The Obamas’ Christmas card
I had Christmas dinner at the home of an Obama donor, and people passed around the Christmas card from the White House, and it got a lot of thumbs down. (I had my thumb up but changed my mind after I saw which way the wind was going, 5-2, with the only other Yes vote being the donor).
The critiques were as follows:
–It’s tricky. People thought at first it was a real photograph of Bo, then they realized that it was manipulated (by an Iowa artist, it turns out, putting the scarf on the dog). They thought it was a real snowstorm, then they thought, there hasn’t been snow like that at the White House in years. (It turns out the picture is based on a real image of Bo frolicking in the snow a couple years back).
–It’s stylized and impersonal. Obama just won a reelection and he’s presumably happy about it. There’s nothing personal about this card, except signatures on the inside.
–Kitschy style. “You can see the hand of an art director on the photo. Cheesy.”
–Shows Obama’s weaknesses. “I find it weird. Its meaning is completely hidden, and that’s like Obama. And it refuses to connect to people. Again, like Obama,” said one critic.
I chalk the criticism up to dislike for Obama. These people all voted for Obama but they don’t really like him, find him inaccessible and cold.
P.S. I see now that there is a tradition of stylized White House Christmas cards featuring dogs.