In her own words, Laura Ingraham’s newest book, The Obama Diaries, is a “new interpretive tool that helps people view the Obamas for what they really are.”
Sound harsh? She’s just getting started.
“I think what we’ve seen over the last 18 months is a constant blurring of fact and fiction by this administration and there’s a lot of razzle dazzle going on,” Ingraham said in an interview with The Daily Caller. “The diary entries punctuate what is an overall narrative of their presidency and in a way that I think is both incredibly entertaining and informative”
Released on July 13, The Obama Diaries is Ingraham’s fourth book. In her latest tome, the talk radio host, conservative commentator, and frequent guest host of the O’Reilly Factor takes a distinct new tone. In between scathing critiques of Barack, Michelle, several members of the administration, and what she calls the “unbelievable marketing operation,” Ingraham includes satirical diary entries that are meant to reveal her targets’ true characters.
In one entry, the president rants in disbelief that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) originally planned to have him accept the presidential nomination in the measly Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. In another entry, Michelle stresses over being properly portrayed in the media as a fashionable gardener, while quickly dismissing the fact that she has never planted one tomato or cucumber plant in her life, let alone pulled a weed.
Other diarists that make an appearance include Vice President Joe Biden (whose gaffe-prone personality is on full display), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (salty language and all), former White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers and Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson.
Everything is used to help Ingraham deliver her central message: early promises of hope and change have not transferred into real, positive action.
“I think a lot of people thought hope and change meant something more than words on a poster,” Ingraham said. “What we’re seeing is that hope and change was a brand. And substantive analysis of what the brand really means to America today – it’s redistribution of wealth, it’s taking over of major industries, it’s demonizing political enemies, it’s incompetence in response to major crises like the Gulf Coast, it’s party central when the rest of the nation is really suffering. It’s the beautiful family, the Vogue cover shots, the iconic pose–all of that is clever marketing. It adds up to, really in the end, nothing to the American people.”
She continued: “But what we always find is liberalism doesn’t work. And it can be packaged, branded in a really new, entertaining way and it can have a nice family and a dog named Bo…And this guy [Obama] was new and fresh and what we’re finding is that he’s stale and old. He’s just a liberal in a different package.”
But what is clearly different about The Obama Diaries — what separates it from other typical Obama critiques — is not only the satirical tone of the diary entries, but also the fact that it heavily targets character, personality, and actions rather than policy or differences in political philosophies.
In other words, instead of spending chapter after chapter tearing down Obama’s agenda on healthcare, cap and trade, immigration, or the economy (although, she does dedicate a portion to expertly dissect TARP and the stimulus), Ingraham exposes what created the man behind the politics.
And for Ingraham, the reason for doing that is simple: the branding campaign of the 2008 election is just as critical as Obama’s politics.
“I mean, the reason he’s where he is, is because of this unbelievable marketing operation that was enabled and made successful by an American media that completely signed on lock, stock and barrel,” said Ingraham. “So understanding how they position him and how they put out Michelle and even at times invoke the daughters — it is very critical to understand why they do that. It’s an indispensable tool that they use to achieve their ultimate ends.”
So exactly how influential was this branding campaign? Ingraham pulled no punches by saying that if it were not for this “amazing, perpetual campaign of personality and personal narrative constantly being shoved down our throats,” the community organizer from Chicago never would have become president.
But for Ingraham, while the campaign strategy was successful in propelling him into office, the Obama presidency has thus far been a failure because the Obama “brand” is nothing more than a facade. However, she also points out that that is only one part of the picture. In The Obama Diaries, Ingraham claims that the president’s number one vice — and inevitable legacy — is narcissism.
In perhaps the most contemptuous chapter of the book, Ingraham describes a president who is needy, very arrogant, and out of touch with the American people.
“I really think he’s preoccupied with these delusions of unlimited power and success and this disorder [Narcissistic Personality Disorder] indicates the idea of self beauty and self importance. You’re exaggerating your own achievements, and you really expect to be acknowledged as superior without achievements that are commensurate to that excellence,” added Ingraham.
But Ingraham doesn’t leave out the First Lady when it comes to discussing narcissistic tendencies. When asked if Michelle also displays the warning signs of NPD, Ingraham answered with, “Yes. Peas in a pod. That’s my sense.”
In The Obama Diaries, it is the combination of the false branding, empty promises, failed policies and narcissistic personality that results in a failed presidency. But with a repeat performance of the 2008 marketing campaign is looming in the future, conservatives need to dig deep to find their own marketing strategy that can beat the Obama narrative.
“It should be America based,” said Ingraham without any hesitation. “It should be a campaign for this country, for America, for American greatness, for American strength, for America’s prosperity… that again reinforces our need to love America.”
She continued: “So I think a candidate who really believes that America’s best days are ahead of her, and has a clear path to ensuring American prosperity and a reinvigoration of American values- I think that could be a winning campaign.”
So who does Ingraham think could pull off a 2012 victory? She wouldn’t tell, but it was clear she is still surveying the current field of conservative politicos. One thing she is sure about is that the Obama marketing strategy is no longer enough. And in 2012, the American people will be looking for someone else to deliver real hope and change.
Ingraham’s final piece of advice for readers?
“Look beyond the façade. Look beyond the slick, razzle dazzle marketing campaign to who these people really are, what they believe, and what they’ve tried to do already to this country.”