As part of the Campaign India eigth anniversary issue, we celebrated Newsmakers Who Headlined Our Timeline, with the headlines, perspectives and learnings. Here's the second of our eight, US president Barack Obama.
From the horse’s mouth
“Change doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.”
- In his acceptance speech, August 2008
The New York Times – November 2008
BBC.com – November 2012
NDTV.com – February 2015
“Barack’s persona has ensured that the brand Obama has no dearth of adjectives. Child of change, he stands tall at the door of future carrying a bag full of virtues such as charisma, dignity, honesty, intelligence and more. The urge to understand better all aspects of a brand especially this human one, arises not just from a marketing perspective. For today, the brand and its equity are not only relevant in the context of advertising and marketing but even as an element in the ethos of a society, its cultural beliefs and personal philosophies. Considered from this vantage point, the brand Obama is more of a social commentary – on a society rising above legacy, origin, gender and experience.”
- Prasoon Joshi, Campaign India, November 2008
Barack Obama’s campaign for the elections began around the time Campaign India was launched. The first African American to become president of the United States of America managed to hold the position after the 2012 elections too. He’s made a couple of visits during his tenure to India, the first US president to do so. The passionate following and voices of support that accompanied his storming into power have arguably softened along the way. But if voices from the Middle East are disappointed, it was because here was a president who raised expectations across the world when he came into power – also one who is seen as a prisoner of history. Did he make history? Yes he did – with Cuba. And before that, with his presidential campaign, ‘Yes we can’. In doing so, he also taught the world a thing or two about running election campaigns and approaching an electorate.
From ‘The Brand Called Obama’, in Fast Company Magazine, April 2008: ‘Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has long considered himself a political independent. An Obama encounter at a campaign event inspired him to take up arms for the Democratic candidate. But he can't quite explain why. "I'm still struggling to articulate what it is about him beyond the issues that I care about," he says. Newmark then fumbles his way to this realisation: "I see him as a leader rather than a boss." A leader, he notes, gets people to do things on their own, through inspiration, respect, and trust.’