Newsweek’s Andrew Romano notes that Obama now has room under the bus for objects as well as people:
The Obamanation Great Seal, along with Vero Possumus, has taken its place under the wheels of the Obama bus along with old friends like Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger — but not, oddly, William Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, or Eric Holder. It’s this week’s victim for Bus & Driver, the continuing game show consisting of rejected people and themes of the Obama campaign.
But why did Team Obama decide to club this baby seal? Apparently, even their tone-deaf ears could hear the laughter, derision, and dismay of the national media:
What happened? Apparently, the critics got their way. “The Latin inscription “vero possumus”… made me think of opossum,” wrote Frank James of the Chicago Tribune on Friday. “It’s emblematic of all that is wrong with the Obama campaign,” added Bonnie Erbe of U.S. News and World Report. “Presumptuousness, self-aggrandizement in lieu of substance, unadulterated hunger for power and social climbing.” “Looked like Gilbert and Sullivan to me,” quipped a commenter at Politico. And so the seal–not, it seems, the very model of a modern general-election tactic–was slaughtered.
What did this really say about the Obama campaign? Some pundits claim it means nothing, but as anyone in advertising will tell you, symbology usually speaks louder than words. This Great Seal exposed Obama for at least the second time as someone who thinks mightly well about himself, or perhaps someone who believes that he has to project himself as larger than life in order to compensate for something — a lack of experience and a track record, in all likelihood. It looked almost like a self-coronation, and of a kind a college student might draw for himself in a student-body election.
Most of us outgrow both the need and the impulse for that kind of symbology.