Late last month, conservative media lit up with a video of an African-American woman excitedly praising President Barack Obama because he supposedly gave racial minorities in Cleveland free telephones. The video received prominent placement on the pro-Romney Drudge Report and spawned a popular #Obamaphone hashtag on Twitter. Although there is indeed a federal program which provides low-income people with free or reduced-cost cell phones, it began in 2008 under President George W. Bush. The idea of providing subsidized phone service to low-income individuals originated with a program started under President Ronald Reagan.
Now, the “Obamaphone” woman is the star of an ad sponsored by the Tea Party Victory Fund suggesting President Obama’s policies have “enslaved Americans”:
It’s difficult to view this ad as anything other that an appeal to the visceral reaction its very enthusiastic star is likely to inspire in a certain kind of voter. The ad will run in three Ohio counties — Lucas, Summit, and Mahoning — all of which are predominantly white.