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Friday, March 21, 2008

The Hootie Effect

I promise this is about the election. Bear with me.

Remember when Hootie and the Blowfish were the coolest thing you could possibly talk about? Their music was everywhere, David Letterman loved to say their name, Dan Marino appeared in their music videos, MTV devoted endless specials to them, everyone owned the album... and then... nobody wanted to be with them...

Spring of 1996, their first album, Cracked Rear View, having sold 16 million copies, was still sitting in the top ten when they released their second album, Fairweather Johnson (which I really liked). It sold only 3 million copies and suddenly the coolest thing on earth to be was an anti-Hootie person. What had changed? America's fickle public opinion.

Now, Jeremiah Wright has created a Hootie Effect for Obama. Obama was the man. He was the best. He was the great hope of America. Everybody who was anybody wanted to go vote for this man. Record voter turnout was rampant and he was raising money at a pace that was breaking records. He was ahead of Clinton and McCain in all the national polls. Then, the shine started to wear off, and as America always loves to do to someone on top, they started to tear him down. In comes Jeremiah Wright and suddenly Obama's campaign is drowning.

I suppose we should be grateful this happened in the middle of the democratic primary and not say, in October. Perhaps, Obama can weather this "Fairweather Johnson" moment and manage to rebound. Let's hope America wants to hold his hand again before November.

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