DePaul University marketing professor Bruce Newman, who has written several books on political marketing, sees the teasing as a strategy for Obama, through his wife, to appeal to professional women who might otherwise vote for one of his chief rivals for the nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.So is this a good way to use the candidate's spouse? I think it depends on how good the delivery is. It could be tiresome and phony. We need some video:
By joking about his domestic foibles, Michelle Obama is showing herself as a woman who doesn't kowtow to her husband, he said.
''It's a clever strategy. I think it's very wise,'' Newman said.
It might even earn him some points with men, said Harvard University's Thomas Patterson, a professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
''Men in a strange sort of way understand leaving butter out and socks laying around. It humanizes the guy,'' Patterson said.
Pretty good, I think. It could get old, but it's kind of charming for now.
IN THE COMMENTS: This is very smart, from Dan:
I think the unstated premise behind such playfulness, that is to say the implicit contrast it provides to the Clinton's something other than intimate and endearing relationship, allows it to work better than normal. A strong comparison is being drawn. I can't help but think in the back of her mind such a contrast is the conscious goal of what would otherwise be insignficant filler. If so, fairly subtle and thoughtful rhetoric, and perhaps part of the reason as to why the delivery was pretty good. These aren't throw-away comments by Mrs. Obama. Rather a great use of innuendo--i.e. the Clinton's are bad, not like us in this room. Laura Bush has also been very successful with this kind of humor directed at "George". John Kerry and Theresa Heinz Kerry being the latest and last foil. Anyway, Barack doesn't screw around, he's at home with me, but I still haven't gotten him to put away his socks.Another take, from BJK:
I see the strategy: vote for the nagging spouseFrom Susan:
vote for the candidate with the nagging spouse: Obama '08!
I liked her body language. Very open. And when she put her hands on her hips, which can be an aggressive, dominant stance, it came across to me as just confident. I had never seen her speak before and I don't think I could ever vote for someone as liberal as Obama, but I was impressed with the way she came across.Yes, she has a nice, natural, youthful manner. Quite unusual for a political wife, and I do think that modern women who believe in egalitarian relationships will get a much better vibe from the Obamas than from the Clintons. And I love the dress. [CORRECTION: It's not a dress, but a pants outfit. Looks like a dress when you don't see the full view.]