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August 08, 2008

The Obama Salute Caption Contest

via bthun:

What genius thought of this?


It strikes the Blog Princess that in a campaign in which one candidate has bragged that his supporters see him as a blank slate upon which his followers can write their secret hop and both sides have been reading all sorts of subliminal messages into each others campaign ads:

An Internet ad launched last week by the McCain presidential campaign has attracted more than one million hits by appearing to mock Barack Obama for presenting himself as a kind of prophetic figure.

The ad has also generated criticism from Democrats and religious scholars who see a hidden message linking Sen. Obama to the apocalyptic Biblical figure of the antichrist.

The spot, called "The One," opens with the line: "It shall be known that in 2008 the world will be blessed." Images follow of Moses parting the Red Sea and Sen. Obama telling a crowd, "We are the change we've been waiting for."

Brian Rogers, a spokesman for John McCain's campaign, said the spot reflects only that Sen. Obama sometimes "gets carried away" when he speaks, and points out "his many audacious statements."

"It's a light-hearted ad that pokes fun at him," Mr. Rogers said.

The Obama campaign declined to comment. Earlier this summer, when asked about similar concerns circulating in Appalachian Ohio, David Wilhelm, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said the Obama campaign has no option but to confront voters' concerns head on.

The End Times, a New Testament reference to the period surrounding the return of Christ, were popularized in recent years by the "Left Behind" series of books that sold more than 63 million copies. The Rev. Tim LaHaye, co-author of the series, said in an interview that he recognized allusions to his work in the ad but comparisons between Sen. Obama and the antichrist are incorrect.

"The antichrist isn't going to be an American, so it can't possibly be Obama. The Bible makes it clear he will be from an obscure place, like Romania," the 82-year-old author said.

Critiques of the ad started surfacing earlier this week when Eric Sapp, a Democratic operative, circulated the first of two memos pointing out images that he believed linked Sen. Obama to the antichrist.

"Short of 666, they used every single symbol of the antichrist in this ad," said Mr. Sapp, who advises Democrats on reaching out to faith communities. "There are way too many things to just be coincidence."

Well alrighty then. We know that when we saw Moses in that ad, we knew immediately it was meant to be taken literally. After all, there is nothing over the top about Charlton Heston's performance.

Nothing. At any rate, since the Obama camp seem to be reading whatever they please into McCain ads of late, we invite the Half Vast Readership to do the same with the Obama Salute.

Keep it clean, people. And Beth C, you have been warned :p

Posted by Cassandra at August 8, 2008 10:16 AM

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Keep it clean?

Okay, then I *can't* tell you what that "salute" means in MilSpeak...

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 10:51 AM

I can't tell you the first caption that entered my mind either... :p

Well, honestly the second. The first was actually entirely family safe. And in the comments section of the linked post. My mind isn't always in the gutter.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 10:53 AM

Um, it means... wait... that's not clean.

Oh, how about... no... not that either.

Hmm... oh it could be... dammit Cass this is tough.

They're demonstrating their ASVAB scores?

Posted by: MikeD at August 8, 2008 10:53 AM

Oh I have great faith in you all :p

It doesn't have to be completely clean. Just not disgusting.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 11:02 AM

All I'll say is that flashing that sign in this neck of the woods will get you punched out by the target.

Then again, Obie's supporters *could* be revealing their innermost thoughts...

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 11:04 AM

Oh I have great faith in you all

Heh -- I usually have to use a ladder to get my mind back into the gutter...

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 11:06 AM

Whoa, what is this pre-censorship? Maybe some of us might be interested in seeing what Beth C might write!

Besides, will there be a phrase shouted out when giving this new exciting salute?

Lastly, what are one armed people supposed to do when the crowd presents this new salute to the Chosen One? Is this covered under the Federal Disabilities Act?

Posted by: DougW at August 8, 2008 11:11 AM

Looks like a zero to me.

Posted by: Suds46 at August 8, 2008 11:19 AM

*tapping foot while gazing at ceiling of intertube*

After soapin' my brain and returning to my timeout chair in the corner, I got nothin'. Nothin' clean anyway... But the day is young.

Posted by: bthun at August 8, 2008 11:21 AM

BOHICA. That is all.

Posted by: FbL at August 8, 2008 11:27 AM

Btw, Ace of Spades has a GREAT photoshop of the symbol: http://ace.new.mu.nu/cause_it_had_to_be_shopped_-_liberrocky

Posted by: FbL at August 8, 2008 11:28 AM

Well, since they deleted my comment over at the linked post:

"The share of our take home pay we will be allowed to keep under an Obama administration."

Here's to income equality now! Faster, please.

Posted by: Paul Krugman's Ghost at August 8, 2008 11:32 AM

I am with BillT, I need a ladder to get ou of the gutter.

Posted by: Stix at August 8, 2008 11:33 AM

That looks like a box cover for gay porn.

Posted by: Stix at August 8, 2008 11:38 AM

This is your brain on hope.

Posted by: Mr. Oink at August 8, 2008 11:56 AM

The Real Measure of Progressive Change

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 11:59 AM

That poster's proof positive that Karl Rove has infiltrated Obie's PR section.

Why is it that so many of Barry's posters incorporate the hachimaki, anyway?

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 11:59 AM

After soapin' my brain...

I used Lysol and a Brillo pad.

Still didn't work...

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 12:12 PM

America after being being gang raped by Bush Inc.

Posted by: John at August 8, 2008 12:25 PM

Believe it or not that was designed up by an ad agency.


"Our goal is to see a crowd of 75,000 people at Obama's nomination speech holding their hands above their heads, fingers laced together in support of a new direction for this country, a renewed hope, and acceptance of responsibility for our future," says Rick Husong, owner of The Loyalty Inc. Husong tells me that he got the idea after seeing the famous Obama-Progress poster by artist Shepherd Fairey. "We wanted to get involved some way," he says. So, the agency came up with their own a symbol of hope and progress that also plays off Obama's name. "We thought, 'Let's try and start a movement where even while walking down the street, people would hold up the O and you would know that they were for Obama,' " says Husong.

Posted by: Right2thePoint at August 8, 2008 12:37 PM

Some blogs have already linked it back to an old episode of Star Trek where the symbol was used by a bunch of Space Hippies in search of the Planet Eden and it was their symbol for 'oneness'.

Timing is everything, I won't describe what this hand gesture combination means in Germany!

Now that would have been a hoot if they released it before his world tour.

Posted by: Right2thePoint at August 8, 2008 12:40 PM

Some have suggested it has the Andrew Sullivan seal of approval, but myself I find that claim a little bit over blown.

Posted by: Right2thePoint at August 8, 2008 12:49 PM


Unlike the moderator over at the linked post, I'm not going to automatically delete anything I disagree with. But I did ask that people try to keep it clean.

I would ask that commenters respect what I've asked. There no reason to go down into the gutter. I think there's been enough of that during this campaign, don't you?

Kidding around is one thing. Pulling out the knives is another. Give it rest, why don't you.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 01:02 PM

Anal retentive, we are not.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at August 8, 2008 01:03 PM

I agree with most of the commenters.

The combination of the sexual overtones and the "zero" are why I can't understand why on earth an ad agency would have gone here in the first place.

Juxtaposing a "zero" with the slogan "Sign of progress" is just begging for mockery.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 01:04 PM

The other thing I thought of when I saw this was a funny thing that always happens at St. Barbara's Day (a Marine artillery day ritual). There is an amusing little thing that is often recited that recounts how the various MOS's were created by the Almighty, and how they were alone and became afraid until, at last, the Artillery (the King of Battle) came along to dispel the confusion and lend a little class to what otherwise would have been an undignified brawl. But the part that always used to crack me up was the way the arty guys used to shout out, "O Lord! How LONG will this b***sh** go on?" to simulate the fear and confusion of their brethren (such as the infantry) as they waited for the artillery to come and save them.

That is the line I thought of when I saw this poster :p

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 01:09 PM

Hey! It wasn't me! Really!

"I'm a zero, he's a zero, wouldn't you like to be a zero too?!?"

"Zip, nada, zilch" That's our plan, O's our man!"

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 8, 2008 01:18 PM

Ooooohh! Good ones, John!

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 01:18 PM

I have been waiting for Bob Woodward's tell all tale of Charleton Heston's need to see a shrink after he came down from the mountain...in a manner of speaking.

Posted by: bad cricket at August 8, 2008 01:22 PM

He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
You believe he's right for you and me.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 8, 2008 01:25 PM


Link for the video of the Space Hippies.

Seems they were run by an ex college professor (not a constitution law guy btw) who was deceiving his followers and had evil intent!

Posted by: Right2thePoint at August 8, 2008 01:31 PM


I had a bit more of this song in mind


Posted by: Right2thePoint at August 8, 2008 01:33 PM

McCain: As you can see from my opponents hand gesture not only is he the antichrist he is wrong on offshore drilling!

Posted by: Pile On at August 8, 2008 01:54 PM

Obama: We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and his dad is the devil. And did I mention he's black?

Posted by: Pile On at August 8, 2008 02:02 PM

Hellfire, clean burning renewable energy.

Hell fire, right for America.

Posted by: Pile On at August 8, 2008 02:05 PM

He's young and inexperienced and his dad is the devil.

Can the Devil sue for defamation, Pile?

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 02:21 PM

Sure, he is a member of the bar in Illinois.

Posted by: Pile On at August 8, 2008 02:23 PM


Posted by: Kevin L at August 8, 2008 02:55 PM


Barack will demand more from you than this, peoples!!! He will not allow this kind of foolishness once he is ki...err ... President! He will work you! He has a PLAN for America!

Posted by: Michele Obama at August 8, 2008 02:58 PM

'We are the focus we seek.'

Posted by: Cricket at August 8, 2008 02:59 PM


It's the Opocalypse!


Posted by: Women of Omerica at August 8, 2008 03:01 PM


Cassie said to keep it clean, Cricket.

Posted by: BillT at August 8, 2008 03:01 PM

[looking through hands]

I see Satan...

...and giant penises...

...and racism...

...and oh! look! it's our old friend, miscegenation!

Posted by: Romper Room at August 8, 2008 03:03 PM

"What goes around comes around."

"Circular Arguments R Us!"

"Obama: 'See the sun really does rise and set in my....'"

"Obamanation - cause it's all about the *O*."

Posted by: DL Sly at August 8, 2008 03:29 PM

"Si Si Zippo!"

"I see a Blue moon risin' I see trouble on the way"

Posted by: Allen at August 8, 2008 04:17 PM

Ya know, this whole mania thing is actually getting a bit scary. It's one thing to ask the American people to hire you as their executive because you have a new idea, even a new vision fo rthe nation. But this is... cultish... to the point of unsettling. I can't ever remember a campaign where "the Antichrist" made such an early appearance, or any appearance. If Obama's campaign people aren't yet getting a bit uncomfortable at the messsage being portrayed but his own camp, they should be. A good many Americans will get their first glimpse of this candidate come the convention. The visual impression of a stadium packed with adoring supporters rasing their hands up the manner of a secret salute may remind many of something other than that intended. Careful with that six point lead, Obama. "Change," without more, fosters insecurity. It might be time tone it down a few notches.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 8, 2008 04:29 PM

I think that's part of what happens when you present yourself as a canvas, upon which people can project their fondest hopes, their darkest fears... whatever.

Whatever is inside, comes out. You lose control. I want to write about this - I just need some time. I have some ideas.

Posted by: Romper Room at August 8, 2008 04:38 PM

"It might be time tone it down a few notches."
Sssssshhhhhh. Don't tip dem off. Weah hunting bunny wabbits.

Dey are vehwee easy to spot if you can be vehwee, vehwee quiet. We can sneak up on dem when dey tink dey are awone.

Dey hold up der widdle biddy paws and make a stwange wittle circle looking ting and get aww gwassy eyed and deah back weg start qwivering. Somting wike mad cow, onwee it's isowated in dees weird widdle bunny wabbits.


Posted by: Elmer Fudd at August 8, 2008 04:45 PM

When religion gets separated from the state, something has to fill the gap. It would be wrong if the first change in American history was something less important than faith.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at August 8, 2008 04:46 PM

#1) How big an "O"-hole are you?

#2) Who cares about policy, we just want to choke The Bushâ„¢.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at August 8, 2008 04:58 PM

Zero Signs of Progress.
Zero Hope for the Dope.

Posted by: Marvin at August 8, 2008 05:46 PM

Michael from the Office, upon seeing someone holding up the "salute":

"That's what she said!"

Posted by: Wade at August 8, 2008 06:42 PM

If you just look through the opening, you can see right through the middle.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 9, 2008 12:07 AM

"O" is for orifice...some are bigger than others.

Posted by: camojack at August 9, 2008 12:11 AM

The Race

One is hero the other is a zero.

Posted by: Dmills at August 9, 2008 01:04 AM

Ignore the backdrop, and keep you eyes on the circle. When you focus your mind only where directed, the universe of ideas becomes so much easier to understand.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 9, 2008 09:33 AM

When you focus your mind only where directed...

On the Oval Orifice?

Posted by: BillT at August 9, 2008 10:57 AM

There is nothing wrong with your mind. Do not attempt to adjust the perception. We are controlling all thought and skepticism. If we wish to make the voices in your head louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune them to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next several years, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your mind. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits of credulity.

Posted by: Otter Litmus at August 9, 2008 11:07 AM

On Van Helsing's Moonbattery blog


He notices the similarity between the Obama salute and the greeting sign the 'space hippies' gave each other on the Star Trek episode Way to Eden


Personally, I get a little nervous when members of a political party start giving each other custom made salutes,especially after the Chosen One's performance in Berlin.

Posted by: James McEnanly at August 9, 2008 10:51 PM

Obama unveils his plan for getting everyone to focus. It was an immediate succes, supplanting Karl Rove's mind control machine, as no implants are required. Just make the sign of the O and
think wholesome thoughts...they will flow through the O and connect with All, to speed to The One.


Posted by: Professor Trelawney at August 9, 2008 11:53 PM


"O" is for... Orifice


Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 12, 2008 01:43 AM

Actually, I've been advised to not do a search on "goatse".

I think the Wiki Entry is adequate to get the idea.

Posted by: Some Peeps Just Love SF Bathhouses... at August 12, 2008 01:46 AM

> Who cares about policy, we just want to choke The Bushâ„¢.

Well, there's where they've been going wrong. They're supposed to be choking the chicken.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at August 12, 2008 10:31 AM

"Well, there's where they've been going wrong. They're supposed to be choking the chicken."
Instead dey ver, how you say, paddling der munkee.

Posted by: Vladimir Dmitriy Anatoliy Mikhail Puttin at August 12, 2008 12:37 PM