Strategy & Marketing

The Real Obama: Media Strategy and Hope

I’ve written a couple of posts over the last few months about the political strategy of Barack Obama. Some haven’t cared for my opinion, but I continue to think his media strategy is fascinating. Early on, Obama was all about “change” which I predicted was actually a brilliant strategy to mask his real political positions – which I believe most Americans would find doesn’t line up with their values. So from a strategy perspective, I’ve said he is smart to deflect the attention of the voters to vague ideas like “change” and “hope” and away from his actual record and position on the issues.

From a media strategy perspective, it’s held up pretty well… Until now.

I was prophetic, because sure enough, now that we’re deep into the campaign – as I predicted – he’s being forced to play his real cards, and people are liking less and less of what they’re hearing. For instance the Wall Street Journal points out that:

• He’s the Barack who supposedly attended Jeremiah Wright’s (“God d— America”) church for 20 years.
• He’s the Barack with the most liberal voting record in the Senate.
• He’s the Barack with friends like Tony Rezko.
• He’s the Barack with the Harvard eye view of American angst.
• He’s the Barack who views small town America as, “And it’s not surprising when they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

His real perspective is so far removed from the people he says he represents. He’s more of a “guns and God are the opiate of the masses” person, as the WSJ puts it. The paper rightly compares his condescension to the infamous 1993 Washington Post article that described evangelical Christians as “poor, undereducated, and easy to command.”

His agenda is being revealed as not one of “change” or “hope,” and certainly not a champion of people of faith. His agenda is straight from the AFL-CIO playbook – talk about the opposite of change.

His campaign has been well run, and he’s charmed a lot of hopefully and well meaning people. But I still believe that very few of those people really understand his actual intentions, his priorities, and his agenda. And if elected, his first day in the White House will be a shocking wake up call to a lot of people.

But by then, it will be too late…

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  1. If America would vote the issues, I believe that the most moderate candidate would win (from my perspective, that's McCain in this election) but we never vote the issues… we vote based on images.

  2. <p>Hey Phil, I think you can line up any number of bullet points about any of the candidates and paint a one-sided picture of them. You say, "His real perspective is so far removed from the people he says he represents." Who are you to say what Barack Obama's "real perspective" is? I think that's a bit audacious, frankly.</p>

    <p>Worse though is my sense that you, as a media guru, don't seem to give Obama/the Obama campaign much credit for how they've used the Internet and new media technology/tools to organize the masses, raise huge sums of money from millions of small donors (like myself) online, etc. How 'bout a little credit there?</p>

    <p>Finally, I think you're making a mistake to assume that "very few" Obama supporters "really understand" Barack Obama's platform, his position on the issues, etc. That's the standard, "The people are stupid sheep" rhetoric I've heard over and over again — and frankly I'm sick of it!  You know I love you, Phil, but that attitude is just condescending and rude. Say you have concerns about whether Obama is being "deceptive" with his agenda (which I would argue, he is not), but don't write off millions of energized voters who are actually excited to exercise their democratic responsibility at the polls for once in a long time, by saying we're stupid/already deceived/blind/clueless morons.  That's just hugely disappointing to hear come out of your "mouth" (via blog). It's the politics of fear and blame all over again.  Sorry, I'm not interested.</p>

  3. Good comments Steve, and I feel the love.  🙂

    1) "Who am I to say what Obama's REAL perspective is?" Good question, which confirms my point. I don't think ANYBODY knows, which is my premise. 2) Totally agree they've done a great job with the media. That's exactly why I say in the post his strategy is so fascinating. I just think they're using it to deflect perceptions because of the core ideology shown in his policy and voting record. 3) Track the major media my friend. I'm not the only one to say this. Why do you think he's been such a lightening rod for controversy? I'm not saying anyone is stupid, I'm just pointing out what I think many are missing. No fear and blame here at all – in fact it's the rush to such heated rhetoric that you're showing here that stifles positive discussion about these issues. We don't have to call people names in order to have a conversation about our disagreements.

  4. Phil –

    Uh…what is the AFL-CIO playbook? I went to their blog but I’m not quite getting what their about?

    So, if I understand you correctly, Obama’s first strategy was to present himself in such a way that he wins the primaries and then it’s him against the Republican candidate.

    Wow. That’s scary. I feel bad for all those people who voted for Obama-Marxist. [and yes I meant that. He has actually quoted the guy!]

    I read an op-ed the other day that referred to Obama as the Pied Piper [I was actually going to write on article calling him that!]. If he really did set out to lure the masses into blind obedience in the first leg of this race, it sure does appear to be working.

    I keep hoping that the true Obama will just keep popping out. That he just can’t help himself and tells it like it is so we can avoid an Obama House next year! Ugh. That will be so bad.

    See you tomorrow. [I can’t believe you have problems with the Republicans :_)]

    Remaining Steadfast,

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