By Arthur Shaw
“After three years of governing – fulfilling some promises and breaking others – the word “change” is a tricky brand for the president to espouse,” reported Reuters, the second largest bourgeois media outlet in the world. http://news.yahoo.com/obamas-slogan-looking-replace-hope-change-060705685.html
“Change” was truly a great campaign theme for Obama in 2008.
But today, Obama’s first-term record of “fulfilling some promises and breaking others” doesn’t sound like change any more. Rather, this “fulfilling some promises and breaking others” sounds like the same old thing the voters had before Obama.
Reuters says Obama fulfilled some of his promises. Were these the promises Obama made mostly to the Capitalists, Wall Street, and the rich? Were the promises he broke the ones Obama made mostly to the working class and middle class?
When Reuters writes “the word ‘change’ is a tricky brand for the president to espouse,” it seems to be warning or advising the president not to use “change” … again … because, on one hand, liberal and independent voters are more likely to remember the promises Obama broke than the promises he fulfilled. On the other hand, reactionary voters are more likely to remember the promises which the reactionary forces allowed Obama to fulfill in order to make the Capitalists happy. But reactionaries will never see Obama as a conservative. The reactionaries, at most, see him only as a sometime or inconsistent copy of a conservative.
The theme is an important part of a campaign. Here’s how the Democratic National Committee estimates the importance of the theme in the DNC’s celebrated “Campaign Manager’s Manual” used by some elements of the Democratic Party:
The theme is a positive statement about the kind of leadership a candidate brings
to the issues and the concerns of the voters. The success of a campaign hinges on
developing the right theme and projecting that theme through every available means
to the voters. In designing the theme, the key question to ask is: How do we touch
or move our targeted voters? A campaign should address the issues of concern to
the voters, not solely the interests of the candidate or campaign staff. You must
understand what will motivate voters before developing a theme.
It may be hard for the Obama campaign to satisfy the requirements, stated in the celebrated Manual, for a theme.
For example, one of the Manual’s requirements for a theme is “A campaign should address the issues of concern to the voters, not solely the interests of the candidate or campaign staff.” The issue of most concern to many liberal and independent voters may be: Can liberals trust Obama? But a theme that addresses this issue only reminds voters of a perceived weakness of Obama.
In other words, it’s not the type of thing a campaign wants as its theme. After all, a theme usually underlines the strength of a candidate.
Reuters reports the Obama campaign is secretly going around, all over the country, testing possible themes on targeted audiences.
So far, none of the possible themes turned targeted audiences on.
Indeed, most of the tested themes turned targeted audiences off.
Perhaps President Obama’s campaign staff would be well served to test some campaign themes which are relevant to the interests of working people.
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