This article in Politico about the Obama team struggling to find a simple campaign slogan for 2012 got me thinking again about what exactly President Obama’s reasons are for seeking another four years. From Politico:
Everyone knows what Barack Obama’s campaign slogan was in 2008. No one seems to know what it will be for 2012.
The White House has been cycling through catchphrases since announcing his reelection bid a year ago: Winning the Future, We Can’t Wait, An America Built to Last, An Economy Built to Last, A Fair Shot.
They seem to be looking for one to resonate — and the constant unveiling of new ones suggests that so far, none of them have. To communications experts, the kaleidoscope of slogans is the latest reflection of the difficulties finding and marketing a message that Obama has faced almost since his inauguration — another challenge that came with the shift from insurgent outsider to sitting president.
As best as I can tell there seems to be almost nothing President Obama and/or Congressional Democrats are promising to do if they win this November. The only active promise they have been hammering on recently is the so called “Buffet Rule,” but that raises the question, why didn’t Democrats take care of it in 2009 when they had the chance? Either way some modest tax increase on a small number of rich people is hardly a platform or a rallying cry.
Reading all the issue sections at the Obama campaign website, they are almost exclusively about what the President has done. Besides the Buffet Rule, there is almost no talk about what Obama would do if we give him another four years or why he needs another term.
I spend a lot of the day focused on politics, but I’m almost at a complete loss to think of anything bold and new that the Democrats say they hope to implement. Can anyone think of a significant new agenda that the Democratic party has put forward? Is there any reason to hope they win decisively in November, beyond just doing well enough to keep the GOP in check?
All of the Obama team’s messaging seems to be focused on how horrible the Republicans are and why we can’t let the Republicans undo what Obama has already accomplished, even though some of these accomplishments aren’t very popular. Given how crazy the GOP has become as of late, that could be a winning strategy. But it is not inspiring.
“Just don’t let things get even worse” is not going to excite young people this cycle, which is probably why coming up with a slogan this year is not going to be easy.