Saturday, August 16, 2008

Obama seeking the "Harley-Davidson vote"

Something tells me Obama will have a tough time winning the Harley vote.
The candidate with the fern-sounding name is truly living up to his pledge to compete for American votes everywhere. Barack Obama hopes to tip Pennsylvania by appealing to Harley-Davidson riders and their fellow-travelers. The slogan is "Buy American, Vote Obama," and the logo looks like, well, this. Dan Riehl thinks this is a bad idea, and I agree with him though for slightly different reasons.

First, it is transparently inauthentic even by the standards of Democratic politics. Barack Obama, like virtually all graduates of Harvard Law School and similar institutions in the last thirty years, is nothing if not a "transnational". He correctly considers the world to be his oyster, generally believes that we're all in this together on the pale blue ball, enjoys consuming the things that other countries have to offer in trade for our stuff, and does not believe that the United States should advance itself at the expense of others just because we can. There is nothing wrong with these views; generally I share them (except maybe the pale blue ball part). But I do not run around claiming to "buy American," either.

My two thoughts: first, Harley-Davidson voters are not going to vote for a guy who has a dainty bowling form. Second, Harley-Davidson is unashamedly American; so Harley voters will never support a guy who is more at home with European culture than American society. Remember this quote?
"You know, it's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], "Merci beaucoup." Right?"
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Obama has the Volvo vote locked up. But he can forget the Harley vote.
At Sturgis, McCain calls the roar of Harley engines "the sound of freedom"

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