Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Obama's Penetration

I was watching SportsCenter the other night (not all that uncommon but certainly not a habit) and during a piece highlighting the Ohio State football team I was fairly shocked to hear the players talk about Barack Obama's stump speech -- specifically his reference to Dr. Martin Luther King's phrase, "the fierce urgency of now." The football team, doggedly avoiding the label of "chokers" after losing two national title games, has adopted this phrase as their motto for the upcoming season as a way to keep their focus on the moment, one day a time. They call it FUN or the "fierce urgency of now."

The fact that a football team vying for a national championship has taken up the mantle that Obama continues to talk about in stump speeches shows the penetrating depth his presidential campaign has in this cultural moment. Whether its because of his incredibly well-marketed message of Hope of Unity (who can be against that?) or because of the elevated attention and media hype around the entire process, its startling to hear SportsCenter, perhaps one of the most apolitical shows on TV, reference and show highlights of Barack Obama's stump speeches.

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