Mr Obama’s most famous electoral message was “Yes, we can”. His electoral message to the British people is “No, you can’t”.I've got nothing to say about Brexit. I just want to say that Obama's "Yes, we can" never meant you can do whatever you set out to do, the old can-do spirit. "Yes, we can" was a campaign slogan, and I believe it meant, yes, we can elect Barack Obama. I haven't heard it much in the years since the 2008 election, and in the thousands of messages I've gotten from Obama in the that time, there's been a mix of what we can do and what we can't do — with plenty of can't... plenty of can't in the cant.
If we want influence, security, free trade, democracy and the rule of law, we can get these things only by staying in the European Union, he informs us. We cannot contemplate living – as his own country so proudly does – as a wholly independent state....
I still love the old "Yes, We Can" campaign video. Beautifully done. And it was revealed (by David Axelrod, over a year ago) that Obama thought the "Yes, we can" slogan was corny and needed to be talked into it:
During his campaign for the U.S. Senate, Obama thought that your famous “Yes we can” line was corny. How did you convince him?It shouldn't be pinned on Obama as his general philosophy. So, don't feel singled out, Britain, if he tells you you can't. We can't do a lot of things too.
Michelle just happened to come by for the first ad shoot, and that was the ad that closed with the line “Yes we can.” He read through the script once, and after the first take he said, “Gee, is that too corny?” I explained why I thought it was a great tagline, and he turned to Michelle and said, “What do you think?” She just slowly shook her head from side to side and said, “Not corny.” Thank God she was there that day.