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Barack Obama – Marketing Maven? Not so much!


This comes from Harvard Business Online, Nov 7, 2008.

“When the book is written on this election, it should not be titled “The Making of a President,” but “The Marketing of a President.” Barack Obama’s campaign is a case study in marketing excellence.

Like any great brand, Obama has built up a bond of trust with the American people. His election has also given the US the opportunity to reestablish its moral leadership around the world. But like any brand, he has to deliver now on his promises, both actual and perceived. In the current economy, that will not be easy.”

It appears the last five words could not be more true.

The mood this week at the Aspen Ideas Festival is telling. You’d think the well-heeled and enlightened eggheads at the Aspen Ideas Festival would be receptive to an intellectually ambitious president with big ideas of his own. Apparently not so much. The elite have turned against Obama.

New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman lambasted Obama’s trillion-dollar deficit spending program—in the name of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the 2008 financial meltdown—as fiscally ruinous, potentially turning America into a second-rate power.

“We are, without question, in a period of decline, particularly in the business world,” Zuckerman said. “The real problem we have…are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.”

If Obama’s approval ratings are any indication of “consumer satisfaction” there’s clearly a disconnect between the anticipated and the actual.

It appears there’s no time like the present to trot out the “marketing excellence” before the red line goes off the charts.

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