Obama’s Hope Campaign

At first glance, there is a lot going on in this image. The fact that it has the word “hope” in big, blue capital letters makes sure the viewer gets the right message that the creators were trying to portray. The man in the picture is our 44th president and our first African American President, Barack Obama. When Obama was running for office in 2008 he included this image in his campaign. Obama is pictured in the “three-quarters view”, meaning he is not turned directly towards the person viewing the image and making eye contact, making him look confident and powerful. At first glance, the bright colors and the contrast makes the image very eye-catching and interesting to look at. But these colors weren’t just chosen to catch someone’s attention, they were chosen meticulously to provide deeper meaning in the image. These colors are obviously the nation’s colors and represent patriotism, but they also represent the combination of democrats and republicans that make up America. In Obama’s eyes, they can coexist and he can be everyone’s present and help accomplish everyone’s goals, not just the democrats. In 2008 only a few days before the primary elections, a lot of the democratic votes were going to Hillary Clinton. It was vital that Obama win over the democrats and the election as well. A very popular and progressive street artist, Shepard Fairey, wanted to help Barack Obama succeed in the upcoming elections. With the approval of campaign managers he created the impactful image below. A lot of the pictures and slogans that candidates use for their political campaigns can be very negative and focus on what America or even specific individuals are doing wrong. For example, Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again” is very negative. This type of campaigning often makes people react in the opposite way you would want them to. It could anger individuals or drive them away, resulting in less votes for that candidate. On the other hand, Obama’s image is positive. It doesn’t imply anything and it is hopeful. The way he presents his campaign tells a lot about himself, many people often referred to him as America’s most down to earth and sweet president. We are lucky enough to live in a country where there are multiple candidates running for office and we have a say in whether we like them, don’t or are impartial. This freedom of ours leads to candidates having to prove their worth to the country. Through speeches, slogans, posters, facebook videos, etc, candidates have to prove to the American population why we should vote for them. So, naturally, the intended audience for this image is every US citizen. The original picture that Fairey created had the word “PROGRESS” but after some concern with how people would interpret it, it was later changed to “HOPE”. This word can have a lot of different meanings so it opens up the viewers imagination and lets them put their own meaning to it in a way. This image spreads hope for the future, hope for the present and hope that Americans can work together to reach their goals.

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