Looking at the Obama Administration objectively, what would you say are his accomplishments?
The obvious one that comes to mind is Obamacare. How did that work? Let’s just say, with insurance premiums skyrocketing, this nauseating, often tearful, cornerstone of his legacy is not drawing anticipation of an erected statue in his homage.
Ok, what else? Pundits have mentioned the killing of Osama Bin Laden as a crowning achievement. But does a Nobel Peace Price recipient deem a murder to be a proud staple of his legacy? He shouldn’t. What’s left? A somewhat anemic economy surviving off of life saving, low interest rates, bailouts, and a $10 trillion additional debt. That’s not exactly a robust advancement that will leave a favorable impression with the American people long after he leaves the White House. What about race relations? Obama was championed as our first, post-racial president who has come to heal a divided nation. How did that turn out? Well, the “Washington Post-ABC News poll found a 55 percent majority saying Obama had done more to divide the country than bring it together.”
But Barack Obama instilled an expectation of hope and change on his way in the door. The branding of these terms will always be synomous with Obama. When people quickly scan their minds for evidence of the accomplishment of these promises, they will come up empty. What then? Either an extreme form of cognitive dissonance will set in or the individual will realize Barack Obama’s presidency was a failure.
What can a lame duck president do to assuage this massive disparity between hope and change and what was actually delivered? Retrofit his brand.
The White House has embarked on a subtle marketing campaign targeting the perception of millennials. Hitting the social media networks like a shattering earthquake, Obama and Biden memes can be seen and felt reverberating ceaselessly for few weeks now. The obvious draw for the adminatration is the associative property of humor linked with the outgoing president and vice president. An association that was not there for you when you saw insurance premiums jump, but one that the president hopes will linger in your mind when you reflect on his presidency.
Millennials love memes. They are incredibly eye catching, and easy to absorb with very little time investment. Plus many are hilarious.
The White House has taken a direct play out of the freshly enacted and extremely successful Donald Trump playbook. As it stands, the WH and the left branch of the establishment have already lost The Great Meme War. Oh yeah, it’s a thing. And Trump has vanquished his enemy by allowing the humor and the organic ingenuity of the internet fight his battles and create an image for him tailored towards millennials. But the Obama administration just now seems to be showing up to the fight with their synthetic attempts.
In addition to memes, Barack Obama has sat down for a soon to air one-on-one with the CEO of Vice, Shane Smith, for a Special Report: A House Divided (HBO). In it, the president and many other top, elected government officials elaborate on their perspective as to why there is some grid lock in Washington. I insert the word ‘some’ here because, although these politicians would try to convince you otherwise, there is far too much bipartisanship in key areas that are destroying the country, war and debt to name a couple.
The goal of this Vice interview is to associate the Obama presidency as not a failed application of hope and change for America, but instead, that of an amiable, in touch president who tirelessly strove to achieve greatness for our country only to be thwarted by a solely fringe, right-wing opposition in Congress. It’s no accident that Vice was given this in-depth interview. Vice caters to millennials, which is a key demographic that elected Obama and one that will be voting for many decades to come.
These efforts are only the beginning of the next 60 day push to repurpose, dust off, and add to a branding image that elected Obama into the White House. Keep an eye out for them; a well distinguished legacy is imperative for a president and the future of his ideology.