October 29, 2014

Businessweek’s Nearsighted "Obama Crisis Management" Cover

So, the point of the cover story is that Obama is overly cerebral, hyper-rational, intent on exploring every angle as deliberately as possible, and actually doesn’t appreciate or doesn’t think all that much about political theater or the role of salesmanship in addressing political noise or public hysteria. And that is reflected how in your cover?

In another piece in the same issue, political columnist Joshua Green goes down the familiar, but much better fitting path of comparing Obama to Mr. Spock. What this cover intimates, on the other hand, is that Obama is somehow flighty or flip. On the page where BW shows us the versions of the cover that didn’t make the cut, they use the term nonchalant. That doesn’t square at all, however, with a guy more logically explained (and criticized) as serious and conscientious to a fault. You’d think people understood by now that Obama is a lot more likely to accessorize with a hair shirt than a pair of shades. Maybe the design team got the President mixed up with the guy he replaced?

It’s only fair to add, by the way, that this whole cover story was spawned by the supposition that Obama somehow let the domestic Obola situation get out out hand. Hmm.

(photo-illustration: 731. photo: Hugh Gentry/Reuters.)

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Michael Shaw
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