a politician through the use of family is no new ground breaking tactic (David Cameron’s newborn baby pictures in 2010 anyone?), yet why does Barack Obama suffer criticism of this standard tool? Or is it that the average American voter believes he should rise above the typical campaign ploys?

A user of the Washington Post online commented on this article  claiming ‘Even the crude Clintons had more class.’ In all the negative ads currently being pushed with Mitt Romney throwing his fellow Republican candidates to the wolves, a pleasant family photo is an anomaly in the mass of slaughtered Republican egos. My only question is, where is Bo? What better way to take a dig at the infamous Mitt Romney dog owner story than by using Bo in a campaign ad? Bark for Barack, Bo, Bark for Barack.

Shelley-Marie Phillips

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