Barack Obama had all the 2008 cool.
Now he’s trying to get at least some of it back.
A video of Hollywood A-listers singing a Will.i.am song about him, a Shepard Fairey painting with “HOPE” beaming in bold letters beneath his face, constant buzz on social media — the Obama cultural phenomenon four years ago lit up the youth vote like no campaign before. So as the president gears up for a reelection run that’s going to struggle with independents and moderates, his team is looking to revive the cool appeal — and reignite the young voters who’ve strayed.
There’s a lot of ground to make up.
“A little of the sex appeal is gone,” explained Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, which helps young voters engage in the political process. “The butterflies in the stomach aren’t there.”
Keeping up with the pulse, the campaign joined Spotify to share its 2012 playlist with supporters. That’s the latest in an aggressive social media presence that includes Twitter accounts for the president and first lady, a Facebook presence, a YouTube channel, a Flickr page and a Google Plus profile. The White House also has tried to up his credibility with accounts on the microblogging site Tumblr and photo sharing platform Instagram.
The Obama 2008 campaign logo, a trendy graphic design ‘O’ rising over a red-and-white striped field, is back again this year with updates. It’s been modernized with matte colors replacing the glossy and more varied shades of red, white and blue. On BarackObama.com, the 2008 color palette and design has become more sophisticated, with bright blue replaced by navy blue, baby blue and white.
The changes, said Obama 2008 design director of new media Scott Thomas, are meant to allude to the cool while introducing the notion that Obama is now “more distinguished and more experienced” than he was four years ago.
Obama’s been trying to manage the expectations himself.
“I know that it’s not going to be exactly the same as when I was young and vibrant and new,” he said at a fundraiser last year. “And there was — posters everywhere, hope. The logo was really fresh. And let’s face it, it was cool to support me back then. At cocktail parties, you could sort of say, ‘Yeah, this Obama guy, you haven’t heard of him? Let me tell you about him.’”
Silly us, we thought electing a president was about competence, experience, hard work, accomplishment and policy. We voted for the nerdy old woman with cackles, cankles and pantsuits.
So thanks to all the Kewl Kidz we got stuck with an incompetent hipster doofus. Now they want to reelect him.
I picked a bad year to quit drinking.