The Obama story ain't inspirational, Its 'Marketing'!

I teach Marketing. A subject so powerful that wielding it manipulatively can, at least for a short period of time, bequeath on you the ability to 'blind' consumers and lead them to a 'sale'. Obviously it ain't recommended, as the consumer may buy once and then, its never. Its that sorta 'sale' that's happened for Obama. I admit the 'sale' was pretty overwhelming.

I read with disbelief, the adulation that's poured in, since Obama's coronation. Take Ramesh Ramnathan for instance, 'Of all the reasons to celebrate Obama’s victory last night, it is this— how his extraordinary, audacious rise from anonymity to the highest office in the world can be an inspiration to billions of people, to believe that change is indeed possible. Hope is the ultimate elixir.'

Sample Mitra Kalita, 'And we each signed off with the same thought: In the new America, maybe even our children might become president!'

N R Narayanamurthy stated, 'Today is an extraordinary day. The US has voted for compassionate capitalism over laissez faire capitalism. Besides, this election has shown that meritocracy matters most.'

Let me tackle the adulation first, the 'Laissez Fare' comment next.

Is Obama's rise truly an inspiration? Or is it the handiwork of his brilliance as a marketer? Note Thomas Sowell, In Shelby Steele's brilliantly insightful book about Barack Obama -- "A Bound Man" -- it is painfully clear that Obama was one of those people seeking a racial identity that he had never really experienced in growing up in a white world. He was trying to become a convert to blackness, as it were -- and, like many converts, he went overboard.

Nor has Obama changed in recent years. His voting record in the U.S. Senate is the furthest left of any Senator. There is a remarkable consistency in what Barack Obama has done over the years, despite inconsistencies in what he says.

The irony is that Obama's sudden rise politically to the level of being the leading contender for his party's presidential nomination has required him to project an entirely different persona, that of a post-racial leader who can heal divisiveness and bring us all together.

The ease with which he has accomplished this chameleon-like change, and entranced both white and black Democrats, is a tribute to the man's talent and a warning about his reliability. There is no evidence that Obama ever sought to educate himself on the views of people on the other end of the political spectrum, much less reach out to them. He reached out from the left to the far left. That's bringing us all together?

About N R Narayanamurthy's comment on Laissez Faire Capitalism, I wish he read Walter Williams who states; First, let's establish what laissez-faire capitalism is. Broadly defined, it is an economic system based on private ownership and control over of the means of production. Under laissez-faire capitalism, government activity is restricted to the protection of the individual's rights against fraud, theft and the initiation of physical force.

Professor George Reisman has written a very insightful article on his blog titled "The Myth that Laissez Faire Is Responsible for Our Financial Crisis." You can decide whether we have in an unregulated laissez-faire economy. There are 15 cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S. economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior. In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as: the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA, FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA.
Here's my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours is an unregulated laissez-faire economy? Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that does not involve some kind of government regulation. A businessman must seek government approval for the minutest detail of his operation or face the wrath of some government agency, whether it's at the federal, state or local level. Just about everything we buy or use has some kind of government dictate involved whether it's package labeling, how many gallons of water to flush toilets or what pharmaceuticals can be prescribed. You say, "Williams, there's a reason for this government control." Yes, there's a reason for everything but that does not change the fact that there is massive government control over our economy.

It is incorrect to say that laissez-faire or free markets are unregulated. There is ruthless regulation, but it's not by government.'

Listen; The Obama story is not one that you look for in the annals of inspirational tales, instead its one that must feature in the Marketing textbook of tomorrow. It must stand testimony to the brilliance of a born marketer.

Wanna write that case; anyone?


Walker said…
Hmmm... maybe Barack as product that appeals to a crosssection of markets? Barack the man with the white education and white upbringing, he appeals to white buyers. Barack, the dark skinned man with the angry wife who preaches about 'whitey' in churches, he appeals to the black buyers. And Barack, sensing his weakness in the black market, buys his black credentials through Jeremiah White and ACORN. And magically emerges as the half-and-half candidate. But is he half full or half empty? LOL
Walker, Interesting things you point out.

I would prefer saying him 'half empty' (LOL). There are some reasons to prove that why 'Barack Obama - The Marketer' ( is so successful.

Sir, I completely agree to the role of marketing in US Presidential Elections and I have also mentioned few points of my own (with my little knowledge of the subject) in my blog, the link to which I have already mentioned.
Ray Titus said…
Walker, that's the 'brilliance' of the man; packaging is everything...changed to fit 'target' segments...

Deeptaman, I agree with what you write...The 'marketer' role surely is fashioned by what consumers want....

Disagreements with me being 'in'; thats cool :)
Ha ha ha ..

Sir, love your sense of humour.

You should have checked the hyperlinks in the blog post of mine.
Unknown said…
I also teach marketing. Yesterday, in a consumer behavior class, I used Obama as an excellent example of how people can change social classes by 1) getting the right education -- Columbia/Harvard in his case; 2) pursuing an occupation with prestige -- Congressman, Senator; 3) living in the right type of house in the right location (that's why Obama HAD to get that Chicago mansion -- no matter what); and 4) earning a salary -- not wages -- with other sources of income (Obama didn't have investment income, so he wrote two books). As well, Obama had to move to a location where he did not have a history -- so that he could be a clean slate with his new-found credentials. Voila -- an upper-class, elite citizen.

As an aside -- so I told my students -- except for the occupation part, Sarah Palin failed on the other three requirements of social-class change, and she never really changed locations. She is Governor in the same state she was PTA president. So, the elite media was never going to give her a pass -- according to them, she's just plain old middle class, despite her election as Governor of Alaska.
Ray Titus said…

I did :)

Conservative Professor,

That's quite some thought!! :)

Popular Posts