ACCOUNTING FOR TASTE

Reviewing Entertainment Weekly interviews with the candidates, Marc Ambinder expresses surprise that

In some ways, Obama has the tastes of a 72 year old man; McCain has the tastes of a 47 year old whippersnapper. Who knew?

At risk of sounding cynical, why should we be surprised when Obama associates himself with Dick Van Dyke and McCain associates himself with Usher? Isn’t this what candidates often do in interviews – try to address potential vulnerabilities and convince more people that they’re more like them than they realized (that is, when they’re not focused on doubling-down on their perceived strengths)? That the guy smeared as a secretly foreign terrorist fist jabber touts an old white guy and the really old white guy who can’t use a computer touts a young R & B artist seems to make a lot of sense. Same reason around election time we often hear more from Democrats about their love of guns and Jesus and from Republicans about their love of Black people and the environment.

Updated (8/25/08) to correctly identify Usher’s musical genre, though not in time to avoid looking to Alek like an elderly white guy.

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