at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Obama Claims Victory, I Claim Exhaustion

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Is it really over? I’m still scared to walk outside thinking that it might all be a hoax and I’ll start seeing ‘Hillary Third Party ’08’ signs outside my office. (BTW, he’s 15 delegates away after today’s super-delegate deluge, he’s mathematically clinched.)

A beautiful, strategic, divisive campaign that’s been a beauty to watch. Remember Iowa? Remember NH that kicked off the Year Of The Tear? Edwards’ long stories about ordinary Americans that made one think he was trying to take over This American Life from Ira Glass. Beautiful stuff.

Now the real fun begins as Obama tries to heal the wounds with women and bridge the gaps with Hispanics and rural Americans.

What If Hillary is Pushing A Third Party?

In trends, Uncategorized on May 20, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Hillary Clinton 1

Originally uploaded by Angela Radulescu

I recognize the absurdity of this question on the surface. The Clintons built the modern democratic party, right? Why would they turn against it? Well, they may if they truly see that as their chance to win. They feel alienated by Howard Dean and rue the day they installed him at the DNC. They feel as though they still have the best credentials in a general election and the ability to connect with women, blue collar voters and moderates. This still may be a long shot but it might explain why they are still in the race taking advantage of the press coverage and trying to build momentum. One would have thought it crazy for Joe Liberman to go it alone as well after the party turned on him just years after being its candidate for Vice President.

Hillary’s Last Stand

In Political Strategy, Politics on February 20, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Kangaroo fight

Originally uploaded by Pascal Vuylsteker

The Caucus ran an interesting piece today on Hillary’s campaign and the strategies that are taking shape for her last stand in Texas and Ohio. They mostly read like more of the same plus some fighting.

A sample:

1. Use two upcoming debates between now and March 4 to draw a strong contrast with Mr. Obama. “We’ve seen dramatic changes when that’s happened,” said Mark Penn, her chief strategist and pollster. (Translation: expect her to unload everything she has on him.)

2. Hope “new information” about Mr. Obama will emerge and discourage voters from supporting him. (Translation: see above.)

I’m an Obama supporter through and through, but regardless, I hate to see bad strategy. Hillary’s campaign manager seems to be telling her to double down, that it’s now or never and to add some harsher criticism to the mix. The rub is that if she loses even one of these states she’s also going to erode her remaining goodwill with the Democratic party and come off looking rather petty come the convention. Not to mention that the Hillary campaign has already started to go negative and if anything, Obama has seemed to come out above it all.

Looking back to the Hillary Tear in NH, mentioned in a previous post, the real momentum gained from that moment came from her really articulating why she wanted the job. That it wasn’t just politics to her and it wasn’t just about winning. The tear got all the press but it was the message that she was in it for the voters, not for her own self-interest, that stuck. If I were looking for an answer on Hillary’s long quiet plane rides, that’s where I would look. Give voters a real chance to decide who is better equipped, add in some of that emotion, and if it doesn’t go her way then take a slow step backward and preserve the Clinton brand.

Obama Understands Marketing

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, marketing, Political Strategy, Politics, strategy, youtube on February 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Obama has thus far out positioned the competition in the Democratic and Republican primary season. He stands for change. While change is perhaps not the clearest positioning when you dig into it, on the surface it resonates. It depositions Hillary, his key rival, as a Washington incumbent. All that’s missing now is “we need a change from the Bush-Clinton-Bush way of doing politics,” which would resonate with both Democrats and Republicans. And this Super Bowl spot is one of the best political ads that I have seen, not that there was much competition.

The Politics of Change

In Branding, communications, marketing, Political Strategy, strategy on January 20, 2008 at 12:10 pm

Found this video this morning courtesy of MSNBC. It raised for me an interesting strategic question: what happens to Obama’s message when everyone jumps on “change” as a political theme? Can Obama still own Change like Tide owns Clean, or does it become table stakes for political discourse?

Candidate transparency

In Political Strategy on November 15, 2007 at 10:39 am

The marketing of politics has always been of particular interest to me since it so closely mirrors business marketing. Business marketing pioneered the use of focus groups and online surveys to distill information and inform brand and product messaging but within the last 5 years or so I believe it has fallen behind.

Political parties have gained access to better and stronger means to identify voters, bucket them, understand the issues that matter to them and determine the appropriate media to reach them. The Bush and Clinton brands (and yes, they are “brands”) are as strong as any business brand in that voters feel as though they have a real idea of what they stand for. By contrast, I still don’t understand what Coke stands for even though it has been around far longer.

The other major leap ahead that political parties took was in identifying voters based on their commitment to the brand and likelihood to change intelligences. This classified voters as ‘committeds’ and ‘undecideds’ and put consultants and candidates on the offensive to sway undecideds while maintaining their committed base.

Now comes along a neat little application called that lets you weigh in on a number of issues and matches you up with the candidate whose voting records and position papers best represent your point of view. It’s the type of application that underdogs love because it makes some undecideds aware that the candidate is the user’s “real choice.” Front-runners dread it, because for all the thoughtful, target-specific messaging that gets expounded in speeches and debates, this helpful little tool isolates the issues and reveals a more definitive and truthful (?) position– one that isn’t based on name recognition, charisma or what your husband’s been up to the last 6 years.