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October 22, 2009

Your Turn: Googling Obama


How’s that for an analogy? O meets meets Double O. Shared vision aside, how do you read the illustration, and the symbolic fit between the two cultural icons?

Update 10/26: Based on your comments, my take-away is: “Playing the Nerd Card.”

  • KingElvis

    Seems like they’re doing “Erkl” – the geeky sitcom black kid – I think he was from “Saved by the Bell” – he had the big colored glasses like this.

  • DennisQ

    The right hasn’t been able to engage Obama on the issues, so they’re going to make him ridiculous. Since Obama is dignified and professorial, it’s easy to take a cheap shot. The silly glasses suggest the Spike Jones song, Barney Google.
    Who’s the most important man this country ever knew?
    Do you know what politician I have reference to?
    Well, it isn’t Mr. Bryan, and it isn’t Mr. Hughes.
    I’ve got a hunch that to that bunch I’m going to introduce:
    (Again you’re wrong and to this throng I’m going to Introduce:)
    Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.
    Barney Google bet his horse would win the prize.
    When the horses ran that day, Spark Plug ran the other way.
    Barney Google, with the goo-goo-goo-ga-ly eyes.

    Full text of lyrics at

  • echo

    Lovable loser.
    Bit of a string-bean.
    Yup. That’s Erkel(sp?) alright.
    They could have gone in so many directions with this.
    Reptilian brains tend to choose easily recalled stereotypes.
    Does Fortune have a history of mocking sitting presidents with unflattering cover shots ?

  • CMS
  • DennisQ

    This picture?

  • CMS

    That is the picture that came immediately to my mind. Thanks for posting it. I’m still stunned at Fortune’s choice.

  • john

    He was a character on the show “Family Matters.” He was extremely nerdy and his catchphrase was “Did I do that?” after he messed something up.

  • Jason

    Well I guess we see what the creators of “Fortune” are thinking of the Chief right about now. I have to admit they did capture Obama’s nerdy side pretty well. The use of the O’s is a nice touch too. Historically the market does better under dems. Let them take shots now because time will tell.
    There is sinister side to this image that I’m ingornant about. I’ll have to read the article and find out what’s bad about google.?

  • Alonzo Riley

    I like it. Nerds have been cool since the late 90’s, right?

  • NS

    the first thing i notice is that he is shrouded in total darkness… it’s even beginning to swallow his shoulder. plus he looks distant and detached, with a sort of near-smirk.
    without having read the article, from the cover alone i read FEAR in big capital letters… an absurd, unwarranted fear of Obama’s socialist fascist communist islamic czarist takeover.
    my god! what if he subscribes to Google’s slogan, Don’t Be Evil?!
    with his vision obscured by Google-goggles, what dastardly atrocities might he visit upon poor defenseless millionaires?!
    sigh… if only.

  • Kat

    Is the article going to be positive or negative? Is the article going to honor him or ridicule him? Purely on this cover photo -=- ridicule.

  • Doug McConville

    Both share the momentum and capital (political or cash) to achieve their “visionary” goals…?

  • acm

    @DennisQ and CMS, both sets of links appear broken. can somebody try again?

  • Gasho

    The silly quality of the shot clearly indicates that it’s a photoshop mashup and not an actual picture. In this age, any person who recognizes the Google OO’s will be literate enough to know this was a purely created image and therefore does NOT indicate that he would do something so ‘clownish’ in front of a camera.
    The Google brand is associated with dominance in it’s field and incredible financial success. An empire built on a simple idea and a highly effective execution of that idea.
    If this is an attack, it’s not an effective one. It associates Obama with success and shows he’s in touch with the times. After all, we all see the world through Google to some extent, don’t we?

  • DennisQ

    I don’t know why the image isn’t appearing, but you can get a working link from the properties of the image block. FWIW, here’s that link again:

  • Clem Guttata
  • desertwind

    Yeah, that’s what I thought of.
    Of course, Obama really is a nerd (and I love that in him), but not of the Erkl-variety.

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