Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.

  • June 24th, 2009 by Martin

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Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.
I’m wearing my psychologist hat today, (Columbia M.A. and M.Ed. ok?).

I want to say something about the Obama logo: The administration should stop using it.

Why? Because, writ large, it’s megalomaniacal and is creating a cult of personality.

President Obama is a towering figure in all senses of the word. He is very much his own brand as a person and is the leader of a country that very much has its own branding system. His visual system was enormously effective in helping bridge the gap between black man and White House, but the continued use of the logo implies the request to act for him personally, not for the United States.

President Obama has the presence, humanity and intelligence to restore the American brand and should be shifting over to the eagle and away from his campaign logo. The longer his campaign logo is front and center, the more difficult it will be for his Democratic successor, even if that is still 7 or 8 years in the future. Likewise, the more hits he takes from Republicans and the media, (yes, the passion for the president will eventually wear off), the more damaged his campaign brand will become. His campaign logo will become a symbol of unity for his opponents, and is already vulnerable to deriding riffs from them. The president, at this point, needs to be taking ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography, with the subtlest of tweaks to reflect his presidency.

In his press conference yesterday, the president answered a reporter’s question by saying that he understood the 24-hour news cycle but would not be playing into it. He should also not be playing into the contemporary political stricture of ABC – Always Be Campaigning.

There are 2 comments to “Why the president needs to take ownership of traditional American presidential and national iconography.”

  1. thefoff says:

    Good point. I agree with you that “ABC” needs to go in Washington. I really believe there comes a time to be fully governing. I think some other folks in D.C. could use that message as well.

  2. Brent says:

    Very compelling point. In many other ways, Obama has already normalized and assumed many of the presidential traditions, which is not surprising giving the polarizing nature of the election process.

    One thing though, is that they use the logo now generally for the ‘Organizing for America’ push, which seems like it is driven more by Michelle than Barack. In this regard if they somehow tweaked the original campaign logo to associate more with Michelle than Barack, I think that the unified spirit could continue without damaging Barack’s image or making him seem like a renegade.

    Anyway, just some thoughts, great post!

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