Its approaching a full year since Barack H. Obama made history and became the First African American to be elected as President of the United States. It also marked a successful completion of a campaign that engaged the entire US (and World) population, whether you voted for him or not. Every news outlet gained high ratings during last year’s campaign, covering the Big election, and the local elections, which also experienced record votes and interest amongst their respective localities.
Now, with a big Gubernatorial race in Virginia, that seems to be lackluster in energy and interest, I have to wonder if the hype of political novelty has run off. While Obama’s win and campaign has influenced many to grab a hold of politics in some form, it seems as if the coined “Obama Factor” is much harder to find among the candidates, and the grass roots.
I thought about this more after reading a Washington Post article which discusses the danger that Democratic Candidate Creigh Deeds has found himself in – and how its contributed to him not fully identifying his campaign and agenda with an Obama doctrine (so to speak). In this article, which you can read here, it mentions that the President will be in my area (Hampton Roads) this week to campaign for Deeds. With only a week until election day, I can only wish Deeds well and hope this outcome works for him (though at this time I am not moved for either candidate.. still have some research to do..).
So, after getting an invitation to the campaign rally (being held at the Ted Constant Center tomorrow), I began to hear others talk in excitement about seeing Obama. So, naturally I get excited and begin asking them about their thoughts of Deeds and the race, and to my surprise, they had no idea (or showed no interest) in the discussion. They simply just want to see Obama, no matter what he is talking about! Now, while I admit that I too would go see the President no matter what as well, I do find a problem here; how much will Obama’s visit help Deeds if people have no interest in him? Will it work to just say “Vote for Deeds because Obama came and told you so” – or is it too late for the Obama Factor to rub off on Deeds?