Giving Obama a Female Voice

Obama has threenew ads launching in Arizona, Missouri, and North Dakota, two of which feature Sen. ClaireMcCaskill and Gov. Janet Napolitano.* (Both available here .)

The ads are timed to build support (and name recognition) forObama in these critical states in the week running up to Super Tuesday. PuttingObama’s message in the mouths of surrogates whom voters will recognize isn’t a badidea, given that many people still think Obama is an anti-American Muslim cousinof Saddam .

But one directorial choice surprised me: Neither ad featuresBarack Obama’s voice. Instead, they have McCaskill and Napolitano narratingover images of the senator. Not an obvious move, givenwhat an aesthetic asset Obama’s smoke-enriched baritone can be.

That said, having a woman’s voice instead of Obama’smight be deliberate. Obama won the women’s vote in SouthCarolina and Iowa .But Hillary’s appeal to that demographic, particularly white women, could beone of the greatest obstacles facing Obama in big Midwestern and Southernstates. Being introduced to Obama by a female governor—rather than somefaceless male narrator—sets a different, potentially more appealing tone.

*Correction: This article originally identified Sen. McCaskill as a governor.