Amongst the many aspects of his campaign that can – rightfully – be praised as groundbreaking and progressive, the real secret to his success has been going back to basics.
In August 2007, I wrote that marketers needed to embrace the spirit of the web, not the technology. It doesn't matter if someone comes out with the most amazing social network of all time; what matter is how it brings people together.
In the same way, we can pick apart and praise many of the technological achievements of Obama's campaign. We can talk about his advanced paid search program, his remarkable usage of social media, even his willingness to experiment on the edges of technology with virtual worlds and in-game advertising. But this would completely miss the point.
The reason President-Elect Barack Obama was able to take the nation by storm was because he connected people.
He did not use race to divide a nation; he used it to unite it. He did not attack his opponent; he rose above him. He did not dumb down his message; he made the complex simple. Throughout his entire campaign, he stood proud not for himself, not for his own accomplishments, but for the accomplishments of the people.
It's in this spirit that I would like to present to you my personal choice for the Top 5 Greatest Barack Obama speech moments:
5. "We the people, in order to form a more perfect union."
Yes, I want to start with a line that doesn't even come from his own writing team. In what has become known as his Race speech, Barack set the tone by quoting the Constitution. In this speech, he lays down his platform on racism by saying that yes, the United States has a sinful past rooted in slavery. And yet, right from the birth of the nation, the United States of America has been about the struggle towards equality, towards freedom, towards a "more perfect union".
4. "I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war."
Obama made it very clear that he is not an anti-war activist. He fully believes that when necessary, people must take up arms to fight and sacrifice for what's right. But no one should kill and die in a dumb war. Not his most elegant speech, but it makes one hell of a good point.
3. "We can't have a situation in which the corporate duopoly dictates the future of the internet and that's why I'm supporting what is called net neutrality."
Unfortunately, very few people realize the importance of net neutrality or even what it is. But that doesn't matter if the most powerful man on the planet supports it. That's why it's on this list.
2. "I'm asking you the believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington … I'm asking you to believe in yours."
When's the last time a politician asked you to believe in yourself? When was the last last time a politician did anything more than make grandiose promises and talk about their own greatness? Barack Obama didn't talk about himself. He talked about you and your greatness.
1. "Yes we can."
Was there any doubt that this would top the list? Three words, 8 letters in total. Shakespeare could not have done better.
These three little words became the mantra of a nation. It represents everything Barack Obama means to the citizens of the United States, and let's face it, to the world. It sums up that it's not just about Barack winning an election; it's about the people marching towards a brighter future, for themselves, for their families, and for their friends.
Mario blogs at Strategic Text. His most popular post this year was Advertising isn’t dead. Or If it is, it’s our fault. We killed it. Hopefully this won't keep Mario off of Santa's "nice" list.