This week I took to the streets to find out what people think of President Obama's campaign strategy as we head into the summer. I interviewed people from all walks of life: people who are my relatives, people who are not my relatives. People who watch Community and people who have never seen Community. I even talked to one woman who was over 50 years old (enjoy the diversity, millenials).
The first person I interviewed was Greg Simmons. Greg is my cousin. He's white, 26 years old, and works at a grocery store.
ME: Greg, recently the Obama campaign has gone negative. They've run ads showing workers who were laid off from companies bought by Bain Capital, which Mitt Romney once ran. Obama's gone on the record saying that being president is nothing like being CEO of a company because your job is not to maximize profit, your job is to give everyone a fair shot. Is the president right?
GREG: I don't like Obama because he's for gays and I'm not down with all that gay stuff.
ME: Thank you for your time, Greg.
The second person I interviewed was my mother's neighbor, Haley Lackman. Haley is 39 and works in HR at a company that makes windows.
ME: Haley, in a recent issue of The Atlantic, an anonymous letter to the editor describes the Obama White House as staffed by top operatives who are "way out of their depth, with poor to nonexistent management skills, unbalanced personalities and vast overconfidence." How much of Obama's real or perceived lack of accomplishment is because of his staff, and would you be more likely to vote for him if you knew he was going to make staffing changes?
HALEY: I like Obama because he talked to those kids who have to go to high school in a shopping mall because their town got blown away by a tornado. I just think it would be so fun to go to high school in a shopping mall. Also I don't like Romney because he's some fat cat.
ME: I didn't ask about Romney.
HALEY: Well, I might not have totally understood the question.
ME: Thank you, Haley.
The next stop on my journey was Florida (via Skype) where I talked to my Aunt Mary. My Aunt Mary is 54 years old, but she still gets around okay. She's very sharp and spry even at such an advanced age. I do not know her last name.
ME: Aunt Mary, people were up in arms over Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's statement that Ann Romney had "actually never worked a day in her life." This has been, arguably, one of the Obama campaign's biggest missteps so far. As a homemaker yourself, do you feel Rosen's comments were justified? Is a candidate's family fair game for attacks?
AUNT MARY: I'm voting for Mitt Romney because he is the family man, and he has many handsome sons that he loves very much. You can see that he loves them when he's on the TV with them.
ME: I didn't ask who you were voting for. You do realize President Obama has a family as well?
AUNT MARY: I don't like Obama because, you know, we're Presbyterian.
(At this point the Skype connection broke and could not be reconnected.)
ME: Aunt Mary? Aunt Mary?
Finally I interviewed Robert Hernandez. Robert is a complete stranger who happened to sit next to me during a Greyhound bus trip.
ME: Robert, Obama's election sparked an outpouring of enthusiasm and hope. Many people believe there's been backlash because the president couldn't live up to his own hype. Do you think President Obama has been a victim of his supporters' high expectations? If so, how could he set more realistic expectations for the next four years?
ROBERT: The idea that Obama is a victim of his own hype is preposterous. In fact, quite the opposite is true. If Obama had accomplished even a little bit of what he set out to accomplish, his apologists would be singing his praises and throwing those accomplishments in our faces. The truth is Obama's persona and popularity have staved off some of the harsher criticisms that could have been thrown at him. Even the Republicans are afraid to go for the jugular with this guy.
ME: Oh! Okay. Fascinating. Is there a way Obama can leverage this 'media invulnerability' going into the election?
ROBERT: Well, he's already blinded us to the fact that he is a secret black Muslim Hitler working to destroy our young men and women by teaching them rape is natural.
ME: Thank you for your time, Robert.
There you have it: authentic, real-world analysis of President Obama's reelection strategy. If you were shocked, dismayed or offended by any of the opinions expressed by the people I interviewed, don't worry. None of them are registered voters. Any more.
You're welcome, America.
Photo by Flickr/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, Hilary Rosen, Indecision Delegates, Mitt Romney, Republicans