The Corner

Cool, Inc.

Apparently internal polls have prompted the Obama administration in the last month to double down on the young and hip vote to ensure that this cohort turns out on election day to help stem the erosion elsewhere. Thus the president hits the celebrity shows, the cool radio venues; in punkish-style calls Romney a bulls****er; and now releases a video of a young hip woman (with a visibly large tattoo or bad bruise on her upper arm), Lena Dunham (ironically the identical last name as Barack Obama’s mother and grandparents), who in not so disguised terms Sandra Fluke–style equates her sexual life with voting for the president, emphasizing the young cool lifestyle of today’s 20–30-something unattached young woman.

The uncertainty with all this, however, is whether the appeal to Cool, Inc., will really energize the base more than it turns off the undecided middle-of-the-road voter who gets wind of all this pizzazz and thus wonders why Obama jets to Vegas (once an Obama no-no) after the Libyan attack, or why he talks to disc jockeys and not the prime minister of Israel, or why he goes on chat talk shows but does not hold press conferences — and, of course, identifies more with a Lena Dunham’s psychotherapeutic inner voice and angst than with a woman in Ohio or Michigan who may have lost her job or is married to someone who is unemployed, or can’t afford filling her car up at the pump or has no equity in her home or lacks the ability to help her jobless kids pay down their growing student loans. There is a reason, after all, why Sandra Fluke draws ten people to a Vegas shopping center, and why to millions Lena Dunham will sound more self-obsessed than empathetic.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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