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Boonville Daily News - Boonville, MO
  • The Way it is: If politicians were like Apple

  • I heard a news blip on the radio a few mornings back that has stuck with me ever since.



    It mentioned something about how artistic T-shirts of Barack Obama were the number-one selling item from shirt stands in larger cities in recent years.


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  • I heard a news blip on the radio a few mornings back that has stuck with me ever since.
    It mentioned something about how artistic T-shirts of Barack Obama were the number-one selling item from shirt stands in larger cities in recent years.
    Now I can't seem to find the actual news story those radio personalities were speaking of, but the idea itself has me thinking.
    With politicians being at the forefront of most conversations these days, and the Iowa Caucus in my home state, I've decided it's more than time I get interested. Now before any stones are thrown, I'll publicly admit to being a political pinhead.
    As a reporter, I realize I should be on the up and up when it comes to politics, but I am not, and I generally leave the political writing to others.
    But when a state senator made a stop just a few doors down this week, I took it as an opportunity to become more involved. And it's not that I haven't wanted to be involved, I just can't get into it.
    Sitting at the local carpet barn with a majority of folks old enough to be my great-grandparents, I knew from the beginning that this political event would probably not help me out.
    Speaking of his dislike toward the operations of the federal government, his views of foreign oil dependency and a laundry list of things that didn't really pertain to me, I wondered when and how I would ever begin to like and understand politics.
    And then came the radio.
    Apparently, Obama's face is more popular with the "younger generations" than that of any other celebrity. Hence his shirt sales.
    The radio hosts compared sales to that of T-shirts with Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe's faces.
    Now, Bob and Marilyn are two people I can understand. But I wondered how many of those shirt buyers really understood Obama and what he stood for when making their purchase. Did they vote for him because he was their favorite shirt? Or was it because they supported his fight for the American Jobs Act or his disproval of No Child Left Behind mandates?
    I wonder now, how much of it was a combination of both.
    For me, wearing a shirt with an algebra equation would be a major fashion faux pas. I don't know the first thing about algebra and in order for me to wear it, I'd have to be able to solve it.
    And maybe that's the problem with politicians.
    If politicians started marketing themselves to younger generations in a way we could understand — like the iPhone or Dr. Pepper  — I'd become more involved and want to know more.
    Page 2 of 2 - Apple does a fantastic job of making sure I know who they are, what products they have and what those products can do for me.
    When I saw that the iPhone would allow me to access all of my important information from a big giant iCloud of safe keeping, I was iHooked!
    To heck with my old, clunky CD player. When I saw that an iPod would allow me to access all of my music, not just 12-20 songs at a time, I voted pro-iPod and tossed aside what had become useless.
    And that's where Obama supporters got it right.
    Not only did he follow the tradition methods of campaigning, but he was marketed.
    With shirts, mugs, hats and what-have-yous, there isn't the awkward, dull meetings at a carpet shop or hardware store. It's quick, clear and to the point and that's essential in keeping this girl's attention. I'm too busy trying to keep both of my jobs.
    So if even a small handful of those individuals who purchased Obama's shirts for looks, began to finally research the man on their chest, that's a few more interested individuals within the system. And maybe that's the way to go.
    —Megan Tilk is a reporter who also writes a weekly column for the Boonville Daily News. She can be reached at bdnmegan@gmail.com or through her blog: megantilk.blogspot .com.
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