On Friday, the Drudge Report stamped the issue of President Obama’s declining popularity during the upcoming election cycle with some unique typography. The link referenced emphasized the stench Obama carries to Democrats in capital letters and dotted with periods: “WHITE HOUSE PLAN: KEEP. OBAMA. OUT. OF. BATTLEGROUND. STATES.”
Back in 2010, the Drudge Report stroked the editorial keyboard to punctuate Obama quotes in a way that evoked the president’s personal speaking style, a cadence instantly recognized as Obama’s own. At that time, a pair of Drudge headlines popped right out at the readers: “For. All. The. Progress. We’ve. Made. We’re. Not. There. Yet” and “It’s. Understandable. That. People. Are. Asking ‘What. Have. You. Done?'”
Prior to the 2010 elections, Democrats were antsy for Obama to “fire up the base.” According to Politics Daily, Obama needed to come out swinging with a “bat” instead of “quaint use of nuances.” The general consensus of the Democrats was that Obama was waiting too late to help them rally the political landscape to their favor, especially in battleground states.
The pressure appeared to work and Obama was soon all over the nation stumping for Democrats who were besieged by complaints in town halls about Obamacare, border security, jobs and the economy. From the heartland, a conservative commented, “I. can’t. wait. til. November.”
On Wednesday, November 5 of 2010, Obama conceded the election was a “shellacking.” Even though Democrats had lost the House, Obama was unwilling to acknowledge that the election reflected any public animosity towards his policies.
Back then, some considered perhaps the Drudge Report typography an apt way to stress that Obama’s response to Americans was often considered cool. So cool that in fact his response was viewed as “out of touch, robotic and unfeeling.”
Currently, Obama’s polls show opinions have changed a bit, for the worse. Try as he might, Obama’s popularity is mired in a significant slump, unable to pull out of the 40 percentiles.
Obama’s name is now considered to be the best Republican “attack line.” Guy Harrison, a media consultant for the Republican Senate nominees in Arkansas, Colorado and North Carolina, claims Democrats in those states sees Obama not as a “life preserver,” but as an anchor destined to pull them down.
As a consequence, the White House strategy is to limit Obama’s campaign trail to the states where he still has some clout. Expect to see the president in Illinois, Pennsylvania and California. Expect to see the rest of the Democrat Senate incumbents do their best to distance themselves from the president’s policies, as in “I. Am. Not. Obama.”
This stand-out typography isn’t new for Drudge or even exclusive to the Drudge Report. However, it does seem to pop up frequently prior to an election cycle. Certainly it would be a reach to think Drudge thinks typography can influence an election.
After all, it was Matt Drudge who wondered on Twitter if Americans even wanted change in the gridlock of Congress. Matt cynically predicted voters would “probably” vote exactly as they have in the past and nothing would “change.”