*In the quick paced environment that is headline writing, the 2008 Presidential election saw two caricatures develop.
John McCain was cast as the longtime politician increasingly out of touch with younger voters. He was a senior citizen befuddled by technological innovations.
Barack Obama was the contrast as the young vibrant candidate. He was a child of the 1960s who raised money for his campaign on the internet and became a media darling.
While Obama did have state and US senator on his resume, his media profile drove his candidacy. Obama’s ultimate success was bound to inspire a wave of politicians who based their campaigns around media even with relative inexperience in government.
The latest person to follow this plan of action is Donald Trump. Obama’s road map seems tailor made for Trump, a person who has made a living essentially producing hype around his projects and his brand.
If and when Trump decides to run for President his campaign will become the uber campaign using new media.
Obama highlighted his star power over his limited experience in national government. Trump has zero experience in national government.
Obama inspired twenty somethings as a symbol and agent of change. Trump would also push for change, albeit reactionary change.
Obama maximized the use of his public speaking skills. One of Trump’s strongest assets is his ability to command a crowd.
If he runs, Trump will be a great test case. Not because he can win – he has no chance at the White House.
Trump will be a great test because Obama was a politician that became a celebrity; Trump is a celebrity who had very little public political interests attempting to become a politician. In other words a vote for Trump would basically be a vote for celebrity.
And if Trump does well get ready for “Snooki for Governor” buttons.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His work has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected]