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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Obama has a posse in Vienna


I saw this poster on a street in Vienna near my hotel. It looks like a straight black and white copy of a poster Shepard Fairey did for Obama before Super Tuesday. He is the graffiti/street artist who created the "obey giant" stickers and posters that have been floating around the North American streetscape since the late 1990s.

When I first saw the Obama poster, I was kind of startled. I know people around the world follow US elections, especially Presidential elections with great interest. I was surprised that anyone would feel like they had to go put up posters in support of a candidate that they will never get a chance to vote for and not many American voters will see. I suppose this could be the work of American expats in Vienna, but I doubt it. Covering the hoardings with posters isn't typical expat political activity. Also, considering that the Neubau and Mariahilfer districts are near the Museums Quartier and the Art School I am guessing its the work of some of the art students.

This election means a lot to people both inside and outside the US. There are a lot of expectations for the next president of the United States to repair the failures of the last eight years. People in Europe and elsewhere expect a lot of the American voter, Obama and the Democratic Party in November 2008. I think those hopes are justified, but Obama and his supporters in the Democratic Party will not be able to deliver on everything. For example, ending the war in Iraq might very well destroy whatever chance we have of fixing health care and social security. It will be interesting to see if Obama can still be inspiring after he has lost a couple battles and made some tough compromises. I know he can do these things, he is a politician after all. But we'll see how long he will retain his status as a pop icon.

2 comments:

Michael and Nina said...

Truer than not, I fear.

Megan said...

I hope you don't mind, I think I might share this with some friends...