This week, the news cycle was dominated by two speeches: Steve Jobs's unveiling of the long-awaited iPad (covered by the Wire here and here) and President Obama's State of the Union. Both occurred on Wednesday, and both were eagerly awaited by the media. Those "similarities" were enough to send bloggers scrambling to find a connection between the two stories. Some forged elegant parallels, others forced clumsy transitions, but all were self-consciously determined to jam a round SOTU into a square iPad.
- Similar Anticipation for Both Speeches "As the speech time drew closer Wednesday, the questions were many: Could he demonstrate that he was still a strong leader?" says Politics Daily's Ria Misra. "Could he meet the high -- some say impossible -- expectations that had been laid out for him? Could he satisfy the people who put him on top, while not alienating the rest of the country? Wait -- Obama's first State of the Union address? No -- Steve Jobs' unveiling of Apple's brand new tablet computer, the unfortunately named iPad."
- iPad as Disappointing as Obama The Awl's Balk opts for the stream-of-consciousness route.
This is a very rough thought that I may or may not refine, so take it as such, but the iPad is a lot like Barack Obama: Everyone was able to project their own fantasies and aspirations on a product with which they were mostly unfamiliar, only to sour on it once they realized that it did not live up to their impossible expectations. Only with the iPad it took about seven minutes for the disappointment to set in.
- Speeches Themselves Were Similar Going above and beyond his colleagues, Slate's John Dickerson dives into his SOTU piece with a forced comparison and snappy wordplay. "It was appropriate that the iPad was unveiled the same day President Obama gave his first State of the Union speech," he writes. "Both were centered on Jobs, and both sought to give people something useful they could put their hands on."
- "It's Time to Grow Up, America!" The Huffington Post's Maria Rodale notes the fallout from the iPad's "feminine hygiene product" name and calls for an end to partisan and gender gaps. "We need to work together if we are going to get ourselves out of this mess and create a future in which we can survive on this planet," she lectures. "Men need to learn from women (this includes you, Apple) and work together. Democrats and Republicans need to get over their juvenile competition and put the American people first."
- iPad Embodies Both Parties "Which party best represents the iPad?" asks a whimsical Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic. In a long, thoughtful post he probes the political symbolism of the device. "The Democrats might suggest that the iPad, like government, is a platform that allows the user -- or people -- experience a rich connection with civil society. ... Republicans could use the iPad or the iPhone as a symbol for a new Republican governing philosophy based on flexibility, portability (think of health savings accounts and insurance portability) and customizability. Or, Republicans could demagogue: with liberals raising taxes, innovations like the iPad would never make it to market."