Karl Rove stroking a Mac: Bad for both brands?

During Fox News Election broadcast, famed Republican mastermind Karl Rove was seen to be using a Mac. Was this a little uncomfortable?

A Mac attack? Wall Street Journal/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

"Maybe we got you a slow computer back there," said a Fox News wit to Karl Rove during the network's election broadcast.

Rove was insisting that President Obama hadn't quite yet won the election, when his own network had already called the result.

Yes, I watched election night on Fox News. I sensed this would be the place for a little action, a little color.

And yet, as the evening wore on to its Silver-lined conclusion , I couldn't quite shake a sight that seemed especially peculiar: the computer that Rove was using was a Mac.

Was this a little like catching the local vicar at a swingers party? Was this like seeing Paula Deen eat celery?

Apple's Steve Jobs was known to have liberal tendencies politically. Apple was always the renegade, the challenger.

Apple was Karl Rogue.

Yet here was the Republicans' most renowned operator with the Apple logo glowing in front of him, as if showing him the light.

Which made me wonder that this was not good for either brand.

If your brand is suddenly in the hands of someone who's seen as the public face of Big Brother, doesn't that make Apple seem like it has crossed over to the land of the Man?

Doesn't it confirm the suspicions that Johnny Cool has become Jonathan Coolidge?

Then look at it from Rove's point of view. He wants to be seen as the ultimate hard-nosed, determined, number-crunching fiend.

He wants to be known as the man whom nails fear. Yet here he is, stroking the keys of the ultimate pretty machine, the one espoused by those despised creative types who always, always vote pinkoid.

We are so easily influenced by those we consider heroes and those we consider villains. We might love Porsches and then, one day, we see someone in a beige leather jacket driving one and suddenly the brand is dead to us.

It's so difficult for brands to control their public image, given the vast array of media embraced by the scatterbrained of society.

Karl Rove is a brand, just as much as Apple.

Putting him and a Mac together seemed like they'd both gone over the other side, something neither of these forceful brands would want to be seen to be doing -- even if there might be a tinge of truth to it.

At least in Apple's case.

 

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