March 11, 2010

"The president is a person, not a product. We shouldn’t be referring to him as a brand."

What Axelrod supposedly said to Desiree Rogers, the former WH social secretary, after she talked to much about "the Obama brand."

89 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

DA : He's a person, not a product. Got that?

DR: Yes. I got it.

DA: Then repeat it. So I'm sure you got it.

DR: The president's a person and not a product

DA: That's right. Not a product.

DR: Not a product.

DA: Yes! Now keep saying that.

DR: Not a product. Not a product. Not a product.

DA: Yes! Great! You've got it.

DR: Question. When did he start being a person and not a product?

DA: Goddamnit he was always a person. Now get this straight, always a person and never a product.

kentuckyliz said...

Personal brand is all the rage nowadays.

Synova said...

I suppose it's not good to use the word, but Liz is right, it's all the rage. It's also what the Obama campaign excelled at and a huge reason why he was as successful as he was.

The brand fixes you in people's minds, but it doesn't govern.

That's a drawback.

Peter V. Bella said...

If he is not a produt or a brand, why does the White House get into such a tizzy when his image, his campaign logo, Hope and Change, or anything related to him or what he said are used in commercials?

The guy is a product. They just cannot decide if he is cat food, dog food, tampons, deodorant, beer, chips, Dinty Moore Stew, or Hormel Chili.

Peter V. Bella said...

Democrats are not human, so he cannot be a person.


wv:hogism=Titus religion.

reader_iam said...

While it has happened to past presidents, though, this was the first time it has happened to Mr. Obama,

Wow. That's some stretch to say it was the first time.

who prided himself on running a campaign free of the typical petty rivalries and personal subplots that distract other politicians.

Who ever really believed this--wait, more important, who ever really would? Humans staff campaigns. Humans individually, and most especially in the aggregate, are not free of such things.

And it happened with a friend who at first was celebrated for personifying the fresh, new-generation approach that the Obamas promised to bring to Washington.

New generation? I'd argue that that premise was wrong from the get-go (though not, by a long shot, a unique stumble, in general of course but more specifically w/r/t politicians, including presidents).

Also: it happened with a friend who at first was celebrated

Quick! Name for me someone celebrated in that way who also turned out to be an asset for either a POTUS or his First Lady in recent memory! (Or--excuse me for my impolitic mentioning--the general good of our Republic.)

the fresh, new-generation approach that the Obamas promised to bring to Washington

To this day, I'm confounded by what exactly was a) promised that was fresh and new and b) fresh and new about what was promised.

**

TBC, TBF & TBS, that "confoundment" didn't start with 2008's turnip truck.

wv: ponia

Well, LOL.

EDH said...

Notice how the NYT story suggests that Axelrod was concerned with Rogers increasing the risk that a petty "Washington" could use her affluent, glamorous -- indeed corporate -- profile against Obama, when it's closer to the truth Axelrod's true aim was to avoid having Rogers compromise the availability of that petty tactic for use by Obama.

Mr. Axelrod called her in for a long conversation about her interviews and photo shoots, warning her explicitly that she was flying into dangerous territory and that Washington loves to watch people become too big and ultimately crash and burn, according to people familiar with the conversation.

Meade said...

All but one Dem died. 

There on Capitol Hill.

On re-con-cil-i-ation day...



Branded!
Scorned for a lousy plan.

What do you do when you're branded,
and you know you're da man.



Wherever you go, for the rest of your term

You must prove, you're da man. 




All but one Dem died. 

There on Capitol Hill.

On re-con-cil-i-ation day...



Branded!

Marketing your socialist plan. 

What do you do when you're branded,

Will you fight for your f*cking retarded plan?



Hardly innocent,

Barely qualified,

As if the whole world didn't know ... 



Branded!

Scorned for a lousy plan.

What do you do when you're branded,

And you know you're da man? 



And wherever you go 
for the rest of your lame duck term 

You must prove ... 

You're da man!

Palladian said...

Obama™ is not a brand, dammit!

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

The deleted comment was a duplicate due to one of those "conflicting edits" thingies, for the record.

WestVirginiaRebel said...

Obama is not a brand, he is a human being! But let's run him up the flagpole and see who salutes anyways.

Fen said...

EDH: "Notice how the NYT story suggests that Axelrod was concerned with Rogers increasing the risk that a petty "Washington" could use her affluent, glamorous -- indeed corporate -- profile against Obama, when it's closer to the truth Axelrod's true aim was to avoid having Rogers compromise the availability of that petty tactic for use by Obama."

Spot on.

Methadras said...

It's safe to say in this case that I'm not a brand loyalist.

Flexo said...

I once tried a case involving an obstetrician. Not a likeable guy. And I made sure the jury didn't like him.

I asked him a question about something or other, and he answered talking about "products of conception."

"You mean . . . babies?"

"Yes, products of conception."

"Babies??"

"Yes."

The jury didn't like him after that.

Penny said...

"We shouldn't be referring to him as a brand".

Axelrod was correct here. No one INSIDE Obama's team should have used that terminology. On the other hand, it's fair game for the rest of us to notice, and to comment on it.

Ms. Rogers showed a serious lapse in judgment to speak of the "Obama brand" in an interview, and no surprise to me that she was called on the carpet for it. Further, her friends are doing her no favors in highlighting this to the NY Times. This will raise a red flag to future employers that she doesn't think well on her feet.

Fred4Pres said...

It is like Bladerunner...or the Island of Dr. Moreau...or something.

reader_iam said...

Fred4Pres: ... something.

... along the lines of "enantiodromia."

Or something.

***

wv: mines

Sweet mama of crap. I should love that. But you know what? I don't.

Not that I don't think it's funny as hell, despite myself. *Sigh.*

Kensington said...

He is the embodiment of free government cheese.

rhhardin said...

President Edsel.

edutcher said...

After 4 years of making him a brand, all of a sudden Axelrod doesn't want to do it anymore.

Maybe he's afraid of a product recall.

Meade said...

All but one Dem died. 

There on Capitol Hill.

On re-con-cil-i-ation day...


Somewhere, Jason McCord is smiling.

Pogo said...

Axelrod's right, much as a 'brand' assumes there is a product behind it, rather than an empty suit.

Tough to sell vaporware.

paul a'barge said...

"too much", not to much

Hoosier Daddy said...

"The president is a person, not a product. We shouldn’t be referring to him as a brand."

Heh. After how he was marketed like a rock star during the campaign I'd say its a tad late to start whining about that now.

Shanna said...

who prided himself on running a campaign free of the typical petty rivalries and personal subplots that distract other politicians.

That was his brand.

Axelrod was concerned with Rogers increasing the risk that a petty "Washington" could use her affluent, glamorous -- indeed corporate -- profile against Obama

Again, because his “brand” is anti-corporate, so it looks bad to have her around.

Axelrod was correct here. No one INSIDE Obama's team should have used that terminology.

Totally agree. You need to make it seem like the President is naturally whatever you're trying to sell, calling it a "brand" makes it seem like artifice.

Obama™ is not a brand, dammit!

Ha.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Axelrod's rush to Brand Sarah Palin as an object of ridicule took up an entire 2 months of the 2008 Campaign. I see this little blurb as Axelrod heading off a competitor in the WH so that his branding secrets are not ever seen as a common ability. She was guilty of showing how magic tricks worked. The Great Magicians do not allow that kind of amateur mistake to go unchallenged.

EDH said...

I asked him a question about something or other, and he answered talking about "products of conception."

What a great name for a punk band, er, brand, er... a great brand for a punk band.

Hey, "authentic" punks like us don't have brands, man.
- David Axlerod

Hoosier Daddy said...

Sebastian: Show me something.

Roy Batty: Like what?

Sebastian: Anything.

Roy Batty: We're not computers Sebastian. We're physical.

Blade Runner, 1982

Issob Morocco said...

Either as a President or a Product his brand is a spectacular failure.

AllenS said...

Obama is a fad. Hopefully, for the good of the country this fad will last as long as the pet rock fad lasted. Anyone want to buy some rocks?

kent said...

"The president is a person, not a product."

This president? Pfffftt. Prove it.

kent said...

@Meade: Awesome TV Theme-Fu. ;)

tastid212 said...

Is it just me, or does Drudge's photo of the Prez today make O look like Nation of Islam? the double mic doubles as a bow tie...

Moose said...

Had to work for that witch at People's Energy in Chicago - all I can say is that she reaped what she sowed.

Good riddance.

AJ Lynch said...

Meade:

Branded! The TV show! Good news is you have a very good memory. The bad news is we are getting ancient.

knox said...

If they want to convince people he's a "person", then they need to cut the dry, read-off-the-prompter, robotic speeches.

knox said...

During the campaign, with the glut of posters and logos, I remember thinking, "you know, after 3-4 years, this stuff is going to start to look really dated ..." How are they going to deal with that in 2012, I wonder.

And during the townhalls, when you would see people on the news holding the pre-printed "HEALTH REFORM NOW" signs--that look just like the Obama signs--his brand starts to look like it's some sort of Your Government! Brand. Not good.

NewHam said...

"The guy is a product. They just cannot decide if he is cat food, dog food, tampons, deodorant, beer, chips, Dinty Moore Stew, or Hormel Chili."

I'm pretty sure it's been unanimously decided - at least on this side of the aisle - that Barack Obama is a tampon.

AJ Lynch said...

To be fair to Rogers, her primary work experience was in selling branded products like Electricity For Your Home From Exelon Energy or Win The Lottery and Moon Your Boss Lottery Tickets from the Ilinois State Lottery.

Palladian said...

No, tampons are useful. And they absorb the flow, they don't cause the hemmoraging.

I'm thinking he's more like a disposable douche.

And he's really feeling not so fresh at this point.

Moose said...

Had to work for that witch at People's Energy in Chicago - all I can say is that she reaped what she sowed.

Good riddance.

kentuckyliz said...

Y'all are thinking about brand as in marketing.

Maybe it really means livestock branding, to mark ownership. Ever get the suspicion that Obama is really a cow owned by someone else? The Peter Principle requires a puppetmaster. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Maybe Obama's brand is bod mod scarification type branding. I used to be a Greek fraternity/sorority system advisor as part of my job (horrors!) and the traditionally black fraternity practiced branding. I know Kappa Alpha Psi's do too. Perhaps Obama belonged to a fraternity that branded.

Maybe Obama dreams of his koolaid drinkers branding themselves with the O logo. Or a delta (triangle--Greek letter). Greeks used that brand for slaves (doulos), and it means change as a mathematical or scientific symbol. I don't know what the symbol would be for hope.

Maybe he's a submissive. Who's his dom? Michelle? Axelrod? Rahm?

If we're lucky, before long, it will be like vehicle title branding--when it's a total loss, the title is branded as a consumer protection and warning. The cost to repair Obama will soon exceed his value. He's totalled. Let's brand his title and warn the voters.

WV sesseda
second syllable has a long e and receives the emphasis

wind.rider said...

Seems like the DaveAx should take a little more pride in his handiwork - he astroturfed his azz off to build this particular brand - nevermind, he doesn't give a frying flack what the peanut gallery thinks. . .

tw - jinies, as in Dave sure has his in a twist

Deana said...

Palladian - that is awesome.

Seriously, though. THEY are the ones who marketed this guy. How many times in January and February of 2009 did I hear one of his followers refer to the "Obama Brand?"

Someone else here said it: It's a bit too late to complain about it now.

Me thinks they are trying the sympathy angle - you know, the "he's just a person, just a human being" angle.

Gag.

kentuckyliz said...

Actually, reading the wiki article about the ancient practice of branding slaves on the forehead gives me new insight into the scriptures. In modern translations it's tidied up as "servants" but it's really "slaves." The mark on the forehead (calling to mind the lintels in the first Passover, protecting one from the angels of death and destruction)--is the mark of a slave. Slaves of Christ and of God. That seems nuts to unbelievers but it makes us Christians happy.

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

traditionalguy said...

The first rule in advertising is that exposing a good product to the public leads to a great marketing success, BUT exposing a bad product leads to a bust that never recovers under that name brand. This lesson says wait until the product is a good one before advertising it. Axelrod had a good racial reconciliation narrative and a loving smile face to sell and it with. Now he does not want to advertise the governance style which is a Marxist Monarch ruling his serfs. That product needs perfecting before advertising it. Once we are all desperate and powerless, then maybe we will just admire Great Leader and enjoy our worthless poverty. That needs a Health Care bill to Bankrupt the dollar and a Cap and trade tax ending all industrial production in the USA...then we will begin to love our Marxist Monarch with his loving smile. No wonder the Sarah Palin's self reliant and brave narrative is enemy #1 to Axelrod and his accomplices in the Media.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
master cylinder said...

It's fun for me to see yall smear the Obama brand, this must be a really fun morning! As if you Repubs wouldnt kill for a little branding of your own. Get out of the bubble here and you'd be horrified at the tanking of your brand, oh and spare me the Im not a Rebublican bs....it's still a 2 party system.

t-man said...

Orville Rendenbacher was both.

MadisonMan said...

Well, that was definitely a non-caffeinated post.

Trying again:

Why can't a person be a person and and brand/product? Kind of like being a floor wax and a desert topping.

t-man said...

Barry Soetoro is a person.
Barack Obama is a brand.

Lincolntf said...

Obama without the "brand" is just a guy with a sloppy resume who's lost millions of jobs, broken scores of promises, spent more money than any other soul to ever occupy the Office and who has a habit of mocking everyone from Special Olympians to Boston cops.
Better stick with the "branding", Davie-boy, because the dog food sucks.

t-man said...

Norma Jean was a person.
Marilyn is a brand.

kentuckyliz said...

unde glieben glauben globen

just had to type that...it just flashed by on the radio.

Don't forget, this is the same lady who said beforehand that there would be no Christmas creche in the White House this year and sent the evangelicals into a frenzy. As well as letting in unauthorized persons into dinners with heads of state.

She's made some major mistakes much less saying "brand" and dressing too well.

Must be a shock to an affirmative action queen to be fired for job performance reasons.

AJ Lynch said...

Moose:

People's Energy not Exelon I meant to type.

Thanks.

kentuckyliz said...

kudos lincoln...nail, meet hammer.

cylinder, no one is smearing the obama brand.

He's doing great at that all by hisownself.

kentuckyliz said...

Great use of the dog food metaphor.

Should be an opposition marketing technique next election if Obama stands.

Actually hand out bags of Obama dog food and try and get people to eat it. LOL

Lem said...

Maybe Obama is a brandy.

Brandies are also made from other fruits such as apples or cherries. 75% of Brandy sold in the US comes from California, while 75% is consumed in Wisconsin.

AJ Lynch said...

The Obama Brand needs a win badly. He's like an old, broken down pitcher who has not won a game in 10 or 15 starts. The far left liberal team will cut him soon unless he ekes out a win.

Pogo said...

The discussion of "brand" of an individual suggests these guys used to read Fast Company magazine.

Let's talk about becoming 'change agents' while we're at it.

Kirk Parker said...

K-Liz:

Wow, you are on a roll!


WV: tonal -- music to my ears.

NewHam said...

Here is how Obama could get a win. Let's let his friend the NY Times' columnist Paul Krugman explain it:

Krugman: "The principal policy division between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama involves health care. It’s a division that can seem technical and obscure — and I’ve read many assertions that only the most wonkish care about the fine print of their proposals."

Krugman first notes the similatiries between Clinton and Obama's health insurance plans: "Both plans require that private insurers offer policies to everyone, regardless of medical history. Both also allow people to buy into government-offered insurance instead.

Krugman continues: "And both plans seek to make insurance affordable to lower-income Americans. The Clinton plan is, however, more explicit about affordability, promising to limit insurance costs as a percentage of family income. And it also seems to include more funds for subsidies.

Krugman concludes: "But the big difference is mandates: the Clinton plan requires that everyone have insurance; the Obama plan doesn’t."

Barack Obama campaigned, successfully, by opposing the plan to force people to purchase health insurance under threat of IRS audits.

He won on that platform. And why not? Who wants IRS jackboots forcing us to purchase things?

Obama is losing because Barack Obama <i>abandoned his own policies.</i>

Forcing people to buy things is a loser. Candidate Obama knew that. If only President Obama would acknowledge it.

AllenS said...

This is really going to kill the resale value of the Obama Commemorative Coin and Plate collection.

Penny said...

"To be fair to Rogers, her primary work experience was in selling branded products like Electricity For Your Home From Exelon Energy or Win The Lottery and Moon Your Boss Lottery Tickets from the Ilinois State Lottery."

Sorry, I just don't see the need to be fair to Rogers or the Obamas for hiring a friend.

Experience is often transferable from one employer to another, generally because the skills used are the same or surely similar. What all of this supposes, however, is that the person has the facility to quickly identify the differences and to adjust accordingly.

Sadly, neither Obama nor Rogers grasp that CRITICAL last point. At these levels, you better be able to think on the run, boys and girls.

Beth said...

K-Liz: why do you call Rogers an "affirmative action queen"?

Carol_Herman said...

Wow. Rahm's gone! So, Axelrod is moved up the staff ladder. If this isn't palace intrigue, what is?

Up, ahead, we'll get lessons from Sherlock in Dubai. An update on Baghdad Bob's stellar reputation for misconstruing the obvious.

edutcher said...

AJ Lynch said...

Meade:

Branded! The TV show! Good news is you have a very good memory. The bad news is we are getting ancient.


No, ancient would be a parody of "Happy Trails" or, at least, "Wyatt Earp". Meade's just making us all feel old. :O

kentuckyliz said...

Y'all are thinking about brand as in marketing.

Maybe it really means livestock branding, to mark ownership. Ever get the suspicion that Obama is really a cow owned by someone else? The Peter Principle requires a puppetmaster. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Maybe Obama's brand is bod mod scarification type branding. I used to be a Greek fraternity/sorority system advisor as part of my job (horrors!) and the traditionally black fraternity practiced branding. I know Kappa Alpha Psi's do too. Perhaps Obama belonged to a fraternity that branded.

...

Maybe he's a submissive. Who's his dom? Michelle? Axelrod? Rahm?


The name Soros ring a bell? After all, Barry's bought and paid for.

PS Like your discussion of 'slaves of Christ and of God'. It could also apply to Catholics after Ash Wednesday.

master cylinder said...

It's fun for me to see yall smear the Obama brand, this must be a really fun morning! As if you Repubs wouldnt kill for a little branding of your own. Get out of the bubble here and you'd be horrified at the tanking of your brand, oh and spare me the Im not a Rebublican bs....it's still a 2 party system.

The Republicans aren't going to need any branding in '12 the way things are going and have actually gotten along quite nicely without it the last 150 years or so. Demos OTOH seem to need it desperately and have ever since FDR (or maybe James Buchanan).

As for the 2 party system, it was your propagandists who were telling everybody the GOP was dead this time last year. Bet you wish it were so.

PS Spare me the "yall"s (and it's y'all, as any real Johnny Reb knows). That "I'll make myself real folksy so people will think I'm one of them and not a subversive like Saul Alinsky" act went out when Woody Guthrie died.

Richard said...

It's 2010. The President is a product. That's the way it is.

madawaskan said...

Again, because his “brand” is anti-corporate, so it looks bad to have her around.

Well here is what I don't get-they keep Geitner around...?

How about Rahm himself who made 18 million in just two years, as an investment banker and then was named to the Board of Directors at Freddie Mac? At a time when they had all kinds of trouble over campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.

Chip Ahoy said...

Your many creative quips, barbs and sharp retorts cheer me greatly.

madawaskan said...

OK I get it-it's because Geitner and Rahm Emanuel don't do this:

Ms. Rogers had appeared in another glossy magazine, posing in a White House garden in a borrowed $3,495 silk pleated dress and $110,000 diamond earrings.

It's all about keeping up appearances.

A.W. said...

No, he misunderstood her.

She meant that they had created an actual brand, like they use for cattle, using that Obama seal he came up with during the campaign. They have been heating it up on their stoves and then searing it into their backsides.

TosaGuy said...

Brands are beyond a single person, as a result make nice juicy targets for insurgent types like Andrew Breitbart.

PatCA said...

Sounds like the office politics of my office! Human nature is human nature, I guess.

mariner said...

It sounds like Axelrod is starting to understand that the Obama brand is failing in the market.

Anthony said...

Stranded. . .stranded on the toilet bowl
What do you do when you're stranded. . .and you don't have a roll

To prove your'e a man you must wipe it with your hand. . .

David said...

Obama is a brand.

And his accelerator is stuck.

BJM said...

Mr. Axelrod called her in for a long conversation...that Washington loves to watch people become too big and ultimately crash and burn...

Me thinks Mr. Alxerod should heed his own advice.

Methadras said...

if president barely is a brand then i'd say he is vagasil.

ellen said...

If he's not a brand, why does he have a logo?

President "New Coke"

1st Lady "Bow Flex"

F said...

Out here in the west a brand is a red hot iron used to burn a mark onto an animal's hide so he belongs to you. Somehow, I find it very fitting to think of Obama as a brand, and we're all being branded by his ugly mark. Desiree Rogers had it right. F

cubanbob said...

Obama as a brand " The Schlitz of Presidents!"

raf said...

The president is not a brand.

It isn't that he doesn't want to be, it's just that it isn't working out very well.

ic said...

They just cannot decide if he is cat food, dog food, tampons, deodorant, beer, chips, Dinty Moore Stew, or Hormel Chili.

He is TOTUS mouthpiece OB-0.

orbicularioculi said...

President Obama is NOT a brand? He's a person? Oh, ok. I suppose Liberace was a real person too?

Patrick said...

The fake Greek temple.

"Vero possumus".

Lightworker.

The one who has been promised us at this time.

The seas will begin to receded, and the earth begin to heal (or some such).


This was not a brand. This was a messiah. With clay feet, etc.

Johnny Cache said...

Small point, I am sure but, IMO, he IS a person; he HAS a brand.

AST said...

OK, Obama is not a brand. (More like a warning label)

But The White House, the Presidential Seal, Air Force One and all the read are part of the presidential brand. Remember how all the libs raged about how W. was ruining our brand among the community of nations?

I don't care about what the international community thinks of us, but Obama has taken the Bully Pulpit and darn near worn it down to toothpicks through overuse.