As One Stand Together

Those thinking Barack Obama needed to get more down to earth and concrete will be disappointed with this new ad:

On the other hand, I do think it captures something important. Obama’s “unity” message has sometimes seems to be mirroring Broder-like calls for “bipartisanship” — for closer collaboration between elites in both parties. But there’s always been a different, better side to the message, going back to The Speech from 2004:

We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.

The point here of coming together, which I think is echoed in the new ad, isn’t about cross-party collaboration among elites. Rather, the idea here is that conservative politicians have succeeded achieved political success by portraying progressive political leaders as un-American and culturally alien but that this move itself is alien to the real spirit of America.