Senior Thesis : Literature Review Pt. 4 – President Obama’s Campaign

President Obama’s Grassroot Presidential Campaign

President Obama’s slogan, “Change, We Can Believe In” was accurate on many levels throughout his campaign.  Anyone who followed the campaign, knew what was going on every step of the way due to the vast amounts of people who got involved.

In  a case study done on Obama’s strategy, it was shown just how much new media played a role in Obama’s campaign.  Not only did he develop his own social media site, MyBarackObama.com, where people could sign up, plan their own events, keep track of how many doors they knocked on, phone calls they made, and e-mails they sent, he also developed pages on many other sites.  About 2 million profiles were created on MyBarckObama.com, about 200,000 offline events were planned, about 400,000 blog posts were written, and about 35,000 volunteer groups were created.

He also ran in-game ads in 18 games such as Burnout Paradise for the X-Box 360.  The case study also stated that he gained 5 million supporters in other social networks besides his own, maintained a profile in more than 15 online communities, and had about 3.2 million students sign up as his supporter on Facebook.  On YouTube alone, by the end of the election, Obama had a little over 1800 videos posted, over 120,000,000 views of the videos, and about 150,000 subscribers.  In accordance with all of those social networking sites, he obtained a LinkedIn page, as well as a Flickr page (where on the day of the election you could see continuous updates of pictures of how nervous he was!).  Obama’s Twitter page skyrocketed during the elections, and still continues to today with over 1,000,000 followers and daily, hourly postings.  (SocialMedia8)

Obama knew, going into the election, what he needed to do to win.  In an interview with U.S News and World Report on February 15th, 2008, Obama said “When I decided to run, … my calculation was that it was a long shot but that there was a possibility that the skills I had to offer—bringing people together, a track record of pushing against the special interests, a 20-year history of working at a grass-roots level to help working families, pretty well-developed evidence of being straight with people—that that might be what the country needs right now…”   And, ever was he right.

The most important part of this campaign, besides him winning it, is the continuous work with the people who helped him.  It is no longer a question of whether or not it is possible, but instead a question of if he can withhold his grassroots background and keep America involved.

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