Image, Branding, Politics and the Obama Family

Followers of this blog might remember my criticism of the September Harper's Bazaar editorial with Tyra Banks posing as Michelle Obama. In brief, I'd like to hold you back from painting the town blue for just a second. Remember that Mr. Obama is a human being. Like all other human beings, he should be held accountable by his actions, not his words. He is a great orator, but whether he will be a great statesman as well remains to be seen. I want to remind all of you that one man, one politician, doesn't bring about fundamental change. People bring change. You have to demand it. You have to always hold your representatives accountable to their actions. Don't hope that someone else will solve your problems for you. Don't assume that they have your best interests at heart. I'm not exactly doubting Mr. (President!) Obama's integrity, I'm just fearful of the zombie-like idolatry I'm seeing everywhere.

So now if I haven't scared all of my readers away, I would like to add that I'm incredibly impressed with the brand image the Obama family has created. Everything from the campaign rhetoric to the visual aesthetics was perfectly crafted. I really liked the campaign logo. It's a rather odd thing to mention when talking politics, but I thought it was very now design-wise.

I was also very impressed with Michelle Obama's choice of dresses last night. I actually have that particular Narciso Rodriguez dress in my saved images folder, and I applaud her for her excellent taste.


Amelia said...

I was very impressed with the choice of dress, too, but it seemed a little off. It just doesn't fit quite right or something. I think your statements on Obama are very insightful.

Jazzy said...

I do appreciate your sentiments about Obama and agree, we can't expect him to do all of the legwork, nor can we have unrealistic expectations.

About the dress, I wasn't a fan. The fit was all wrong.

marie said...

in response to the idea of 'zombie like idolatry', i do agree with you that one man cannot bring fundamental change, but i don't agree that we are expecting that he alone will solve all the problems and clean up all the messes.

it is not idolatry. its really a sea change. obama is symbolic of a hope and optimism we as a country have not experienced for some time. if we rally around him, if we take to the streets in celebration--6000 kids came out in my college town, in one of the most inspiring acts of positive collective energy--it is in celebration of not the man, but the advent of something much bigger than all of us. his election, accomplished with the help of 2million more young voters than in 2004, is proof that we are no longer an apathetic generation, and more than willing to affect the change we wish to see.

i was never a political person before this election. what happened in the streets and cities across the country tuesday night was something really beautiful.

apologies for rambling on your blog comments.

ShannyLee said...

I agree with you about the zombie-like idolatry. I'm not argumentative when it comes to politics and I like to openly discuss things with people to see their side of things. Most of my co-workers that I've talked about the election with voted for Obama because he was "for the middle class". When I asked them what exactly he was going to do for the middle class all of their responses were pretty much, "I don't know, but just the fact that he's mentioning it makes me want to vote for him."

I've seen the zombie-like following first hand. The ignorance of the voters in this election is quite frightening. I just hope that once the consequences of their decision manifest, they're able to cope with it.

However, one person can't be ALL bad and I do believe there is going to be a lot of good coming from this administration. I guess all any of us can do is hold tight and see what happens.

As for the dress, I loved it, but not on her. It made her look a little too wide in the waste. Perhaps it was her posture.

Anonymous said...

that dress is fantastic!

La C

Anonymous said...

Agree with first comment, you have great insights. I am excited to see where America is heading under this new leadership, from a foreign perspective.

The Frocker said...

I do have to say that zombie following goes both ways. I know plenty of Republicans who supported Bush and McCain for literally NO reason (meaning that their answer to why they supported them was, "He's Republican). As for expecting Obama to fix everything, I sincerely hope no one thinks that. But he can be a start -- and that's where I hope he succeeds.

There's only so much we as voters can do in terms of affecting change. After we've elected our representatives, we can only hope that they truly act in our interest and not in the interest of whoever may be funding them in the future. So while I'm pleased as punch that Obama was elected instead of McCain, I am cautiously optimistic -- I don't think he's the second coming of Jesus, but I am confident that he will be able to direct America to a better future.

The Frocker said...

I just realized that, in rambling about politics, I completely forgot to mention the reason why I commented.

I LOVED Michelle Obama's dress (but I'm biased...I really love Narcisco Rodriguez), and it was adorable how they were all color-coordinated.

The Vancouverista said...

You're absolutely right. Everyone has to keep in mind that this is one person, one politician, not a revolution. Anyone who gets to that level in politics (especially in America) is backed by powerful forces, no matter what party they represent. Let's all start being change and making change, not blindly waiting for someone who answers to corporations to do it for us.

The Vancouverista said...

ALSO to 'The Frocker' - You're wrong. Your involvement does not end once you have voted. Your elected representatives are working for you and don't let them forget it. The people have the power.

Sabrina said...

It's great to see that this post has sparked an enlightened (and respectful! yay!) debate.

I think it's a great thing that Americans desire change. However, I agree with the Vancouverista in saying that Obama didn't exactly inspire a revolution. He inspired many people to go out and vote (which is good) but how many of these new voters will now stay politically active? Will they just once again close off their minds and let the politicians make unfavorable decisions? We shall see...

etoilee8 said...

I would prefer people zombie follow a happy go lucky optimist than a war mongering conservative. That's just my two cents. I don't know who you all were talking to in regards to why they were voting for Obama. . . but everyone I talked to had good reasons.

"Because he's going to end this war, responsibly"

"Because he's going to stop providing generous tax cuts for the filthy rich"

"Because I stand behind his health care plan"

"Because when he gives a speech, he doesn't pretend to be in my situation. . . he says 'I want you to have access to the same health care Sen. McCain and I have"

"Because he's so hot when he gives speeches" - not a good reason, but still a reason :)

That election night dress. . . not so much! But hey, to each their own. I normally heart her style. She has GREAT style, on a budget (ahem, Sarah Palin)

Anonymous said...

I don't doubt that Obama is somehow "better" than Mc Cain (his intellectual, civilized flair) but after reading more about the people he choose who actually will make politics behind the scenes, I wonder if perhaps his praised attitudes all are learned and trained "package" of the same content as it was under Bush.

The Vancouverista said...

one word everybody-