In wrestling, a 'face' or 'babyface' is a character who is popular with the fans. A face will usually have heroic qualities and is traditionally pitted against villains or unlikeable opponents. Audiences will determine if a wrestler is a face. They will be drawn in by a wrestler's charisma and persona, rewarding them by buying their merchandise and cheering for them. A 'face' can also be manufactured. This can be achieved by being contrasted with an unlikeable figure, favorable presentation or coverage i.e gushing commentators, spectacular pyrotechnics or a convincing winning streak. Ultimately it is the audience that will decide. Most are astute enough to see when they are being forced into liking someone and may resent the 'pushed' figure.
Barack Obama is the 'babyface' of American Politics. He is contrasted against a polarising candidate in Hillary Clinton and has famously been coddled by the press. Barack's kid glove treatment has been ripe for satire, as evidenced by the popularity of Saturday Night Live's many caricatures of the media with Obama.
Most negative campaigning against Obama will be overlooked through the sheer loyalty of his supporters. The qualities that made him an effective 'face' in the first place; his post-partisan approach to politics and his natural charisma as a speaker have also garnered him respect in spite of his detractors.
This was on display most recently on Fox and Friends, when Brian Kilmeade stormed off set protesting the continuous bashing of Obama by his cohosts. In recent years there has been a rise of opinion media and partisanship in American politics. Blogs, radio and TV shows are solely dedicated to promoting one political view whilst denigrating the other. Programs are no longer required or expected to show restraint or balance. Editorially, programs can omit any news positive to their ideological opponents and will elevate harmful news instead.
It has been a testament to Obama's appeal that traditionally hostile corners like Fox News and Conservative Talk Radio have given an inch to Obama. Whilst they may not be glowing endorsements or full conversions, there is no denying Obama as a baby face.
Fox News: Brian Kilmeade leaves set over Obama coverage
Chris Wallace takes Fox & Friends to task over Obama
Listen to Austin Bay, filling in for Hugh Hewitt. He defends Barack against a British official who claims people are only voting for him because of white guilt
Listen to Hugh Hewitt's conservative audience calling in to defend Obama's use of profanity in the audiobook for his memoir 'Dreams from My Father'.