Thingish Things

The Obama Brand Squandered

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Aug• 21•11


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Maureen Callahan pens an 1,800-plus-word piece in The New York Post today on the rise and fall of President Obama’s brand.  It’s a great read. Callahan captures a presidency at sea brilliantly, at one point equating the President with the 1980’s “New Coke” marketing fiasco.

“What happened to Cool Barack Obama?,she asks. “The one who sank a three-point jumper during a campaign stop at a military base in Kuwait — on his first try? Who warily eyed a buzzing fly during a CNBC interview and, with Zen calm, slapped it dead — on his first try? Who bummed cigarettes from the press corps, who referenced Jay-Z lyrics on the stump, who rated ‘The Wire’ as his favorite TV show and was dubbed ‘Renegade’ by the Secret Service? Whose temperament was so famously even-keeled that he seemed the physical embodiment of the idea itself?”

Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer also nails it, touching on the President’s biggest problem going forward, something these pages have harped on several times: Overexposure

“When the staff keeps changing but things are done the same way, that tells me it comes from the boss — that’s what the president likes,” Fleischer says. “Getting the president overexposed comes from the president. I think it’s their biggest communications mistake. Constant exposure wears people down and can make them tune out.”

Another choice quote comes from White House social secretary Desirée Rogers in April 2009:  “We have the best brand on Earth — the Obama brand.  Our possibilities are endless.”

And then they squandered it. 

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