Sometimes an astonishing symmetry manifests itself across wildly differing categories of mass marketing phenomena. Consider the resemblances between President Obama and the Microsoft Vista operating system:
1. Backed by a powerful organization (Democratic Party/Microsoft, with a hugely successful earlier product (President Clinton/Windows XP)
2. Delivers a slick, impressive interface (great on photos and videos, with lots of charisma, especially with the Michelle skin/beautiful GUI, with translucent windows)
3. Consumes more resources than its predecessor (more defense spending, more corporate subsidies, more entitlement spending/faster CPU, more powerful graphics card)
4. Doesn’t meet advertised claims (no prosecutions of torturers, no sanctions on crooked businesses, no transparency of government/poor support of existing peripherals, sluggish performance, trouble with legacy applications)
5. Dislike of product increases with growing familiarity (declining poll numbers/shrinking sales)
6. All problems will be fixed in the next release (Obama 2012/Windows 7)
The Obama presidency is remarkably similar to the Vista rollout: a triumph of marketing hype and superficial attractiveness that masks a fundamental deficit of meaningful improvements. Consider that for the last week the world press has been celebrating the fact that the Obamas are BETTER LOOKING than the leaders of Europe. Marketing mission accomplished.