It’s no secret there is a presidential election next week. The airwaves have been saturated with political ads. Direct mail pieces spelling out how to vote in large letters have been flooding mailboxes. Radio ads featuring a candidate’s voice seem to dominate the precious time between songs, and those pesky political robo calls are filling answering machines and voice mail boxes for the past few weeks. There are also large images of political candidates adorning the sides of busses and billboards with their “vote for me” smiling face peering down on traffic and pedestrians.
In many parts of Detroit, political messaging seems to be a little different when it comes to ads for presidential candidates. The biggest thing I notice about them while riding the streets of Detroit is the lack of Romney messages. I’ve not seen any, with the exception of a few bumper stickers on cars in parking lots, or on those parked along Woodward Avenue and other streets during a major downtown event. That makes sense, considering Detroit’s long history of supporting the Democratic Party and its large African-American population.
Bicycling around the city, it looks to me as if Detroiters have taking the campaign in a different direction when it comes to President Obama. It appears to be more of a grass-root effort that relies on visuals of the president. They aren’t the normal mass-produced posters, or billboards from the local campaign headquarters that are strategically placed across the city, but hand painted renderings of Obama found on various buildings and homemade, stand-alone signs. Some are holdovers from the 2008 campaign and are still in pretty good shape despite their age.
I’ve seen mostly four-color paintings of the president, but I’ve also spotted a few simple black and white versions as well. Overall, the urban art is in proportion and offers nice details, but there are a few that look cartoonish. Based on what I see, it is obvious to me that Detroiters support Obama.
No matter what your political party affiliation may be, it is important get out and vote! It’s your right and you can make a difference.