Bob Franken

Obama and Jobs

There was much in common with the two events. One was in San Francisco, the other DC but they were similarly preceded by an inordinate amount of hype. They each had become ritual.

Jobs was a main focus in both cases. But where Steve Jobs often deals with long lines at his stores, for Barack Obama it’s long lines at the Unemployment offices.

The Apple CEO was presenting something new. The U-S Chief executive also had a new twist of two, but, for the most part, he was repackaging the same product he unveiled a year ago. A lot of it didn’t work, so he was trying to defend it just as more and more have decided they’re not buying.

Jobs was there after having obvious success with health care. Obama—well we all know that story. His reform is on life support.

The IPad unveiling revealed the latest from an organization that’s a highly effective well-organized machine always on the front edge of hip. The State of the Union? It was Washington. What more does one have to say? After just a year, the President seemed to have all his hipness drained out of him.

Apple’s new tablet speaks to the future and new ways to do things. There is energy. Government’s approaches are mired in the past, recycled again and again. Instead of energy there is stalemate over energy policy.

The “Change You Can Believe In” App hasn’t worked. Anytime someone tries to use it, it returns to the default settings of “Stalemate and Stagnate”. It seems impossible to make the different parts to work together.

It was not hard to understand why when we looked at those sitting in the Congressional audience Definitely pre-DOS—almost every one a fuddy-duddy, even the young ones.

They showed off their quaint little customs. As the speech dragged on, Republicans were mostly motionless, a perfect metaphor for their rigid refusal to move forward. Meanwhile, the President’s fellow-Democrats used incessant standing O’s to try and mask how feeble they’ve become. The entire bunch appeared to be part of a creaky system that is struggling to function.

That was the starkest contrast of all: Steve Job’s product may look like a gimmick to many. Barack Obama’s? A relic.

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