Skip to main content

Folks, Obama has done it again. On the heels of that awful debate, where he clearly (unfortunately) got pummled, Obama went on to discuss the issue of the "distractions" that seem to overwhelm discussion of real policy issues. He went on to discuss the problem when the media and other campaings focus on these "gotcha" distractions, and how to deal with them. The rest is history.

A simple gesture about 2:28 into the above video, telling the audience what you have to do when the critics attack you with nonsense brought the crowd to its feet. But it was more than that. A lot more.

Barack Obama is clearly taking that abysmal ABC News debate in stride. He told his supporters not to fret about all the "textbook Washington" drama on Thursday, recounting the superficial moderators and Hillary Clinton's attempts to "twist the knife" on trivial issues. Then Obama made pop cultural history, miming the rapper Jay-Z's iconic hand signal to "brush the dirt" off his shoulders.

Now, I would surmise that most everyone knew what he was getting at when he did that. But less so the more recent orgins of the gesture, or the pop-culture background.

That popular youth gesture grew out of "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," a hit song in 2003. As Wikipedia explains, it refers to "getting enemies off your chest by brushing your shoulders off." Blogger Spencer Ackerman, who regularly mixes political analysis with hip hop references, immediately heralded the move as "perhaps the coolest subliminal cultural reference in the history of American politics." A YouTube clip of the cultural moment, uploaded by the Obama Campaign, swiftly drew over 100,000 views on Thursday. And then the mashups started.

Ah, the infamous YouTube Mashup. Now, mashups themselves aren't new, but YouTube has made them famous.

On Thursday night, YouTuber Bill3948 uploaded a one-minute mash-up of Jay-Z songs, Clinton attacks and Obama's inspired response. The sequence opens with clips of Clinton's cheap shots, accompanied by the Jay-Z ballad "Moment of Clarity," pivots to lowlights from the ABC debate, and then scores Obama's response with the original "Dirt Off Your Shoulder" track. While Obama brushes, graphics of Hillary, Bill and Charlie Gibson fly off his shoulders. Then he shakes off a kitchen sink -- a nod to Clinton's desperate strategy -- as Jay raps about hanging out "in the kitchen with soda." It's a fun, sharp extension of Obama's call to brush off some of the ridiculous attacks:

This one has 15k views in 17 hours.

And another one.

And lest you think Obama didn't get the popculture behind his move, think again:

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Jay-Z -- this new American Gangster album.

[snip]

I love the art of hip hop. I don't always love the message of hip hop. There are times when even ... with the artists I named -- the artists I love, you know -- there's a message that is not only sometimes degrading to women; not only uses the n-word a little too frequently; but also something I'm really concerned about, it's always talking about material things. Always talking about how I can get something. How I've got more money...

And if you don't think this is resonating, check out some responses:

bdalani1985 (16 hours ago) That was was very smooth, i like how he mixed hip-hop & politics. Classic. lol

join4jd (15 hours ago) HAHAHA! That was AWESOME!
Obama '08
YES WE CAN!

shadowspawn99 (15 hours ago) LOL, Great video and point taken!

Scientific1 (15 hours ago) Good stuff; thanks for the laugh...

markilauren (15 hours ago) Great job!! When I saw this on TV, I heard JZ.
Hillary, Bill, George and the rest of the haters just got JZ'd. LOL

antinociception (15 hours ago) I wish we had politicains like Obama in Australia. He's brilliant.

lemonsherry (15 hours ago) haha, barack is ballin.

ashleyisasweatervest (14 hours ago) Great job!

And a few more:

Candyce Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 6:07 pm
heh! Beautiful! That’s what you gotta do!

weakervessel Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 6:12 pm
Dude, I nearly swooned — SWOONED, I tell you — when I saw that. That’s one of my fave Jay-Z joints of all time. HUGE SWIRLING VORTEX OF LOVE. I could not pink-fuzzy-heart Barack one iota more.

chaosmod91 Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 9:15 pm
oh man that was hilarious. i can’t believe he did that. i swear i heard some hova chants with the obama chanting immediately after he did that.

the front row should’ve thrown up the diamond; it would’ve been all the more sweet.

miz_g Says:
April 17th, 2008 at 11:37 pm
i fucking loved this.

Is it any wonder that Obama has the support of the young vote and major support online? It's because he gets "it". I'll let Andrew Sullivan break it down:

Is Obama channeling Jay-Z. Compare this speech with this video. Christianists aren't the only ones who can dog-whistle. Heh.

Hey, if he can send out a little dogwhistle to us on occasion, more to the good! So to everyone fretting about Obama dealing with the media and the other campaign, take a deep breath and go work for victory!

Originally posted to turneresq on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 12:07 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, Deep Dark, Louise, C S McCrum, RobertInWisconsin, MichaelPH, KySeattle, zzyzx, Terri, tmo, TXdem, dwellscho, Sean Robertson, Chi, Phoenix Woman, Lipo, tankej, Sally in SF, Nathan in MN, sheba, casamurphy, XOVER, Dounia, Subterranean, Tiparillo, Steven R, theknife, abarefootboy, Renee in Ohio, lrhoke, Delaware Dem, Me, Unstable Isotope, whataboutbob, scrape, MikeHickerson, Avila, dengre, Yoshimi, tommurphy, annalivia, donna in evanston, SanJoseLady, cookiesandmilk, John Campanelli, mainely49, sandra1113, Mnemosyne, dsb, jkfp2004, xynz, x, red moon dog, frisco, blogswarm, theran, reklemrov, object16, Joe B, zgveritas, jancw, angelmom, Nonie3234, Ruth in OR, Vitarai, Bugsby, strengthANDwisdom, Eternal Hope, bara, sharpfork, Gustogirl, concernedamerican, indybend, Ashy Larry, landrew, wonkydonkey, SamSinister, petercjack, Doc Allen, C Mac, The 1n Only Leoni, djMikulec, brown girl in the ring, CoolOnion, peace voter, highacidity, timeflier, boadicea, wanderindiana, mijita, Patricia Taylor, Katzy, rickpickett, MisterOpus1, nomes, roses, chechecule, javelina, peraspera, sgilman, sjb8888, juslikagrzly, scotslass, MadEye, Jesterfox, rioduran, CocoaLove, bikko100, Footbag, Alohaleezy, aitchdee, Brit, LawStudent, Redfire, byebyeblinkie, asterlil, Braindead, webweaver, mayan, slippytoad, menodoc, Getreal1246, psnyder, Alizaryn, jsmagid, Dallasdoc, brainwave, Not2Me, Hiro, Red State Refugee, churchylafemme, Penny Century, chachabowl, betson08, renaissance grrrl, btyarbro, AbsurdEyes, Anna Luc, TheJohnny, walkshills, bwintx, ChiGirl88, Matt Esler, zett, mdolson22, WV Democrat, Redbug, parryander, Man Eegee, paisa, Sopiane, SanDiegoDem, Deward Hastings, 2nd balcony, xyz, TexasLefty, Boalt, bablhous, rickeagle, eve, Timroff, TekBoss, donailin, TexH, Gowrie Gal, davidkc, Big Tex, soros, nehark, jonathan94002, davidincleveland, Massman, AngryOne, bloomer 101, Skaje, Ckntfld, el dorado gal, Elise, krikkit4, Five of Diamonds, LarisaW, MGRyan1961, MasonLee, revbludge, Pym, mjd in florida, El in New York, KnotIookin, willibro, Alien Abductee, DoGooderLawyer, thefos, scribe69, Viceroy, majcmb1, concerned, nailmaker, jorndorff, aaraujo, Barcelona, Kayakbiker, sofia, miqewalsh, sick of it all, Omen, lauramp, blue jersey mom, lasky57, Cyber Kat, nanobubble, serrano, sbdenmon, Shaking the Tree, Tex Kosmaniac Dem Lady, Cory Bantic, bookwoman, LisainNYC, jj24, Ekaterin, ZinZen, hcc in VA, Erevann, kkjohnson, Land of Enchantment, simplicio, fhcec, xaxnar, golden star, begone, meghna, danmac, tarheelblue, cas2, keeplaughing, BlueInARedState, hungrycoyote, tarantula, 4thepeople, liberalconservative, Dvalkure, Samwoman, KenBee, mrobinson, Squirrel2634, Esjaydee, Wary, charlestown dem, blueoasis, phillyPete, SherriG, sravaka, tecampbell, atrexler, Tanya, gatorcog, Libby Shaw, paul2port, real world chick, mithra, FireCrow, el cid, gabriella, Potus2020, filmgeek83, myrealname, Randolph06, Dinclusin, middleagedhousewife, Mocha Dem, justiceputnam, Cato come back, wargolem, rage, ICtheLight, spotDawa, lastamendment, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, Grant Caesar Peters, The Lighthouse Keeper, Stripe, chapel hill guy, liberaldawg, revgerry, AmySmith, bstotts, Land of Lincoln Dem, blueintheface, Aaa T Tudeattack, DBunn, ammasdarling, beaukitty, Acee, jjs98, Terlis, Donkey Underpants, Ken in MN, bvljac, SomeStones, meowmissy, hockeyrules, JFinNe, Mom to Miss M, Loudoun County Dem, TrueBlueCT, dmh44, uniongal, offgrid, WeBetterWinThisTime, threegoal, Matt W, Blue Waters Run Deep, Da Dawei, HeartlandLiberal, shruticounseling, Ninepatch, Unbozo, walkingdeer, artisan, HCKAD, ubertar, robynsmith, vbdietz, Oreo, TheCorkBoard, cadejo4, Junglered1, mamafooce, Moderation, Thought I Was last Screamin Liberal, Bridge Master, jhop7, theorem, MadAsHellMaddie, echohotel330, JML9999, Biologist, Korkenzieher, BRRubin, Robin Scott, rdbaker43, roycej, mall teacher, chicago minx, jules4sail, kafkananda, FishBiscuit, Dem in the heart of Texas, rogerdaddy, poblano, somtam, Argyrios, ratador, LightningMan, pullbackthecurtain, pollwatch, DraftChickenHawks, hulagirl, rontun, LizzyPop, califdem, karin x, Cordwainer, shanay, Peperpatch, rikyrah, pepper mint, kulshan, Mannabass, speck tater, Akonitum, rkt, Its any one guess, Greasy Grant, pkohan, TexasLiz, toddpw, smartdemmg, icebergslim, vernonbc, karpaty, Quicksilver2723, Jeff Y, change the Be, the new, dagnabbit, pragprogress, Horsefeathers, bakenjuddy, TL Eclipse, LCA, luckylizard, CA Libertarian, gaiilonfong, aigeanta, rapcetera, haruki, omegajew, psilocynic, Anr, Grass, HoosierDeb, angelino, immigradvocate, toom, Scubaval, Robinswing, scrubjay, hollywood politcaljunkie, dirtdawg, RedMask, WhizKid331, Mr Tentacle, Fonsia, Steve Everett, cchopps, hummingbird4015, Discipline28, DrJeremy, CanyonWren, Stranded Wind, citicenx, Norm in Chicago, Partisan Progressive, bigmikek7, mrchumchum, Fixed Point Theorem, Fawkes, Daily Activist, eddie233, John Shade, oak510, smartheart, Aerials, younglady, DarkOmnius, VT ConQuest, elziax, obiterdictum, Dr Funkenstein, LJW, aniljitsingh, Rick in Oz, Hope Monger, jemjo, EMorgan, MooseHB, Leslie in KY, Denise Oliver Velez, norahschronicles, newview88, synductive99, notquitedelilah, Denni, mikeplugh, SnowItch, RemarkablyChanel, audiored, Agent Scully, Dahle, yaddab, foldingBicycle, DarthStarks, Houston Gardener, Muzikal203, EF in NY, archidem, lizabroad, Nonconformist, reesespcs, BA BarackUS, etara, Altoid77, futureliveshere, carmenjones, ayanna a kazana, spaceman, CountyMayoDem, Wisteacher, citisven, sly1171, Kid From Vegas, Sheffield157, George Pirpiris, ljfxiki, Ambboogie, Julia C, dtruth, phoebe1st, dissertator, inthecolour, smileycreek, lyingeyes, gourimoko, The Distillery, confitesprit, UrbandaleForObama

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site