The Obama Campaign: A Political Masterpiece


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In 2008, Barack Obama launched one of the world's most influential political campaigns. Not only did he successfully become the first African-American President of the United States, he did so with more votes than any other candidate in history ("Barack Obama" para 36). In the process, Obama made extensive use of mediums such as music, television, text-messaging, and Facebook. In fact, the Obama Campaign was so dependent on these forms of mediation that it has come to be known as The Facebook Election (Fraser, Dutta para 4). What was it that made the Obama Campaign so successful? The answer is the infectious nature of emotions created by a charismatic leader combined with social networing and times of crisis.

During my investigation of the Obama Campaign, I will focus on the three major areas of mediation: production, consumption, and circulation. I will address the meaning of the simple and central ideology of the Obama Campaign as interpreted by the American Public, as well as the way this ideology was sold through emotional appeals. I will also discuss the ways in which this ideology was spread through the use of the internet and social networking. Finally, I will explore the underlying social conditions that led to a strong reception of the Obama message.

Throughout this website, I will draw on the anthropological works or others in order to create a more coherent interpretation of the various campaign media and personal commentaries that I will explore. I will attempt to present opinions of people who witnessed or took part in the campaign in as neutral a mannaer as possible. A general strategy that will be used for my own contribution to the analysis is to ask what the message of a media artifact is and to then examine how that message is being sent and why it is being sent in that particular way.


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