ABC News asked President Barack Obama whether he thought that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would win his party’s nomination. In prefacing his question, the reporter referred to a previous quote from the President where he had indicated that he thought the billionaire businessman would not be president. While the President didn’t comment on whether Donald Trump would win the nomination, he reiterated his belief that Trump won’t win the general election, saying that the office of the presidency is “not hosting…a reality show.”
President Obama said that he has “a lot of faith in the American people,” and for this reason Trump won’t win the presidency.
The President stated about the office of the presidency that “it’s not promotion, it’s not marketing.” These days, campaigning for higher office is very much promotion and marketing. That’s how candidates win. That’s how Barack Obama won.
Everything he did, said, even the clothes and the color of ties he wore, were calculated. The speeches he gave were tailored depending on the audience before him.
There’s a reason politicians are often compared to used car salesmen. Instead of selling used cars, they’re selling used ideas, and they’ll say anything to get people’s votes.
Politics is all about image and optics. It’s about establishing, defining, and promoting a brand. Campaign slogans are nothing more than marketing slogans. Debates and scripted campaign events are nothing more than reality shows. The whole campaign race is like watching American Idol.
To make matters worse, the national media treat it like entertainment. They have to market their coverage of the presidential race like entertainment so that people will watch. The more people watch, the more they are able to cash in on ad revenue.
Read related article: “Ad Revenue: The Winner of New Hampshire Will be the Media”
I agree that the presidency, even the campaigning part, shouldn’t resemble a reality show, and it shouldn’t be anything like marketing or promoting a brand. But the sad reality is that that’s all politics is these days. Marketing and promoting a reality show.