Only Obama Can Rescue US 'Brand'

The Nike of the field draws praise from marketing experts
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2008 3:40 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., listens to a question from the audience during a town meeting at Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio, Sunday, March 2, 2008....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton is the sturdy candidate resembling Microsoft, John McCain evokes Hummer, and Mike Huckabee’s the Applebee’s of the field, but only Barack Obama "has the secret sauce that Brand America needs to regain its appeal." media consultant Jeff Yang writes in Salon. Yang is part of a team studying the "brand's" international standing, and he shares some insights.

Tang's expert panel reviews the pluses and minuses of the other  candidates—Clinton's "anxiety brand," McCain as "the same-old, same-old candidate—accent on the 'old,'" Huckabee's "self-deprecating humility"—before focusing on Obama. His brand plays best internationally, Yang's research finds, because “an Obama presidency represents the potential for catharsis after nearly a decade of frustration with the U.S.”