Do Marketing and Branding “Create” The Candidate ?

In the Jerome Armstrong post referenced by Pamela, a commenter says that ‘the worth of a candidate is measured partially by the effectiveness of their campaign’.

The WORTH of a candidate is their campaign? Has the concept of ‘governance’ simply disappeared? Have we lost sight of the fact that the nominee must first win the goddamn election then govern? My gawd.

Obama has done a masterful job of branding his candidacy without branding himself, as a person, as the central issue. The campaign and the empty slogan for ‘Change’ are the focus of the branding. Yet does that automatically make him qualified to lead the most powerful nation in the world?

That, non-personal campaign, will not hold in the General Election. It will not hold if Senator Clinton simply continues to campaign until the convention.

The almost religious fervor of support at rallies, and on the blogs, show the evangelistic tendenacy of some portions of the Progressive when their buttons are pushed in a effective anti-government campaign. Voting for Obama as an agent for change doesn’t mean anything. The phrase has emotional appeal but no substance.

The branding techniques used are highly effective and backed great rhetoric. Yet neither technique or rhetoric can create ‘change’. No President can command the House and Senate to do a damn thing.

Whatever WH proposal, no matter how realistic, must first pass being modified by a 435 person House and a 100 member Senate. It is that reality that demands a person that knows The Hill intimately.

Rhetoric alone, without a substantial majority, will get the new President nothing. Mr. Bush is finally discovering that reality.

If the deep and vicious divisions in the political blogsphere continue I see a fractured Democratic Party in the fall if Obama fails to win the Nomination.

Clinton supporters I believe will bite the bitter bullet and work for the higher good. I have no such confidence in the evangelistic Obama supporter. The dialogue has been too personal and vicious. It makes 2004 look like a kindergarten playground.

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4 Responses to Do Marketing and Branding “Create” The Candidate ?

  1. Hello,

    OT, I just popped by to let you know I added you to my blogroll in keeping with your open blogroll policy, and as far as I can tell I am not yet on your blogroll, though I seem to recall Pamela adding me, or saying she would. In any event, would you mind adding me please? Feel free to come by and check me first to verify that I’m not completely insane in an unacceptable fashion. Many thanks.

    I blog at La Casa de Los Gatos and CultureVultures as ThePoliticalCat.

  2. If Obama is mere branding, isn’t that one thing? But if he’s directing the branding, isn’t it another?

    My biggest reservation abot Sen. Obama is that it’s not clear to me where he’s come from. If this whole campaign has been a creation of his own efforts, that’s a major accomlishment. However, he seems to have sprung fully incarnated from a single Convention speech four years ago, and that makes me wonder if there is another driving force. I have to admit that I like what I see, but I’m still curious about the source.

  3. Darrrell:

    Based on the fact I was creating, with the help of a famous Madison Ave ad executive and friends, a ‘branding’ campaign for another person who never entered the race, no politician is experienced enough at the topic to do it for himself.

    I certainly didn’t know how to actually create the campaign. I merely knew that it was necessary and was rounding up the people who could step in if the proposed candidate was interested. This type of campaign is highly effective.

    Just the logo he uses has an impact and was specifically designed. I can’t find my reference for this although I believe it was at TechPresident. In the beginning, although this has changed to some degree recently, all the signs were ‘message branding’ signs not Barack Obama signs.

    He is a brilliant organizer and has, to his credit, created what appears to be a bottom up organization. I doubt that it actually is a bottom up organization. Again I believe we see one ‘reality’ given in public and another in private.

  4. Stuart: I guess what I’m trying to sort out in my mind is whether he’s managing, or being managed, or some combination. For example, GWB stepped into daddys machine and did nothing but go along for the ride. I don’t get the sense that it’s this bad with Obama, but if it were it would certainly be better to know sooner rather than later.