When I first thought of an "Obama clock", I imagined that thing that hung on my aunt's wall: a cat with swinging pendulum tail and eyes that swung back and forth, frightening 5 year-old boys. But, with an Obama face.
Turns out, it was far less exciting.
The press release from Trojan Tree touting the newest release of "Obama Clock", a giggling favorite in the conservative world, says that "a simple click on each countdown statistic calls forth a graphical depiction of the depressing trend in unemployment, gas prices, housing depreciation, and public debt over the entire Obama term."
So, I popped over to the iTunes App Store to download the free version of the Obama Clock app to see what this was all about. The reviews of the app were not encouraging. They were divided between hardcore Republicans who approved of the spirit of the app and people who were disappointed with the app itself as less-than-functional or pandering for upgrades.
Upon firing it up, the first thing that happened was a pop-up ad that tried to up-sell me to the Deluxe version of the app for $1.99.
Turns out, you have to shell out that amount to actually see the "graphical depiction" they announced. After clicking [No Thanks], I landed on the main screen. Here there are statistics displayed that reportedly show:
* President Obama's approval rating, as reported by Rasmussen Reports.
* Unemployment, from Dept. of Labor figures.
* Gas prices, US average.
* House prices, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, averaging all transactions.
* Public debt. From Treasury.
* A countdown clock to Inauguration Day 2013
Todays numbers look like this:
The purpose of this app, according to their press release, is "to meaningfully influence the 2012 election". Since it seems unlikely that a Democrat would care at all to buy the deluxe version of this app, and it seems to be mostly marketed toward the same Fox News viewers who bought it up last time, I am not sure how they intend to achieve any "meaningful" influence on the election. A preacher can't fill a revival tent by firing up the choir.
Any serious person who wants to make the best informed decision about whom to vote for in November will look at the stories behind the numbers this "clock" displays. Where did those employment numbers come from? Who is doing anything about those numbers? Who is obstructing those efforts? What actually causes gasoline price increases? What were unemployment numbers under the previous Republican administration? How have they changed since then?
This looks like this is a cute little app designed to take money from die-hard Republicans. The information it displays is nothing you can't find in a quick Google search for the rest of the country.