President Obama!

It hasn’t sunk all the way in yet. Maybe by morning, I’ll feel like the dark ages of 8 years of a moron in charge are finally over. Maybe, we could even see Congress impeach Bush, and get started early.

When you have Mike Turner telling people he’s endorsed by Obama, even stranger things can happen.

While I have little respect for how John McCain ran his campaign, I was impressed with the class he showed in his concession speech. When I watched Obama speak, I felt as if I was watching a speech that will go down in history. The job that he faces, the obstacles to overcome, the challenges ahead are monumental and our country is still divided.

52% of the vote counted.

With 52% of the votes counted, the country still has a red stripe dividing our nation.

It would have been divided no matter how the election turned out, looking at the maps – and the first objective is to work hard to put the campaign rhetoric behind us, and to silence the hate mongers who’ve incited fear for a living. The people have spoken, and it’s time people like Hannity, Bortz and Limbaugh either step out from behind the microphones and run for office, or shut-up, because we’ve got to work together like never before if we don’t want to end up a third world country.

Change is hard. The first thing we need to look at changing is the way we elect our politicians. We can’t keep spending 2 years and billions of dollars on sound bites, while we’ve got to create an economy with opportunity for all. It’s not about Red or Blue- it’s about Red White and Blue, and how can we stop worrying about us as individuals, and start working on us as a nation.

A client called me today, a woman of means. She was worried about what would happen to her business if Obama won. She knew it was wrong to think about herself, but, it’s natural. Now that he has won, and we’ve put this election and its mudslinging behind us, it’s time to remember, we make this country great- not our leader. It’s up to all of us to roll up our sleeves, work together, and try to watch out for our neighbors as we would want them to watch over us.

Think back to how we felt as Americans on September 12, 2001. This time, realize, we’re still the same nation, yet, we’re going to try a different approach. An approach that focuses on we, not I. An approach that realizes we’re part of something much bigger than what’s in it for me. It will be our attitude that will determine our altitude, and the controls are in our hands.

Be thankful of what has survived the last eight years of misguided “leadership.” We’ve seen the definition of inept redefined over and over, from the squandering of global goodwill after 9/11, to the botched response to Katrina to our current financial crisis where the compassion has been directed at the wealthy, while the worker gets the shaft.

It seems to me that our economy could be something we could all make an effort to jump start, without government intervention. After all, if $300 checks were a feasible solution from the government- why can’t we do it on our own?

President Obama was elected with an average donation of less than $100. His support came from the disenfranchised, the working class, the overlooked. If we all took $100 and spent it by Friday on something from within our own community, we could send a message that yes, we believe that times are changing, and we see a bright future with our new president elect. We could send a message that we’re going to do our part to say we’re confident with our choice. Maybe, Wall Street would take notice. I’d almost say we should all buy stock in Ford and GM, but, the problem is the CEOs still don’t think about the big picture, just themselves.

We also need to shut off the hate. Take stock in the numbers that voted, take a look at the message. Change will only come once we know that there is a power in we, and it starts with me. Redress those who spew hate, fear and negativity, because today is the first day of a new nation.

It’s late. I need to let this all soak in.

Yes, we can.

Can you think of other things we could do?

When advertising does good in politics

We’ve seen the worst in political ads this election- but once in a while, advertising can really make you think- like this ad by Grey advertising. Simple bit of Photoshop- and you get an image that puts things in perspective.

If race was reversed- would you change your vote?

"let the issues be the issue"

Consider who you’re voting for: Obama or McCain. Now, look at the reversed-race image created by Grey. Ask yourself: If their races were reversed, would it change your opinion of either candidate, even for a second? Grey New York chief creative officer Tor Myhren explains: “This is a non-partisan image. We wanted to address the race issue straight on. And it cuts both ways. If you’re hopping on either candidate’s bandwagon solely due to the color of their skin, you’re voting for the wrong reasons.” So, the agency’s hoping to provoke discussion. Fair enough. Discuss.

CampaignFreak: Grey sees Election 2008 in black and white

Not all political advertising has to be a smear or a sound bite.

Redistribution of wealth: Obama vs. McCain

Before I start, I’m going to remind everyone of something said by George H. Bush that helped him win an election: “Read my lips, No new taxes.” It was a lie.

So before you get caught up with “Obama is a socialist” or “McCain is better for business because he won’t “redistribute your wealth” remember, campaign rhetoric has very little to do with the real world.

The real world has already redistributed wealth. It’s been happening progressively for the last 150 years- since the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the entity known as the Corporation. Even Henry Ford who was an iconic figure in this transformation of society from agrarian to industrial, understood that it didn’t do any good to build cars that cost so much his workers couldn’t afford, so he had two options- make his cars cheaper or pay his employees more. Ford did both and was one of the engines that started to create the “richest nation in the world.”

And, while we still live in splendor compared to many countries, over the last 30 years, we’ve been doing it on borrowed money. Credit cards, second mortgages (marketed as “Home equity lines”) and negative savings (where we borrow more, and save less) have transformed us from powerful world beaters, to a nation of deadbeats. In the rush to feed our insatiable quest for more right now for less, we’ve traded our great manufacturing engine started by Henry Ford in for a “service and information economy” where we don’t make things anymore or worry about our employees ability to buy the products that we now outsource the labor from third world nations.

So, what this really means is that we’ve been redistributing wealth all along. Your money has been either siphoned off by the billionaires of Wall Street, CEO’s of huge corporations that forgot Henry Ford’s lessons, or by third world nations like China who makes everything sold at WalMart.

Your wealth has been redistributed, only you weren’t paying attention. The media, the government and those who’ve had their hands in your pockets have had no interest in telling you this, because media and government have been getting bigger and the people who’ve been digging in your pocket have gotten insanely rich. The gap between rich and poor today in the United States is exponentially larger than it was in feudal times when Kings demanded servitude. We can only continue on this path for a short while longer before we will have a revolution- just like the Boston Tea Party.

John McCain is not one of us little people by any stretch of the imagination. The grandson and son of Navy 4 star admirals, he’s led a life of privilege along with his service. In his campaign for the presidency he has looked for any number of attacks to sway the public, the great number of us who are suffering the worst through this pillaging of our great nation. McCain’s last stand is that Barack Obama, the candidate with the funny name, different skin color and a true American dream story of rising above our circumstances to achieve greatness- is somehow going to take more away from the people who’ve already lost it all in some stunning sleight-of-hand, where you can squeeze more money out of a nation that is teetering on the verge of financial ruin. This is pure, unadulterated B.S.

The wealth is, for the most part, gone, and we’re already going to pay for the greed of those who’ve already stolen our future for years to come. That’s what this bailout was- socialism for the rich. Every American has already committed to bailing out the very bad business decisions of the super-rich, while watching their home values plummet as the foreclosure rates skyrocket.

We, the taxpayers have been funneling money into the largest banks for virtually free, while they continue to raise rates on credit cards, bank fees, and refuse to renegotiate terms.

Before you vote on Tuesday, think twice before you believe that either politician can really change anything, but know that at least one of the two hasn’t tried to scare you into believing that wealth redistribution is something new. We’ve been doing it quite effectively for years, and that’s why so many of us are hurting right now.

I believe that we have to change our system and that voting for Barack Obama is the only true chance at seeing this through. We’ve suffered through eight years of a child of priviledge in the White House, it’s time to see what a true self-made American success story can do.

Undecided voter = idiots.

At this point, I’m tired of polls. I’m tired of discussions about; race, issues, merits, experience, redistribution of wealth, health care plans, the war, the economy, who is more like George Bush and if any of this matters.

Our system is set-up to really screw-up:

  • The popular vote doesn’t count- so if your state is close to “balanced” you become a swing state which means you can’t escape this stupidity.
  • We spend way too much money on sound-bites, and not near enough time and effort on debates. The first 3 “debates” (2 presidential one VP) were absolute dreck- if we had 3 of the number 3- we’d all be able to learn a lot more. [hint: flag pin questions don’t cut it]
  • Media- that get a good amount of all that political cash- likes the vote to be close- so more money is spent with them. Of course, since they “report” the polls- they help fan the flames. Polls should be illegal. Keep it all private until the election.
  • Hot-button issues like: guns, god, gay marriage, abortion etc. aren’t decided by the president, so why bother arguing about them?
  • All politicians tell us they are going to cut taxes. None do. So why do we talk about it like it means anything? Time for truth in campaigning laws- where we can actually sue them for flip-flopping or lying.
  • We’re supposed to be a nation that separates church and state- so why do we care so much about a candidates religion?
  • Last I checked, there is no “presidential training program”- so debate about “qualifications” is yet another bit of BS. It’s sort of like trying to compare who removes an appendix better- you can only have it done once, so you can’t do a double-blind.
  • As long as we let people buy politicians and allow “lobbyists” to do their thing- a lot of people will be disenfranchised- it’s time to eliminate all campaign “donations” over $100 per candidate. Set up a realtime system that’s free to use- which will only allow each individual to only give $100 per candidate, and a fund a max of 10 candidates per election cycle- and take the obscene money out of the system.
  • Lastly- we won’t have smart people in office, until we have smart people voting for them. If you are still undecided today- maybe you shouldn’t be voting. Let’s have a civics and literacy test before you can vote. Maybe it’s even time to require a HS diploma to vote, since we can’t seem to get more than a 75% graduation rate in this all powerful country.
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So, if in 8 days I have to read another headline from the London papers asking how so many people in our country can be so stupid- like we saw 4 years ago, you won’t say I didn’t warn you.

And, btw- if you’re reading this, you are smart enough to vote. Congrats.

If you wouldn’t say it after the election, you shouldn’t say it before one.

At some point America should put the smackdown on political speech. It’s starting to get dangerous. In our do and say anything to get elected environment, hiding under the protection of “free speech” and counting on the slowness of the courts and regulatory authorities to act, we’re undermining the power of those who do get elected.

I’m not railing against Palin alone on this one- we saw this kind of opportunistic cannibalism in the democratic primary. The New York Times has this story about Palin’s attacks on our probable president:

Underscoring the McCain campaign’s aggressive attacks on Senator Barack Obama’s character, Gov. Sarah Palin accused the Illinois senator today of “putting ambition above country” at several private fund-raising events in Ohio.

In making her remarks, Ms. Palin cited a disputed report in The Washington Times today that said Mr. Obama, on a trip to Iraq with other members of the Senate, had encouraged an Iraqi official to delay an agreement that would extend the presence of American troops in Iraq. Mr. Obama’s campaign denied that claim, as did other attendees on the trip.

Ms. Palin portrayed the events in a darker light. “We learned this morning that Iraqi officials are saying Senator Obama tried to make a secret deal with the Iraqi government,” she said at a fund-raiser outside Cincinnati, although the article in The Washington Times does not make that specific claim.

“Obama apparently tried to undermine our government’s official efforts to reduce troops in Iraq,” Ms. Palin said. “If this is true, again, it is a stunning example of putting ambition above country.”

She repeated the attack line at a fund-raiser later in the afternoon in Cleveland, where the accusation was met with rumblings in the audience. “He tried to influence negotiations with Iraqi leaders in a way that would set back America’s cause there while advancing his campaign here,” she said. At both events, she described the allegations as “stunning.”

With Donors, Palin Keeps Up Attacks on Obama – The Caucus Blog – NYTimes.com.

Of course, it also doesn’t help when Joe Biden opens his mouth and inserts his foot with his statement that foreign leaders should test Obama in the first six months either.

Other nations wouldn’t stand for this kind of behavior, and neither should we. If Obama was president,  and Governor Palin started with this crap it would border on treason.

The rule of thumb should be, if you would think twice about saying it after they’re elected, you shouldn’t say it in the campaign. We need leadership that is interested in building this country- not undermining it.

Why Obama is marketer of the year.

Advertising Age magazine just named the Obama 08 campaign and Barack Obama marketer of the year.

Beating out Apple and Zappos.com by a landslide. As a practitioner of the trade, I’ve watched this campaign run like a steamroller, picking up steam, hammering home a simple message of “Change we can believe in” that was so good- the competition tried to co-opt it and ended up looking stupid.

The online messaging, using everything from social networking, to twitter to viral videos and a constant effort to connect, collect money and information, and correct any misinformation was picture perfect. Just on the basis of marketing effectiveness and energizing the market, Barack Obama has defined the way campaigns of the future should be run. Of course, it’s also helped that he’s had the money to do it.

What started out with a mashup video by Will.I.am,

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has now been followed up with this little ditty- in a 40’s strut:

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It’s this kind of donated brand building that a typical advertiser could only hope for.

While some of it may seem blatantly commercial, the reality is our society has changed dramatically- with an access to viewing and making media like never before. If there is one thing John McCain misjudged, it’s the power of presenting a total brand package.

As long as we’re going to spend around 5 Billion on an election- shouldn’t we be entertained?

Here are the lyrics to the second spot:

Hate to see the nation being run by a hack

Dig the situation that he dug in Iraq

Half the population wants to give him the sack

And now he’s lookin’ round for somebody else to attack

We need somebody great to get us back on the track

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Choo Choo, Change to believe in

Woo woo, we can achieve it

Choo Choo, Change to believe in

Takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Now that global warming is a matter of fact

The only real question is just how to react

The new administration needs the guts to enact

Drastic legislation, leave the planet intact

We can’t be foolin’ round with some Republican Mac

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

Choo Choo….

He only gets his money from your regular macs

Doesn’t take a penny from some whackity PAC’s

For bringin’ folk together he’s the man with the knack

And he’ll supply the hope and inspiration we lack

Cause he’s the best we got and did I ….mention he’s black?

So we’re takin’ it back with Barack, Jack!

DevraDoWrite.

McCain defends Obama. What next? Ditch Palin?

Yesterday, John McCain had to start defending the character of Barack Obama after he had been inciting fear and suggesting that Barack Obama is connected to terrorism.

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Now, more than ever, we need to be talking about issues and coming together as Americans.

Even John McCain is seeing how the policy of divisiveness isn’t appropriate anymore.

Update: didn’t take long for someone to do some fancy editing taking McCain’s attack ads and juxtaposing his comments:

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America: a third world country.

The day has arrived for us to take a serious look at our Nation, and where it has been headed. Although we still pretend to be a Country where “all men are created equal” it now costs a million to be “elected” to Congress and a few billion to buy the presidency. I’ve asked the question before about if we’d become a third world country (this site tops Google for it sometimes), and now, a friend sends me this amazing opinion piece from Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens that full out questions if we’re a banana republic, it is online now- but, sometimes VF takes things down, so don’t delay in reading the whole thing. Here is a taste:

“socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest.”

I have heard arguments about whether it was Milton Friedman or Gore Vidal who first came up with this apt summary of a collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts conveniently socialized, but another term for the same system would be “banana republic.”

What are the main principles of a banana republic? A very salient one might be that it has a paper currency which is an international laughingstock: a definition that would immediately qualify today’s United States of America. We may snicker at the thriller from Wasilla, who got her first passport only last year, yet millions of once well-traveled Americans are now forced to ask if they can afford even the simplest overseas trip when their folding money is apparently issued by the Boardwalk press of Atlantic City. But still, the chief principle of banana-ism is that of kleptocracy, whereby those in positions of influence use their time in office to maximize their own gains, always ensuring that any shortfall is made up by those unfortunates whose daily life involves earning money rather than making it.

America the Banana Republic: Politics & Power: vanityfair.com.

If we didn’t have nuclear weapons and the most advanced military in the world, to go along with our shameless consumption, by every other industrialized nation we fail to represent and respect our people.

In the battles of education, health care, and for a future that looks rosier than today- that have all been lost in a few short weeks, we still have people thinking we are the greatest country in the world to live in. Which goes to show, a good line of propaganda from 1776 can still work, even after its idyllic concepts have all been thrown by the wayside while we danced on the deck of the Titan(ic).

Americans pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness disappeared thanks to our unregulated greed and “me first” based “independence.” The reality is, we are all in this together, interconnected and inter-reliant. When was the last time you’ve heard two candidates latch onto the same tagline to say they’re different? And the sad part is, how so many people can believe that a failed scholar, from an elitist family, who is well past retirement age, should be the new lifeblood that is supposed to bring us back.

When you’ve got nothing to left to loose, people should look at the last eight years and realize that other than his age, the background of George W. Bush is exactly the same as that of John McCain, except his family was political and McCain’s was military.

If we want to see change, it will be difficult. It will be uncomfortable, but there is only one candidate that can offer us that option: Barack Obama. He is the embodiment of that promise to America, that all men are created equal, and have a real shot at rising above the conditions of our birth. As everything is falling apart, only those that cling to God, Guns and Country with racist undertones would think any different.

America has become a third world country, it’s up to us, to hoist it back up. After all, we just accepted the bill for it.

Senator Obama speaking in Dayton today: Say something off your script

When I watched the debate on Tuesday night I could almost predict- line for line, word for word, what was going to come out of both candidates mouths. Even though the candidates were speaking extemporaneously, it was as if marketing has taken over and the brand message gets repeated over and over until we all “just do it” automatically.

And while Senator Obama is an accomplished orator, I’ve yet to hear anything approaching a “I have a dream” speech. In fact, when I went to see him at the Nutter Center back in February, the speech just rolled out like an audio technician had hit the play button. He’ll be at 5/3rd field today, and giving another one, just like the one he’s going to give in Cincinnati a few hours later.

Sure, good speeches are hard to write, and yes, they do localize the speech a bit for each community, but- just once, I want to hear something off script. Not off message- off script. Like when Sean Penn just drops into a role and just ad libs lines and they make it in the movie.

I know that candidates are real people, just like you and me, being asked to be held to a higher standard than anyone of us could reasonably follow. I know that it’s dangerous to go off script, but, I’ve done it when I was campaigning (maybe that explains why I don’t get elected) and the response has been good.

Things to talk about in Dayton:

Wouldn’t it be great if the electric utility CEO (DP&L CEO and President Paul Barbas) admitted that it’s not that complicated running a monopoly, and instead of trying to charge the people for upgrades to a smart grid- he was going to cut his pay to no more than 10x the lowest paid employee in the company and stop spending money on advertising and instead spend it on improving customer service?

How we used to have two independent newspapers, that would compete for readers and breaking stories- which gave you confidence that you weren’t being manipulated by a single all powerful media source? And, how do we bring that kind of competitiveness back?

How Dayton and Wilmington are suffering from the actions of companies “too big to fail”- GM, DHL, pulling out of the market, costing thousands of good paying jobs and hurting all of us- and how this bailout seems to be consolidating power more than sharing it- and how that concerns me, and should concern you.

While your neighbors are losing their homes, the banks are still charging 29% interest on credit cards, so that they can get involved in questionable investment practices, pay their people exorbitant salaries, and then beg you to bail them out with your tax dollars? I’d point out that before deregulation, banks were limited to much lower caps, and weren’t allowed to issue so many credit cards. It’s time to end the casino on Wall Street- and stop thinking that a casino monopoly in Wilmington is a good idea either. We’ve been gambling too much in this country, and if we continue on this same path, we could very well lose everything. When Budweiser isn’t owned by Americans anymore, that should be a wake up a call that even Joe Six Pack understands.

On my travels of the world, meeting with other world leaders, that I know that people far away think of Dayton in a way that people in Dayton don’t realize: it’s the place where the peace talks were held, that helped stop a war over ethnic battles that have gone on for too long, for no good reason. And, if we could do that Dayton magic again- we could possibly see peace the world over, because, like it or not- we’re all on this planet together. It is something the people of Dayton should be proud of.

And, it’s in that same spirit- that we should look at joining together, cities and suburbs, to look for new ways to govern- that bring smart growth, and efficient government to the region, and then to the State level and finally to Washington- because, throughout history, people from Dayton have been innovative thinkers and brought change to this world- the same kind of change that this young, bi-racial, single parent raised, Honolulu born Senator hopes to bring to the world. A world where….

I have a dream….