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Why President Obama's 2008 Campaign Was Successful

     The campaign of Obama was very impressive such that it looked like a phenomenon that had taken at least 10 years to develop to an instant idea. In the 1980s, Obama was working as a community coordinator with the "Developing Communities Project" in Chicago's South Side. Since this time, he was able to develop and harness skills in community mobilization and society involvement, which greatly helped him to administer his campaign strategies. The victorious strategy of Obama centered on "The Three Ms": message, money and mobilization. Each of these aspects promoted the other through a virtuous cycle, which made the campaign to transverse all comers of the nation (Graff, 2009). His message of change and his speechifying skills stimulated the interests of Democratic voters following two terms of President George W Bush. He outsmarted the Clintons by centering on simple approaches for instance raising funds online through millions of petite donors. Here are some of the reasons why Obama wonThe Presidential seat in the year 2008.

Winning speech

In his triumph speech of 4 November 2008, Obama employed interdiscursivity and Intertextuality. Obama mainly used the oratory styles used by Abraham Lincoln and the Founding Fathers and those used by Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. In addition, Obama speeches used clear and well-understood references. The white legend of an America established in freedom and equality with the black narrative of a journey towards equality and freedom intertwined well for Obama. By this, Obama gave Americans a general future that linked with their different pasts by credibly proposing a joining metanarrative that personified a comprehensive rewriting of the American story and the American Dream (Foxlee, 2009).

Marketing skills

During Obama's campaign, marketing skills played an important role, mainly in branding, targeting, and grassroots promotion. The marketing skills helped Obama to portray himself as the channel of change in three ways. He first built a wider and realigned union of the electorate across party lines and other prior divisions through sophisticated targeting. Secondly, his branding of change not only portrayed his reformist principles and unfailing belief in responsible and positive government, but also stressed his distinctiveness as a Washington foreigner and/or would-be first African-American president. His grassroots promotion and strategic public relations lastly, represented a radical move in the style of presidential authority, from strict, secretive, and interactive bottom-up and top-down to transparent approach (Hirabayashi, 2009).

Targeting the winning group and racial cohesion

During the Democratic primaries, Obama was able to assemble effectively part of the Democratic voters who backed Hillary Clinton incorporating women, the financially vulnerable, Hispanic, and even the Catholics (Hirabayashi, 2009). His team was also able to mobilize racial-minority communities and immigrant using internet-based technology, house-to-house meetings, registration drives, and, most of all, the convergence of existing social networks as a point of entry to the communities. In addition, the young people were active in Obama's campaign. Obama spoke to them as equivalents, making them believe that they could bring about a distinction, and motivating them to do the impossible. They were partners in his campaign holding an equal chance in the result. Obama's natural ability to comprehend all races because of his black, white and Asian background made him focus on themes of hope and bi-partisanship. Consequently, he resisted and stood firm against the customary approach of open disapproval and race baiting. He however chose to focus on opportunity, enthusiasm, hope, and believed in the promise that is natural in the American dream. Obama therefore, symbolized the spirit of change in terms of racial politics and a change in the negative mood of American politics (Alex-Assensoh, 2008).

Grassroots campaigning and fund raising

Mobilizing the online supporters to take part in precinct walking, door-knocking, and registration drives strengthened Obama's army. further strengthened the grassroots efforts through social network sites with network members consenting to campaign in the regions they stood for. Voter mobilization certainly, was not a one-off effort on Election Day, but a stable system of communication during the primary and general election campaigns (Milkis & Rhodes, 2009). In American politics, grassroots campaigning has a long history however, Obama made several improvements, his campaign not only sought to allot key responsibilities to local teams that would encourage his followers voting experiences, but also promote and develop a broad range of professional and social networks (Alex-Assensoh, 2008). In the modern electoral history, Obama was the most successful political fundraiser having raised more than $600 million dollars during the campaign. Obama was able to spend more than $360 million dollars on media and $312 million on broadcast media alone. The mobilization efforts grew due to the availability of more than $3 million in per diem expenditures to grassroots volunteers (Milkis & Rhodes, 2009).


Barack Obama's race to the white house was a historical hallmark in the lives of many Americans. Being the first Black president of the United States, he proved to the whole world that even those deemed as the minority, could rise to the highest level of leadership. His Campaign was very successful since he employed a new strategy that won the favor of the majority. He majorly utilized media and technology to strategize his campaigns, especially the use of internet. Moreover, he had excellent oratory skills, utilized good marketing strategies and was able to target the right group. In addition to this, he was able to raise enormous funds through his online fundraising, which helped him to carry out his campaigns well. What made his campaign even more exclusive was how he mobilized the minority groups while his rivals concentrated on the majority. Obama realized that he had to reach out to the local people in their localities if he had to win the elections. By this, he was able to organize grassroots campaigns, which were very successful. This means that he mobilized many people from the grassroots and convinced them to vote for him. Above all, his striking strategy was his aspect as a change agent. He was able to convince Americans that he was the change that they wanted and this happened at a time when the nation wanted change inevitably.

Copyright (c) 2012 Morgan D

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Posted on 2012-12-03, By: *

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