by Frances Martel 17 Dec 2013
Just a week before young adults return home for the end of year holidays, Organizing for America is debuting a video imploring parents to interrupt their time with their children to promote the benefits of Obamacare in a last-ditch attempt to ease millennial dissatisfaction with President Obama.
The video, debuting on BarackObama.com and promoted through various social media, arrives on the eve of a joint President and First Lady event designed to target mothers of uninsured millennials as they arrive home for their holidays.
In the clip, a mother and father call their son, presumably about to drive home for Christmas dinner, and warn him that they have something "very important" to talk to him about. The son spends the entire drive home fretting about the worst case scenario ("Your father and I are moving in with you!") and inexplicably expecting arbitrary pop culture references ("I am the one who knocks!"). The "reveal" that the parents want to talk about health insurance is predictable, as is the fact that the son is, above all, relieved. "That's it?" he asks.
The ad, titled "Get Ready To Have The Talk," plays like an '80s anti-drug PSA, urging parents to use the holidays as a stage for an intervention to stop something unhealthy in their children's lives. The fact that it happens at the dinner itself (though the accompanying Twitter graphic shows the actor playing the son mid-hot chocolate later in the night) instructs parents to directly address the Obama administration's agenda in the middle of what, for many celebrating the night, is a religious celebration devoid of political meaning.
The targeted advertising appears to be a last-minute attempt to reverse devastating trends in the Affordable Care Act's and the President's nosedive in the public opinion polls as the year wanes and HealthCare.gov continues to fail millions. A Harvard Institute of Politics poll released this month shows 57% of young Americans ages 18-29 disapprove of the ACA and 52% would support removing the President from office. The targeting of parents also appears to be a direct reaction to dwindling support for Obamacare among white women.
Apparently, the White House hopes changing mothers' minds will cause a trickle down effect that reaches the young uninsured. Or, at least, that is what Democrats should hope the White House is doing, because the video demonstrates a prodigious lack of understanding of youth culture today.
It makes sense. Young people today were not the young people of five years ago—the young people who truly believed in President Obama—and to the White House, it seems that all these new young people do is quote Breaking Bad at each other in their plaid onesies. It's a Hail Mary pass from an administration that was previously unstoppable in reaching out to young Americans, one perhaps that is their only move after HealthCare.gov failed so extraordinarily that Ezra Klein wondered aloud why someone in the administration hasn't been fired over it.
We'll have to wait until next week to see just how many parents take this advice, but the outlook doesn't seem to be so bright if this is the last PR resort.