About this blog
A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters
Tagged as “George W. Bush”
Monday, April 13, 2015
Hillary Clinton's campaign just unveiled its new logo. Like George W. Bush in 2004 (at least in one poster), the candidate is identified with one letter in the design. Like most U.S. election logos, it is red, white, and blue. Like President Obama's 2012 logo, it says her campaign's goal for America is to "move forward" (albeit with an arrow, as well as a word).
And, like the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012, her Web site and social media pages incorporate the logo in an attempt to rebrand her as a candidate with a fresh message, directed at all Americans, while her rollout video targets the middle class, particularly women.
Her new logo is much simpler and more "modern" than her 2008 design. To read my take on her 2008 logo, go to my September 3, 2008 blog post. Back then, I characterized it as "a fairly conventional logo design," which was also patriotic, and slightly stylized and simplified (compared to other political logos).
That being said, her 2016 logo has already generated numerous comments. The positive ones like its simplicity, colors, and "forward" symbolism. The negative comments focus on it being similar to other designs (including "go this way to the hospital"), allegedly poor artistry, and believe that the message is confusing. To read some of opinions, click here.
Of course, the best U.S. presidential campaign logo was probably Obama's 2008 design. To read what I said about that logo, go to my August 22, 2008 blog post.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
In 2004, the George W. Bush campaign produced one of the most devastating attack ads ever run. The "Windsurfing" ad was a 30-second spot that depicted Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry as a "flip-flopping, windsurfing elitist," who changed his positions to try to increase his support from voters. Kerry was shown windsurfing to the left and right, to symbolize his supposedly changing stances on the war in Iraq, and funding for troops, educational reform, and medicare premiums. These and other ads might have made the difference in President Bush's narrow margin of victory, which was 3 percent in the popular vote and 6 percent in the Electoral College. Click on this link to view the "Windsurfing" ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbdzMLk9wHQ
Now, in 2011, the Democratic National Committee has already run a similar 30-second spot ad, directed against a candidate who has not even been nominated yet (and may not be): Republican Mitt Romney. The "Trapped" ad pits "Mitt vs. Mitt" on abortion and health reform, stating that Romney (like Kerry) is "willing to say anything" to get elected. Click on this link to view the "Trapped" ad: https://www.youtube.com/user/DemocraticVideo#p/u/0/CUOM9QvhG5I
Such attacks can be effective, since they can get voters to question the "character" of candidates.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The 2008 U.S. Republican Party Platform supported border security and English as the official national language, and opposed any amnesty for illegal immigrants. These stands—emphasized by most GOP presidential candidates during the primary campaign and continuing into the general election, particularly by state and local candidates, hurt many Republicans who ran: For example, in 2004, an estimated 39 percent of Latinos voted for George W. Bush; in 2008, only 31 percent voted for John McCain. But at least the U.S. does not have a party whose main purpose is to oppose immigration and immigrants. In other parts of the world, such parties abound.
In France, the increase in the number of immigrants and Arabs with French citizenship helped resurrect Jean-Marie Le Pen’s party, the Front National (FN), which had received little support since Le Pen helped found it in 1972. By 1988, however, Le Pen garnered 14 percent of the vote in the presidential election. The message of protecting white French citizens against the waves of immigrants was summed up on a Le Pen poster with the slogan “Defend our colors.” In 1995, he achieved 15 percent, with a blatant anti-immigrant campaign, marked by an FN poster that stated, “Three million unemployed, that is three million immigrants too many!” Another FN poster included a silhouette of an airplane in front of the setting sun, with the slogan “When we come in … They go out!” And in 2002, Le Pen (with his slogan of “France and the French First”) received almost 17 percent, getting him into a runoff against Jacques Chirac (who defeated him soundly 82 percent to 18 percent). But in the latest French presidential election, last year, Le Pen's share of the vote was down to 10 percent.
Unfortunately, anti-immigrant appeals have been evident in other countries, too. A poster distributed by the Danish People’s Party during the 2001 election showed a young blond girl with the statement, “When she retires, Denmark will be a majority-Muslim nation.” In the same campaign, Venstre (the Liberal Party) erected a billboard that showed three Asian men, who had been tried for group rape, leaving the court after having been acquitted, with the caption “this will not be tolerated once Venstre gets in.” In that election, Venstre won the most seats in the parliament (a gain of 34 percent) and the People’s Party came in third in seats (a 70-percent increase). The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) achieved even more than its Danish counterpart, winning the most votes in the parliamentary elections of 1999, 2003, and 2007, possibly helped by posters that depicted foreigners as criminals shredding the nation’s flag. In the last elections, the SVP achieved its best result (29 percent), despite (or because of) issuing a subsequently banned poster that depicted three white cartoon sheep kicking a black one off the Swiss flag, as well as the slogan “Creating security” (see the illustration to the right). Anti-immigrant poster campaigns by political parties have also been conducted recently in other European countries, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, and The Netherlands, as well as in New Zealand.